Marrickville Council embraces same sex marriage

Greens candidate for the seat of Grayndler Hall Greenland and Greens (NSW) Lead Senate Candidate Cate Faerhmann have congratulated Marrickville Council for reaffirming its support for marriage equality with a resolution passed at the latest Council meeting. Marrickville Council’s was one of the first Councils to embrace marriage equality, under the former Green Mayor in 2010. A recent LGBTIQ Forum had called on Council to reaffirm its commitment to Marriage Equality and write to all the major parties for the Federal Election.

At the same meeting the elected Councillors supported a Greens resolution for Council to support the Gender Centre, which is threatened with closure after 30 years of operation in the Marrickville and Petersham areas. A full copy of the resolution passed by Council is below.

Mr Greenland said, “I congratulate the Council and reiterate the call to urgently support federal legislation for marriage equality on behalf of local residents.

“Ending discrimination and giving everyone in our community the right to marry shouldn’t be a political plaything, it’s just the right thing to do.”

“It shouldn’t just be at election time that it’s suddenly the time to say you are going to do something finally to fix this,” he said.

Hall and Cate believe that both major parties should listen to the local community and to the Australian people generally, as two thirds of them support same sex marriage.

“The Greens have long led the debate on this important issue and it seems we might be finally getting closer to achieving a positive outcome, albeit with the ALP kicking and screaming along the road,” Hall said.

Greens Marriage Equality Poster for the Federal Election

Greens Marriage Equality Poster for the Federal Election

“Greens MP Adam Bandt introduced his Marriage Equality Bill again in July which would have removed discriminatory references based on sexual orientation and gender identity and allowed marriage regardless of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.

“However, after much debate, the bill was defeated.  In this day and age, the Parliament is out of step with the public on this issue,” he said.

The Greens motion was supported by local ALP councillors but as Greens councillor Sylvie Ellsmore points out, this support also needs to come from the State and Federal Governments.

“The Greens on council believe we need national marriage equality laws that give everyone equal rights and the choice to marry if they want to, rather than being discriminated against because of their sexual orientation,” Clr Ellsmore said.

Greens Senate Candidate Cate Faehrmann with Senator Christine Milne and Sydney MP Alex Greenwich, June 2012

Motion moved by the Greens, at the 6 August 2013 Community and Corporate Services Committee Meeting:



1. from this point onward Council refers to the combined gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and questioning communities by the acronym LGBTIQ as voted at the forum;

2. in accordance with Council’s decision of 14 December 2011 that resolved to support marriage equality; and noting that marriage equality legislation has recently passed in the UK, Council:
a)    expresses its strong support for national marriage equality laws;
b)    commits to write to the Federal MP for Grayndler and all Federal Parliamentary Party Leaders urging support for the marriage equality legislation on behalf of local residents and the LGBTIQ community;

3. the report be received and noted; 4. Council notes that the Gender Centre:
a) offers services from the transgender and gender diverse community, including providing support for more than 500 clients a year and their families, and housing for up to 17 residents at any one time in three refuges and four exit-houses;
b)    has been operating for 30 years in the Petersham and Marrickville areas and is the only organisation of its kind in the world;
c)    is currently seeking new premises for its office and staff, but has been unable to locate new premises in the inner west which would allow it to continue to operate without significant cuts to its programs;

4. Council expresses its strong support for the Gender Centre to continue to be located in the Marrickville Local Government Area;

5. Council notes the chronic shortage of low cost accommodation for community services in the inner west and commits to:
a)    advocate for, and work actively to support, the Gender Centre in its efforts to identify suitable accommodation options in the local area; and
b)    organises a forum of small local community services, including the Gender Centre, who are also at risk of losing their accommodation in the inner west following recent changes to NSW Government funding and accommodates for these services.

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