CHEERS rang out in the Warrnambool City Council chambers on Monday night, as councillors unanimously voted to support marriage equality.
Councillor David Owen instigated the motion, saying backing marriage equality would be a “symbolic act, in support of a very important social justice issue” and align it with 48 other councils in Australia.
“My hope is that our vote will encourage the Australian Parliament to pass the Marriage Equality Bill sooner rather than later,” he said.
As part of the motion, a rainbow flag may also soon be flying in Warrnambool.
Mr Owen said more than 12 per cent of residents belonged to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community.
“Now is the time to make it right for the kids who grow up feeling different and isolated, for couples denied the right to marry the person they love, for the parents and grandparents of gay children and grandchildren,” he said.
“Marriage equality will save lives. Statistics show 30 per cent of headspace referrals nationally are LGBTI young people. Today, young LGBTI people are suiciding and self harming because they don’t feel like they belong. But most importantly, raising the flag in a prominent place, seen by all, will send a strong message of inclusion, safety and pride and hopefully it will take a us a step further toward Australian Marriage equality.”
A report will be prepared by officers on the cost of erecting another flag pole to fly the rainbow flag in a prominent location.