WITH campaigners against marriage equality already rolling out anti-gay fliers, Vincent councillors have voted to publicly show support for their local LGBTI+ members ahead of the postal plebiscite.
On Tuesday night they voted unanimously in favour of mayor Emma Cole’s motion to kick off the “Vincent loves love” campaign and fly the rainbow flag at Vincent’s admin building for the duration of the survey.
It’ll replace the city’s own logo and fly alongside the Australian, WA and Aboriginal flags. They’ll also fly it at Axford Park and put up pro-love banners along Scarborough Beach Road (that currently still has Anzac day banners up).
“During the federal government’s non-binding Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, it is important to visually demonstrate council’s support for, and encourage respect and recognition of, the rights of the LGBTI members of the Vincent community,” Ms Cole’s motion read.
Asked if she’d copped any flak over the idea from ratepayers who reckon the council should stick to rates, roads n rubbish, Ms Cole said she’d only had messages of support so far.
“I think that taking a stance on issues like human rights and celebrating our diversity is a part of who we are as a Vincent community,” Ms Cole says. “It’s a characteristic to be welcoming and supportive of people.”
Ms Cole says it’s not like they’re dropping the ball on core business to focus on this: She says the “Vincent Loves Love” campaign is intended to be low cost, largely promoted through social media, and the banners along Scarborough Beach Road would have to be replaced about now anyway.
“Vincent’s supported marriage equality for a long time now, starting in 2012 when we started the relationship declaration register… and then in 2014 we put out a marriage equality declaration publicly. Now that we’re facing a non-binding postal survey, we think it’s really important to demonstrate support for our LGBTI+ community that they have their local council’s full support.”
There’s a flag-raising ceremony at the council building at the corner of Vincent and Loftus Street on Friday August 25 at 1pm.
On Monday night Hobart council also voted to fly the rainbow flag until same-sex marriage becomes legal.
by DAVID BELL