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showing support for the LGBTIQ community: ona manuka’s gay day

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With the Federal election looming, the topic that has been hot on everyone’s lips is gay marriage rights. Whether it’s Labor’s commitment to marriage equality, or the constant to-ing and fro-ing of Liberal candidates on the issue, it’s clear that gay rights and marriage equality are important to many Australians (and so they should be).

In Canberra, local café chain Ona has decided to demonstrate their support for the LGBTIQ community with more than just words (unlike politicians) – they’re hosting a ‘Gay Day’ at Ona Manuka.

Taking place on Sunday 8 September, the day will include awesome food, good music, costumes, and general revelry – all in celebration of the LGBTIQ community, and in solidarity for equal rights for all people, regardless of their sexuality.

We caught up with barista, Jordan Montgomery, to chat more about the event, and the important of equal rights to the Ona community.

Why did you decide to organise the Gay Day?

As a local business comprised of Canberra residents, we are always looking for ways to reach out to the local community. Gay rights are a pressing issue internationally and in our nation we are seeing the increasing emergence of people advocating the rights of the LGBT community. As a business in our nation’s capital, we feel as though we should show our support for this community, if only by dressing up and playing great music!

What can people expect from the event?

The event is being held at the smallest of our three cafes, in Manuka. We’re having live music on the lawns in front of the cafe, the staff are all dressing to impress (or shock) and we’ll be running some fabulous specials for the day too! We can’t exactly march a parade through the cafe…but what is important to us is that we celebrate the LGBT community, the best way we know how…with food, music and fun costumes!

Do you think it’s time for equal marriage rights?

We believe in equal rights for everyone, regardless of age, sex, colour, sexual preference and so on. The fact that it hasn’t occurred already may be due to the fact that there aren’t enough public forums and opportunities available for people to discuss this issue. We’re aiming to provide a comfortable environment in which like-minded people can express their views. Hopefully, events like this will result in some action!!

Being in Canberra, so close to Parliament, do you think people get frustrated at the lack of response from pollies to public opinion on this issue?

I think that over the past few years, we’ve seen increasing frustration at a lack of decisiveness from the major parties, in all areas. I believe that people are frustrated not only with a lack of response, but from the simple fact that this issue still exists – we need only look overseas, where other nations have listened to the people and taken action.

Whether or not it yields tangible results, it’s pretty heart-warming to see a local business show support for the LGBT community like this, and we want to support Ona right back by heading down to Manuka on Sunday, buying a drink and enjoying the music. If you’re in Canberra, come along and say hi! Details are available here.

If you hear of cool events happening in your city, let us know! Shoot us a line at editor@lipmag.com

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