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How Australia’s marriage equality campaign is using fax as its campaign tool

Equality campaigners employ fax to target politician

Supporters urged to fill in online fax form to their local MP 

MARRIAGE equality is hotly debated in Australia.

And with MPs returning to Parliament this week, the issue is undoubtedly back on the agenda.

Some Liberal MPs reportedly want to discard the government’s plebiscite promised during last year’s election campaign for a free vote on same-sex marriage.

The Equality Campaign – which was created by Australian Marriage Equality and Australians for Equality – says on its website that two-thirds of Australians “believe everyone should be treated equally by our country’s marriage laws”.

It describes itself as “a national campaign to win marriage for all Australians through a free vote in Parliament”.

And it is going “old school” to enable that.

The campaign has created a page on its website via which you can ‘Fax your MP’ on the issue.

On the page, you enter your postcode to find your electorate and MP. Then, fill in details such as name and email address. A guide on the page tells you to add your personal message. “Tell your own story about why this matters to you,” says the website guide. “Take the time to respectfully remind our MPs that fairness and equality are at the heart of Australian society. Urge them to hold a parliamentary vote this year.”

And you hit, ‘send your fax’ at the bottom of the form.

In Australia, a person can get in touch with their local representative via fax.

The Parliament of Australia website FAQs (under ‘How can I contact my local Member’) provides contact details of Members and their facsimile number is part of it.

The fax, thought by many to be long dead, is still very much a powerful tool for campaigners to get their message across in the digital age, especially with the rise of electronic fax.

A couple of years ago in the US, the fax was used by activist group Fight for the Future in their campaign against a cyber security bill. The non-profit group set up eight phone lines to convert emails and tweets into faxes, which were sent to all 100 US senators.

Closer home, Tony Abbott famously sent his resignation from the prime minister’s position to the Governor-General via fax in 2015.

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