Lismore City Council has voted to strengthen its support for marriage equality by writing to federal politicians calling on them to break the impasse on the reform.
The motion, passed by the northern New South Wales local council on Tuesday night, commits them to writing to all Federal MPs and political parties to reiterate the council’s commitment to marriage equality for all their constituents, and fly a rainbow flag or banner in Lismore until marriage equality is achieved.
Councillor Darlene Cook, who moved the motion, said: “The contribution of LGBTI community to [Lismore] cannot be measured just in dollar terms; we are your neighbours, teachers, doctors, accountants, lawyers, builders – we are the people next door.
“Why should our relationships be treated differently from opposite sex attracted persons’ relationships, under the law?”
The council passed its first motion to support federal action on marriage equality in 2013, becoming one of the first local councils in the country to do so.
Jay Allen from The Equality Campaign welcomed the council’s decision and said marriage equality is a simple issue of fairness and being treated equally under the law.
“It is great to have the ongoing support of the Council because we must work together to ensure every Australian has the same opportunities in the land of the fair go and for every person in this region,” he said.
Allen said polling commissioned by The Equality Campaign showed almost 65% of the local electorate of Page believes local MP Kevin Hogan should be allowed a free vote on same-sex marriage if a bill is presented to parliament.
Read the Lismore City Council motion in full below:
Council resolves to:
1. Council confirms its long held commitment to publicly support marriage equality for all persons irrespective of sex, gender identity or sex characteristics.
2. Council writes to all Federal Members of Parliament and the Commonwealth Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission advising them of Council’s ongoing commitment and support of marriage equality.
3. Council writes to all political parties with representation in the Federal Parliament encouraging them to prioritise debating changes to the Marriage Act and to allow a genuine conscience vote on marriage equality; and
4. Council fly a rainbow flag or banner in a prominent place in the City until Equality is achieved at a Federal level.
(Top photo by Brad Mustow, via Lismore LGBTI group Tropical Fruits)