The peak body supporting councils and councillors has thrown its support behind the “yes” campaign for marriage equality, saying it is vital people take part.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics will begin mailing out the voluntary postal survey on same-sex marriage from Tuesday and Australians have until 6pm on Tuesday, November 7, to cast their vote.
In a statement released by the Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA) on Friday, president Marg Attley said the body unequivocally supported the “yes” campaign.
“This survey is about equal rights under the law – the rights of same-sex couples to get married,” she said.
“It is not about religious freedom, freedom of speech, political correctness or the upbringing of children.”
The VLGA’s comments come as the City of Greater Bendigo has declared no position on same-sex marriage.
“As mayor you're the spokesperson for the council and as I said we haven't discussed it in detail as a council yet,” Cr Margaret O’Rourke said last week.
Cr Attley said the VLGA was disappointed the rights of consenting adults to enter into voluntary marriage was subject to an expensive and unbinding postal survey.
“This issue should be discussed and voted on in the Parliament,” she said.
“The marriage law postal survey will take place from next week and while the survey is voluntary it is vital that people take part.”
The VLGA is also calling on councils, counselling organisations, community groups and community leaders to be aware of the potential harm the survey might have on members of their LGBTI community.
People in need can contact Switchboard/QLife on 1800 184 527 from 3pm to midnight for support or chat online; or outside of those hours, the 24-hour 13 11 14 Lifeline hotline and 1300 659 467 Suicide Callback Service are available.
People aged 25 years or younger can also call the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.
The ABS will take a week to do its count and the results from the survey are expected to be released on Wednesday, November 15.