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Hawkesbury Council backs Marriage Equality

Western Sydney's Hawkesbury Council tonight voted to support Marriage Equality.

It seemed that it might not get up seeing as The Mayor who previously had voted against writing to the Prime Minister in support of marriage equality and against flying the rainbow flag for Mardi Gras (stating he was a staunch Catholic and therefore against it) but he changed his mind and put up a Mayoral Minute asking Council to support marriage equality at tonight's meeting.

Greens Clr Leigh Williams amended the Mayoral minute and the following motion passed.

● Council supports marriage equality

● Council opposes the imposition and cost of $162 million non-binding plebiscite to achieve marriage equality and would prefer an immediate parliamentary vote on the matter. Should the government proceed with a plebiscite, Council resolves to support the Yes campaign.

● Council seeks to engage with the local LBGTIQ community with the aim of working with them to campaign for marriage equality.

 

The vote went down as follows:

 

Supported

Leigh Williams - Greens

Barry Calvet - Labor

Tiffany Tree - Liberal

Paul Rasmussen - independent

Christine Paine - independent

Mary Lyons-Buckett - independent

Mike Creed - Liberal

Kim Ford - Liberal (Mayor)

 

Opposed

Jill Reardon - Liberal

Warwick McKay - independent  (Deputy Mayor)

Patrick Connolly - Liberal

 

Absent

Bob Porter - independent

 

Congratulations to the people of Hawkesbury. Many New South Wales councils (that were not force amalgamated by Mike Baird) will go to a vote on Saturday September 10.  Local councils do have a huge impact on resources and social policy for LGBTQI communities - so make sure your vote counts.

Mardi Gras gets State Funding

One of the world's best-known gay and lesbian events is finally being given state backing.

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras generates more than $30m for the city and state of New South Wales and in a joint statement by Mardi Gras and Events NSW, the bodies announced that the event will receive vital funding to continue the festival and parade.

The amount of money the NSW government is to pump into the event is subject to a confidentiality agreement, but it is reported to be significant.

New Mardi Gras Chair David Imrie commented:

"This is going to really enable us to grow Mardi Gras and the Parade, and ultimately lead to us producing an amazing arts and cultural festival through the entire season.

"[It’s] going to aid our sustainability, but more importantly, lead to greater growth."

Even the new NSW Premier Nathan Rees got in on the celebration by stating:

"Mardi Gras is one of Sydney’s best known and iconic events. It is a spectacular Sydney event and makes a significant contribution to our state’s economy. It’s become an international showcase of Sydney’s inclusiveness, creativity and diversity, and a celebration shared by the wider community."

Although Mardi Gras is the largest cultural event in the country - many media outlets have negitivly focussed on funding, calling for comments to be posted on websites etc, with the "unbiased" Daily Telegraph, leading the charge of negative comments...

This reporter would like to point out the amount of funding that went to the World youth Day as a one off event, and many other cultural funding activities that do not involve as many people as Mardi Gras does.... but for now - what are your comments?

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