Surf Coast Shire supports rainbow flag vote
A RAINBOW flag will fly outside Surf Coast Shire headquarters after a controversial vote in Torquay.
Councillors voted 4-3 in support of a motion put forward by Cr Rose Hodge to fly the flag starting on May 17, which marks International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT).
The successful motion will result in the flag flying outside the council offices indefinitely until a time, if and when, legislation is passed in Federal Parliament legalising gay marriage.
Supporters and opponents packed the Torquay council chambers to witness the debate with some audience members holding placards.
“Lately we’ve been talking about Australian values,” Cr Hodge said. “And while there was a conversation on the radio that you’ve got to have a meat pie at the footy or sledge at cricket, but you know what, I thought ‘where do I want to see my Australian values?’
“We did a lot of work on the council plan ... and the first (value) we’ve got is community well-being. I think this motion really covers a section of our community in the minority that we can move forward.”
Cr Hodge’s motion was seconded by Cr David Bell with Cr Margot Smith and Cr Libby Coker indicating support prior to the ballot.
The rainbow flag originated in San Francisco in the late 1970s and has since been adopted by gay rights activists worldwide.