All Rainbow Flags, ‘Yes’ And ‘No’ Banners Banned From The NRL Grand Final

Update: Since this story ran this morning, ANZ Stadium has clarified that rainbow flags are not specifically banned from the event. “Fans are encouraged to bring colour and energy to the event and are allowed to express their views,” the venue said in a statement. “Small flags and banners are permitted.”

For the five minutes and twenty seconds of Macklemore‘s ‘Same Love‘, any bigots in the NRL Grand Final audience will be confronted with the uncomfortable notion that gay people are also people deserving of equality before the law, but for the rest of the time, they can rest relatively easy.

Overnight, the NRL confirmed that ANZ Stadium‘s ban on politically-themed items at games will extend to rainbow flags and marriage equality campaign material, with officials carrying out bag searches at the gates and confiscating any material that might upset patrons.

Banners emblazoned with North Queensland Cowboys and Melbourne Storm team insignia will be allowed, but will be restricted to the official supporter zones at either end of the stadium. Everything else is out of bounds, per the stadium’s official policy, which reads:

Patrons wearing or otherwise displaying inappropriate or unauthorised commercial, political, religious or other offensive images, logos etc. may be denied entry into the Stadium or asked to remove such items prior to entering the venue.

Per reports in News Corp, an official at ANZ stadium said that:

The approach we are taking is that everyone’s allowed to express their views provided they don’t upset the person next to them. Further to that any flags bearing any political views will be subject to approval by security.

Flags and banners will be unfurled by security guards, who will have some discretion as to what kind of material is allowed inside, while any supporter flags over 1.4m in size will also be confiscated.

Macklemore himself, who performed a sound check at the stadium yesterday under tight security, told Nine News that he plans to donate proceeds from Australian sales of ‘Same Love’ to the ‘Yes’ campaign for marriage equality.

Earlier this week, Macklemore expressed confusion at the utter shitshow that the marriage equality plebiscite has created, telling an interviewer:

I’m actually going out to Australia to perform at kind of the Super Bowl of their rugby league, and it’s interesting actually cause I’m gonna play ‘Same Love’ and they’re going through trying to legalise same-sex marriage in Australia. So I’m getting a lot of tweets from angry old white dudes in Australia. Today I think there is a petition to ban me from playing. It’s interesting times in Australia and I’m heading on a flight over there later tonight.