A Sydney councillor has vowed to create an LGBTIQA+ support network despite homophobic and transphobic comments from other councillors.
A number of Sydney councillors have accused their counterparts from other parts of New South Wales of homophobic and transphobic comments.
They say the comments were made during a debate about forming a network to support LGBTQIA+ representatives and drag storytime events.
Councillor Adam Worling says he will continue with plans to set up the network. The NSW Local Government Conference voted the proposal down last week. He said the need for such a network was clear from the tone of the debate.
“I was just a little surprised that people were really confident to put a voice and a face to the sort of comments they were,” he told ABC News.
The NSW Local Government Association did not keep a record of exactly who spoke against the motion, but there were three speakers against it. One councillor suggested if this motion was successful, there should also be a support network for real estate agents who are councillors.
Murray River councillor Tom Weyrich was one of the speakers against the plans. Cr Worling said Cr Weyrich finished his speech with, “What people do in their bedroom should stay private. And that’s where it should stay.”
The ABC asked Weyrich if he thought any of his comments were homophobic. He replied, “Is it against the law to be homophobic? Let me tell you, I’m heterosexual, I’m a normal person.”
A ‘dismissive and homophobic’ debate
Non-binary Inner West Councillor Liz Atkins also agreed the debate was “dismissive” and “homophobic.”
“I was shocked that elevated representatives would not just express that sort of view but that they would get up on the mic and say it as representatives of their community,” they said.
Councillor Worling said the community deserved better.
“It’s just not right… I just think fundamentally, we should respect people,” he said.
Despite the result of the debate, Cr Worling says he is determined to set up the network.
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