Coun­cil backs gay mar­riage

Augusta Margaret River Times - - News - War­ren Hately

Shire of Au­gusta-Mar­garet River coun­cil­lors have is­sued a po­si­tion state­ment in sup­port of same-sex mar­riage and at the same time sunk the boot into the Fed­eral Govern­ment for cow­ardice.

Cr Mike Smart raised the mo­tion at Wed­nes­day night’s meetingin Au­gusta, say­ing a fam­ily mem­ber iden­ti­fy­ing as ho­mo­sex­ual had brought the is­sue home for him.

Mem­bers unan­i­mously sup­ported the three-part state­ment, be­liev­ing the Aus­tralian ethos was to “live and let live”. The mo­tion, which an­tic­i­pates a loom­ing na­tional plebiscite gaug­ing sup­port for same-sex mar­riages, in­cluded an ad­mon­ish­ment of the Mal­colm Turn­bull-led Aus­tralian Govern­ment.

The coun­cil “ex­presses dis­ap­point­ment that the Fed­eral Govern­ment has ab­ro­gated its role as an elected body and has cho­sen to in­sti­gate a postal vote which has cre­ated divi­sion and ill will within the Aus­tralian com­mu­nity,” the state­ment read.

Au­gusta col­league Kim Hastie went fur­ther, call­ing Fed­eral min­is­ters “an ab­so­lutely use­less mob of eu­nuchs”.

“I hope the Fed­eral Govern­ment cops an ab­so­lute flog­ging,” he said dur­ing de­bate.

“They are just too scared to put their fin­ger in the air to show which way they are vot­ing, which I find ab­so­lutely dis­grace­ful.”

Cr Peter Lane said the mer­its of the mo­tion did not re­quire de­bate, which only had the chance of cre­at­ing greater dis­cord when enough had al­ready been said. Col­leagues lined up to voice their sup­port.

Os­ming­ton-based coun­cil­lor Felic­ity Haynes lamented the Shire’s un­will­ing­ness to fly the LGBT-aligned rain­bow flag de­spite sup­port for the Abo­rig­i­nal flag.

The coun­cil state­ment also noted the coun­cil was “com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing so­cial in­clu­sion and ad­vo­cat­ing for the di­ver­sity within our com­mu­nity ir­re­spec­tive of sex, gen­der iden­tity, cul­ture, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, sex char­ac­ter­is­tics, abil­ity, age or re­li­gious be­liefs”.

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