The debate is as hot as ever in Australia over the upcoming postal plebiscite, and a Subway franchise has decided to chip in printing pro marriage equality quotes on their receipts.
On September 12 2017, Australians will be sent a voluntary postal survey to gather statistical information on their views on whether or not current legislation should be changed to allow same sex couples to marry. The survey will explicitly ask: “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”
This move comes after the government failed to get its marriage equality plebiscite through parliament on two occasions. The results of the survey are non-binding, which means they do not affect legislation directly, the government can choose to either adopt or discard the results.
A Subway franchise in Melbourne’s Cranbourne Park shopping centre took the independent initiative to support “YES” and began printing pro-marriage equality messages on their receipts.
The move doesn’t represent the position of the brand as a whole, as Steve King, owner of this particular store confirmed earlier to Mashable. The quotes are a part of this individual store’s campaign to shift people’s opinion in favour of marriage equality, and they’ve been doing it for weeks now. Their first step was to encourage people to actually enrol.
Although Australia has compulsory voting, the electoral commission estimates more than 800,000 citizens aren’t enrolled to vote. Among those, more than 250,000 are aged 18 to 24.
This politically invested Melbourne store handed out badges and pamphlets inviting people to register in the Australian Electoral Commission so they’d be able to vote. They also used their in-store television screens to project versions of Australian Marriage Equality’s “Yes” campaign posters.
Curiously, one of the most controversial points in discussion among the Australian public is not the Marriage Law itself, but the cost of the campaign. Aside from the reservations about the method chosen to carry it out (snail mail) the biggest controversies revolve around the suspected $122 million AUD the postal survey is expected to cost.
Enrolled Australians will receive the postal survey after Sept. 12 and will have until Nov. 7 to mail it back.
Here are the key dates you need to be aware of:
- 12 September – Survey mailed out to eligible voters
- 11 October – Last day to order replacement survey
- 7 November – Ballots must be returned to ABS
- 15 November – Survey results will be published on the ABS website