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Marriage equality

Council supports marriage equality

News Article Date: 
Tuesday, 4 July 2017

The Warrnambool City Council officially supports marriage equality

A Notice of Motion was raised by Cr David Owen at the July 3 Ordinary Council Meeting and was passed unanimously.

Council will write to State and Federal Members of Parliament, the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission and the Commonwealth Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, advising them of this support.

Neighbouring Councils will also be written to, advising them of this motion while requesting that they consider support for this important human rights issue.

A report will be undertaken to determine to cost of erecting a new flagpole to display the rainbow flag in a prominent Warrnambool location.

Cr Owen said that the role of Council was not only to support residents, but also to guide them to a more fair and equitable community.

“The Local Government Act 1989 section C states that the objectives of Council include to promote the social, economic and environmental viability and sustainability of the municipal district and to improve the overall quality of life for people in the local community,” he said.

“A Warrnambool City Council vote for marriage equality will be a symbolic act in support of a very important social justice issue and will demonstrate our solidarity with 48 other councils around Australia.

“My hope is that our vote will encourage the Australian parliament to pass the marriage equality bill sooner rather than later.

“Marriage equality will save lives. Statistics show that 30 per cent of Headspace referrals nationally are LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and/or intersex) young people.

“Today, LGBTI people are suiciding and self-harming because they don’t feel like they belong. These young people are more likely to experience higher rates of drug and alcohol abuse due to depression and anxiety.

According to Beyond Blue, the mental health of LGBTI people is among the poorest in Australia.”

Warrnambool Mayor Kylie Gaston said that the choice to marry was a basic human right.

“Those couples who choose to marry wish to publicly celebrate their love and commitment, to protect their children and to ensure legal and social recognition,” she said.

“This basic human right should be applied equally to all people irrespective of their sex or gender identity.

“It is about following the golden rule of treating others as you like to be treated yourself. We all know that this is currently not the case and that the LGBTI community has historically and is currently overcoming many hurdles and disadvantages.

“I feel that we live in an accepting and open-minded community that wants all people to feel respected and safe."

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