Meander Valley Council say marriage equality not local government issue

A motion for a Northern council to show its support for marriage equality has failed.

The Meander Valley Council will not fly a rainbow flag outside its council chambers after Councillor Andrew Connor soley voted for the motion. 

Many councillors believed the issue was not a local government one. Cr Connor said that excuse was a “cop out”.

Mayor Craig Perkins agreed it wasn’t a government issue.

“Politicians have handled this situation poorly … it has turned into a political game,” he said.

“I feel very sad in the way that this has played out nationally and I don’t think we should buy in to it.” 

Councillor Bob Richardson said he seconded Cr Connor’s motion to “allow for debate”. 

Cr Connor acknowledged the same-sex marriage debate was not a council issue, but was a human rights one that had to begin somewhere. 

“For those councillors that say we should stick to roads, rates and rubbish – we already do a lot more than that.”

Councillor Deb White agreed it was not a council issue. 

“We do not know in any way, shape or form what our community thinks about this,” she said. 

Councillor Rodney Synfield agreed with Cr White. He said it was appropriate to let Australians have their say without the council trying to force it on them. 

Councillor Michael Kelly did not support the motion because he said it left the council open to other issues. 

“Next there will be a Collingwood [football club] flag, and then before we know it there will be a street full of flags,” he said. 

Cr Connor said he was unsure why the council was “getting so tied up” in the issue. 

“This is a simple thing to do. Saying it’s not our problem is a cop out,” he said. 

Hobart City Council and other councils around the nation have voted to fly the flag.