LATROBE CITY // A MOTION by Latrobe City councillor Kellie O’Callaghan calling on the council to support marriage equality failed after only three councillors voted.
First published in the 10 July 2015 edition of the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen.
Two councillors voted for the motion and one against. Another two councillors were not present at the meeting.
Speaking on social media after the vote, Cr O’Callaghan said the journey to the vote had been significant.
“There were heartfelt personal journeys shared at tonight’s meeting and I thank those members of the community who contributed to a constructive and respectful conversation,” she said.
“To those who attended the meeting, whether supportive of the motion or not, the manner in which you encouraged the discussion and shared your views is greatly appreciated.
“I have walked away from tonight’s meeting feeling more empowered to offer my individual support to Marriage Equality and to the members of our local community who seek it.
“To ensure that those who have a personal experience, story or journey to share, [please] continue to be… respectful and safe [in] forums.
“Especially when it is clear that some still believe it is appropriate to be unnecessarily aggressive, and feel compelled to personally direct comments when putting their case.
“It isn’t necessary and I refuse to be intimidated by your approach.
“I am proud of those community members who in the face of possible negativity and judgement, stepped into the Council Chamber and asked for support.
“Whilst it was not afforded on this occasion, I do believe that the majority of our community supports Marriage Equality and that we will see this support continue to grow.
“I’m sure that more community leaders will speak openly of their support and will encourage others to do the same.
“For those who say I had no right to bring this to the council I offer you this: I respect your right to hold a different view. I will always listen respectfully and consider your perspective, but I will continue to listen to my community. I believe it is the right thing to do for this community.”
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