Western Australia’s LGBTIQ community have welcomed news overnight that two more WA Local Councils have endorsed marriage equality.
On Wednesday night, both the City of Fremantle and City of Bayswater passed motions to officially support marriage equality and call on the Federal Government to enact the change with a respectful debate and free vote.
WA spokesperson for lobby group Just.Equal, Brian Greig, said the tally now brings to four the number of Councils in WA which have shown this leadership, and to 46 at a national level.
“Local council is the closest level of government to the people and it has a duty to speak up when our Federal Government fails us."
“The lack of leadership on this issue from Canberra means that grassroots campaigns and local communities must lead the charge for this long overdue reform,” Mr Greig said.
Mr Greig said that the WA Local Government Act makes it clear that the role of councillors is not simply roads and rubbish, but also to ‘represent the interests of residents and provide leadership and guidance to the community’.
“Most Councils also have strategic plans and polices around diversity which can be given effect by passing motions such as these, representing the interests of everyone in their communities including LGBTIQ residents and ratepayers.
“Thousands of residents and ratepayers are adversely effected by this discrimination and social exclusion and local councillors can help speak up for them.
“Just.Equal is calling for more Councils to join the campaign momentum by passing similar motions, as this will help push Canberra in the right direction,” Mr Greig said.
Mr Greig said that repeated polling over the last decade had shown majority support for this reform but the Federal Government had failed to respond and was dragging its feet.
“Ordinary voters are tired of this issue being unresolved. They are embarrassed by the fact that Australia is now the only English-speaking nation in the developed world where same sex marriage is not legal. Local Council motions are one way to express this frustration and call for change,” Mr Greig said.
Currently 22 nations have enacted marriage equality, including Britain, Ireland, the USA, Canada and New Zealand.
The other Councils in WA which have already passed motions include City of Vincent and Town of Port Hedland.
For more information contact Brian Greig (Perth) 0407 776 961.