May 20, 2017
AS I write this, I am proud to say that Bass Coast Shire Council has just passed a motion to support marriage equality.
As for wasting money, it costs nothing to show support for local LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) community members. All it needs is to recognise that we are all people first.
Marriage equality basically means that any two people can marry if they wish to. While I have no personal interest in being married, I find nothing wrong in marriage between two people in love.
Before “marriage equality”, the common term was “gay marriage”, two words I would have nothing to do with. I even went as far as commenting against them on Facebook. But now the light has been seen and we have the more accepted term “marriage equality”.
The movement for equality started in 2004, when the then prime minister John Howard changed the words of the Australian Marriage Act to define marriage as being “the union of a man and a woman”. The amended act also stipulated that “a union solemnised in a foreign country between a man and another man, or a woman and another woman, must not be recognised as a marriage in Australia.”
While writing this I have Facebook flickering in the background and I’ve just noticed a post by a friend. It reads “Tired of waiting for Australia to grow up, so we're tying the knot in my partner's home town.” They have been together for longer than I have known them and have flown to the US to marry. They are just two of my gay friends doing what so many of my friends have done over the last few years. Congratulations to them, too.
Meanwhile, back home, there is a groundswell of support for change. Following the lead of Surf Coast and Yarra councils, Darebin Council this week resolved to fly the rainbow flag until marriage equality is legislated in Australia. Similar motions have been passed by many councils across Australia. And now Bass Coast has joined them.
Sally Conning lives in Wonthaggi and is an advocate, educator and speaker for the transgender community and since the time of the local council elections an advocate for the local LGBTI community.
Yes we do: Bass Coast Councillors add their voice to the growing call for marriage equality.