Hobsons Bay council will fly the rainbow flag outside the Altona civic centre until December in support of marriage equality.
Councillors Tony Briffa, Colleen Gates, Sandra Wilson and Jonathon Marsden at Tuesday’s council meeting moved a joint motion that the council reaffirm its commitment to marriage equality.
It comes amid the Federal Government’s national voluntary postal survey on whether the Marriage Act should be amended to allow same sex couples to marry.
The motion states that council will advocate its support for marriage equality through the use of council resources such as its website, social media, phone on-hold messages and signs and posters in council buildings and public places.
Cr Tony Briffa said it was “a horrible time for our GLBTI community”.
“It is awful to think – it’s not only the expense, the $122 million-plus – but the fact that we’re having to go through this process to ask people to vote on our rights, as if they’ve got the right to determine what rights we have,” Cr Briffa said. “I mean, they’re called rights for a reason.”
Four years ago, Cr Briffa married school teacher Manja Sommeling in New Zealand but their marriage is not recognised in Australia because Cr Briffa was born interxex, or both male and female.
Cr Marsden said it was important to stand up for human rights.
“Given that council is a recognised leader in the community and is highly visible in many of its operations, I think we should demonstrate clearly our commitment to marriage equality and to the human rights of GLBTI people and especially young people discovering their true selves,” he said.
“They potentially face a very rough time during this ridiculous exercise in box-ticking, which is a result of the federal parliamentarians not prepared to do their jobs.”