On 17 October last year, I introduced a motion to Council supporting marriage equality. Council passed the motion but amended point 3.
The full text of my notice of motion was as follows:
Supports the entitlement of people in the City of Canada Bay and elsewhere to exercise the civil right to marry the person of their choice.
Supports the value of legislative reform that does not discriminate on the basis of religion, gender or sexual orientation.
Promotes support of the “Yes” campaign in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey through the Council’s website, social media and other communications.
(Item 3 above was amended by council to read: THAT the Mayor conveys the resolution of Council in his Mayoral Column.)
Marriage equality is a human rights issue, supported by some 52 councils across Australia at the time of writing (1). Currently, all Australian couples do not have the freedom to express their love and commitment to one another through marriage.
This motion asks Council to support that right, consistent with its local government responsibilities for the residents of Canada Bay and others based on NSW and Commonwealth statements on the role of local government, as given below.
The NSW Local Government Act requires councils to “provide strong and effective representation, leadership, planning and decision-making”. (2)
The Commonwealth position (3) on local government states:
State legislation provides the framework for the roles of local government. While in the past the roles of local government were enumerated in detailed and prescriptive legislation, local government bodies in all jurisdictions have now been given the authority to provide generally for the good government of their local government area. This has been viewed as conferring on local government the powers of general competence, or the power to take action in any area not expressly precluded by other legislation.
Local government has roles in governance, advocacy, service delivery, planning and community development, and regulation. There is no longer a standard definition of ‘core’ local government services such ‘roads, rates and rubbish’. Local government now delivers a greater range of services, broadening its focus from ‘hard’ infrastructure provision to include spending on social services such as health, welfare, safety and community amenities.
On 7 December 2017, the Australian parliament legislated to allow two people of either gender to marry.
[This post is based on my Facebook post 16 October 2017.]