Blue Mountains City Council is proudly flying the rainbow flag for same-sex marriage.
The vote was unanimous at this week’s Council meeting to fly the flag from the following day until after the postal plebiscite has been counted.
In his Mayoral Minute, Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill said the issue of same-sex marriage is really just about human rights.
“I’ve been married twice and no one ever had a say to determine whether either of those went ahead,” he said.
Cr Brent Hoare spoke on the issue, stating that Australia was lagging behind many other countries.
“We should have won this by now,” he said.
Cr Shae Foenander, who is a nurse by trade, told a story of a 95-year-old patient who hadn’t told anyone that he was gay in over 60 years after enduring severe abuse and exposure to shock therapy in his youth because of his sexual orientation.
“No one should ever have to go through their lives without hearing the words ‘I love you’,” Cr Foenander said.
Blue Mountains Council has been a longstanding supporter of social justice and equality, including supporting the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) community.
The Council’s position is guided by the community-endorsed Community Strategic Plan 2035, which identifies the community’s main priorities and aspirations for the future, some of these being that the region is safe, caring, diverse and inclusive.
While the majority of Councillors supported the Mayoral Minute, Councillors Brendan Christie, Chris Van der Kley and Kevin Schreiber opted to leave the room while Council voted on the issue.
Cr Van der Kley said that while he supports same-sex marriage, the postal vote was a deeply personal issue.
“It’s up to an individual person to make the decision on how to vote,” he said.