Large rainbow flags and signs advocating a Yes or No vote in Australia’s same-sex marriage survey will be banned from today’s NRL grand final at ANZ stadium in Sydney.
The Sunday Telegraph reported today on the ban, which will be enforced through security screening at the stadium and is supported by the NRL.
The grand final, which will be contested between the Storm and the Cowboys, has become a focal point for debate on same-sex marriage because of the NRL’s invitation to rap star Macklemore to appear at the event and perform a pro-equality song.
Macklemore’s song Same Love has become an anthem for marriage equality and is included on the rapper’s set list at the event. He has said he intends to donate all revenue from sales of Same Love in Australia to the Yes campaign.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott has called for Macklemore’s appearance to be cancelled, saying it made for a “politicised grand final”.
While the NRL has stood by its entertainment plans and said it is proud to be supporting the equality campaign, political flags and banners that may cause tensions in the stands will not be permitted.
“The approach we are taking is that everyone’s allowed to express their views provided they don’t upset the person next to them,” an ANZ Stadium spokesperson told the Telegraph.
“Further to that any flags bearing any political views will be subject to approval by security.”
Security will check bags and unfurl flags and banners to check them for size and content, although they will have some discretion on what is permitted.
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