In the fight for LGBTQ rights, few achievements are greater than marriage equality.
This is the right of two people to marry whom they wish, regardless of gender (in many countries, only marriage that is heterosexual—between a man and a woman—is considered legal). For decades, LGBTQ activists have argued that same-sex marriage should also be legal. And finally, starting in the early 2000s, those efforts became successful.
Today, 29 countries recognize same-sex marriage. Canada, in 2005, was one of the earliest adopters. Others on the list include Germany, Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. And another? Australia.
Their marriage equality bill was passed fairly recently, in 2017. But when it did finally pass, the message of public support was overwhelming. In response to the question "Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?", voters responded 'Yes' 7,817,247 votes (61.6 percent) to 'No' 4,873,987 (38.4 percent).
People celebrated in the victory in public parks and squares across the country. One of the most famous of these places was Prince Alfred Park in Surry Hills, a suburb of Sydney. Here 30,000 people came to together and partied in joy and relief.
Welcome to Equality Green
Since this victory, the area of celebration has been renamed Equality Green. And green is far from the only colour on display there now. Thanks to a new project started by the city, there is a 90-metre (295-foot) long path winding through Equality Green that is the colours of a rainbow.
This rainbow path is inspired by the rainbow flag, which is an international symbol of LGBTQ pride that dates back to the late 1970s in San Francisco. Its many colours symbolize the diversity within the community and the importance of equality.
The fight for LGBTQ rights is far from complete—29 countries is a huge step, but still just over an eighth of the world's 195 nations. But this particular victory is now remembered forever as a rainbow path in Australia's largest city.
See the path for yourself in the tweet below.
Just in time for Mardi Gras: the new Rainbow Path in Surry Hills is finished!
The 90-metre rainbow path in Prince Alfred Park commemorates the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Australia. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/kFFLakQS9I
— City of Sydney (@cityofsydney) February 16, 2021