An anonymous donor has pledged to match the next AUD$20,000 (£11,000) in donations to Australian Marriage Equality (AME).

The donor has said they will donate up to the $20k, if supporters of the organisation also donate smaller amounts.

The message from AME said: “We just received a $20,000 donation from a generous donor – but it comes with a strict condition: we have to show that we all want to work together by raising another $20,000 to match it.”

A message from the donor said: “This email is going to over 40,000 people, just $5 from each person would reach the target I have set. I think it’s important that everyone shows their support.”

Donations can be made here.

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has been forced to defend its newly implemented equal marriage law as the country’s High Court began hearing a legal challenge to it on Tuesday.

Despite having a gay siblingAustralia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott continues to oppose equal marriage and has supported efforts to halt the ACT’s equal marriage bill in the courts.

In October,, Mr Abbott said that the ACT court challenge was about upholding the Australian constitution and about preserving a “uniform approach throughout the commonwealth” to marriage laws.

Earlier, several amendments were made to the ACT’s bill in order to safeguard its legal passage. 

Same-sex couples living in the ACT have been allowed to register their partnerships since 2008 and hold civil partnership ceremonies since 2009, when the ACT became the first territory in Australia to introduce such legislation.

Equal marriage remains banned at a federal level in Australia and efforts to legalise the measure failed in the Australian Parliament in September 2012.

Christine Forster, the sister of Mr Abbott, has revealed that she has proposed to her partner Virginia Edwards.