The marriage campaign has mobilised thousands to fight for equality | Dennis Altman

The marriage equality campaign raises larger questions about freedom and equality that will bubble long after the vote

In every campaign there is a tipping point, and the marriage debate probably hit that moment the weekend of the football finals. The support for rapper Macklemore at the rugby league grand final and the AFL’s public support for “yes” suggested that the equality cause had caught the popular imagination in ways that are probably unstoppable.

The “respectful debate” the prime minister called for has been largely absent. There’s been deceit and nastiness on the no side, and considerable hyperbole from yes supporters. I’ve heard claims that this is “the most difficult time for the LGBT community ever”, which ignores the far darker times of police persecution and Aids deaths.

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NSW to approve coalmine blocked by courts for polluting Sydney’s drinking water

State energy minister Don Harwin says mine which supplies Lithgow’s Mount Piper power station is ‘vital for energy security and affordability’

The New South Wales government will introduce legislation to approve an underground coal mine that was blocked by the courts because it was polluting Sydney’s drinking water.

On Monday the state’s energy minister, Don Harwin, announced the government would overturn a decision by the NSW court of appeal to block the extension of the Springvale colliery.

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