• Multicultural and multi-faith groups have rallied in Melbourne in favour of same-sex marriage. (SBS)
More than 100 people gathered outside Victorian Parliament in the name of marriage equality. But not all newly arrived Australians are in favour of changing existing laws.
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20 Sep - 10:20 PM  UPDATED 21 Sep - 10:15 AM

Multicultural and multi-faith groups have formally launched their push for a "Yes" vote on same-sex marriage.

Their backgrounds were diverse, but their message was a consistent "yes".

Judy Tang is President of the Australian LGBTIQ Multicultural Council, and said there is an undeniable empathy between new arrivals and those she represents.

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"Multicultural groups they've gone through so much persecution, discrimination in their lifetime and they're fighting for a better future with exactly the same as same-sex marriage and marriage equality in itself so that's what we're after," Ms Tang said.

Joe Caputo represents the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia - and argued a ‘yes’ vote is about Australia. 

"Moving towards all the other equal liberal democratic societies that have actually legislated to make marriage equality for everybody," Mr Caputo said.

Religious leaders, politicians and student groups lent their support to the cause.

An overnight decision from the New South Wales Jewish Board of deputies supporting marriage equality resonated with Saul Burston from the Australasian Union of Jewish Students.   

"It's just the right thing to do,” Mr Burston said.

“It just makes sense and it is two consenting adults who love each other should be able to marry each other and they shouldn't be told that they can't.”

For many on both sides of this debate, the future of the family unit will determine their vote.

Indian-born lawyer Molina Asthana, who represents the Asian Australian Alliance, said she would vote "yes". 

"We want to emphasise that this is all about families strengthening families and it's also about equality,” Ms Asthana said.

“We want equality for all we believe in the values of liberty and equality it's our basic human right."

But, at his church in Melbourne's eastern suburbs, political aspirant and Sri Lankan-born Christian Pastor Daniel Nalliah told SBS World News the family was at the heart of his vote against marriage equality. 

"The Bible is very clear - a man and a woman was created, come together with reproductive organs so they could produce children whereas when two men come together it's not the same," Mr Nalliah said.

It is a sentiment shared by the congregation he describes as "multi-ethnic”. That includes Malaysian born worshipper, John Chee.

"Well if they want to live together but don't make it law that affects everyone in the country,” Mr Chee said.

“In their private lives we can't go against them, but the bible says we must love them but we must tell them the truth it is not the right thing to do."

Results of the postal survey will be released on November 15.