Tomorrow, August 24, is the last day Australian citizens can register to vote in advance of the marriage equality plebiscite. Though the plebiscite is a nonbinding vote, it will tell the government if Aussies want same-sex marriage.
Younger voters are more likely to be in favor of marriage equality. To help get out the youth vote, MTV Australia is suspending broadcast from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow. Instead, the channel will display a message encouraging viewers to make sure they can vote.
Simon Bates, head of MTV Asia/Pacific, which controls the Australian version of the cable giant says it was important to shut down the broadcast:
“As a leading youth entertainment brand that supports inclusiveness and equal rights for all Australians, MTV wants to encourage young Australians to get out and do their part in ensuring their voices are heard in the Australian Marriage Law postal vote.”
This isn’t MTV Australia’s only move in support of marriage equality. As the youth are moving away from traditional television in favor of the internet, MTV Australia’s website displays a splash page about the plebiscite.
The site will also feature what Bates calls an “LGBTQ editorial takeover.”
MTV Australia is not alone is turning their site over in support of marriage equality. The websites Pedestrian TV, Broadsheet Media and Junkee will do a similar blackout, as will Sydney radio station FBi Radio and VICE.
Critics point out that young people are the least likely to vote in a postal survey as they move frequently. Similarly, the government doesn’t have to act since the vote is nonbinding.
Luckily, despite the best efforts of American neo-Nazis, current polling suggests that Australian voters will vote for marriage equality. Australia’s biggest-selling newspaper, The Australian, predicts the “yes” vote will win with 63% of the vote.
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