Summary by Veronica Hope
The Mayor of NSW’ Byron Bay Shire has made national headlines by proclaiming an intention to legalise marriage in Byron Bay… even though marriage is a federal matter.
Greens representative and Mayor Simon Richardson will successfully attract millions of ‘pink’ dollars to Byron Shire, even though Tweed Council dismisses marriage from their agenda.
From the Northern (NSW) Star
MAYOR Simon Richardson wants Byron Shire to “lead the charge” for marriage equality in Australia and is even considering producing symbolic marriage certificates that he could present at ceremonies for same sex couples
Cr Richardson is preparing a notice of motion to place on record the shire’s support for marriage equality and is looking for more ideas, “both symbolic and substantial to add weight to this”.
A marriage registry in Byron Shire for gay couples and handing out a tree to them on their union to plant in a “love park”, are some of the ideas that he’s already considering.
He said he hoped Byron’s stance would prompt similar action from councils across Australia, placing pressure on the Federal Government to reverse its opposition to gay marriage in this election year.
He said even those not convinced by the equality argument may be persuaded by the amount of pink dollars such a stance would likely inject into the shire’s economy.
Cr Richardson said he would liaise with locals and groups like Australian Marriage Equality and the Greens own equivalent group before bringing a motion before council at Easter.
Shane Duniam from Northern Rivers gay and lesbian group Tropical Fruits said such symbolic support would likely enhance the Northern Rivers’ growing reputation as a gay travel Mecca.
Mr Duniam said it was important that councils were inclusive.
“Just the recognition would mean a lot. Symbols are important,” he said.
But deputy mayor Diane Woods said social issues were not the domain of local government.
“I’m not against the concept but it’s got nothing to do with us,” Cr Woods said.
From My Daily News
GAY marriage may be all the talk in Byron Bay’s council chambers but in the Tweed it has not even raised an eyebrow.
Tweed Shire mayor Barry Longland said gay marriage was a personal belief.
“As far as I’m concerned it is not council business,” Cr Longland said, from Perth.
“The commonwealth are the ones that control the marriage act.”
Cr Longland said it was not an issue that has been brought up in council business.
Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson wants his council to lead the charge on gay marriage rights in Australia.
Cr Richardson is preparing a notice of motion for the council to show its support for gay marriage.
The mayor said he was looking at ‘both symbolic and substantial’ ways the council could support gay marriage.