.

By Luke Voogt

Geelong’s marriage equality advocates have called on City Hall to fly the rainbow flag year-round.
Geelong for Marriage Equality convener Sharyn Faulkner successfully campaigned for the Surf Coast Shire to do the same last month.
“I’ve got two sons, one can marry and one can’t,” the Belmont mother said.
“I hope that one day he will be able to marry his partner just as his brother has.”
She watched as the shire raised the flag for International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexphobia and Transphobia (IDAHoBIT).
“It was very emotion moment,” she said.
“When people drive into the Surf Coast they know they’re coming into inclusive, safe and supportive community for LGBTI people.”
Ms Faulkner welcomed Greater Geelong also raising the flag on Wednesday and said it was the first council to support marriage equality in 2014
But leaving the flag up could be the City’s way of saying it supported lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex people (LGBTI), she said.
Geelong Rainbow president Lyndal Coon said keeping the flag up would keep marriage equality at “the forefront of the community”.
“We would love that and we are grateful that the Surf Coast Shire already (have).”
“We find it heartbreaking and wrong (that) same sex couples can’t marry. It’s something as a human right that could have been done years ago.”
Fellow marriage equality advocate Justin Gummer also called on Greater Geelong to fly the flag year-round.
“But there’s no point flying it if they don’t back it up with proactive support,” he said.
“There needs to be a lot of work done in this sector by businesses and councils alike.”
Mr Gummer said more could be done to change community perceptions of LGBTI people and the improve hiring practices.
He spoke of people occasionally throwing beer cans at him or shouting slurs during his several years in Geelong.
“In my time in Geelong I’ve experienced a bit of homophobia but it’s not too bad here,” he said.
Surf Coast councillors voted to fly the flag all year around in a controversial 4-3 vote last month.
Director of community life Linda Quinn said the City celebrates the diversity of the community and supports marriage equality.
Ms Quinn declined to say whether the City would fly the flag all year around but said that any change to current arrangements would involve a council decision.

More News

A robber butt stroked a man who had pulled over to eat fast food during an armed robbery at Waurn ...

Iraqi refugee Milad Butrus says fireworks still scare his son – they remind him of when ISIS bombed their town. Milad ...

“Delivering more major events” is a key priority for the new boss of Kardinia Park Stadium Trust. Michael Brown put ...

Curmudgeonly types usually bristle at attempts to re-name things, usually for politically correct ends. But one attempt this week at ...

Four of the Surf Coast’s most promising painters will combine for the inaugural Surf Coast Youth Exhibition this school ...

A private Geelong lobby failed to brief two larger counterparts on its plan to combine all three as one voice ...

Latest Sport

Geelong will need to step up its intensity when it returns to Simonds Stadium to face Fremantle on Sunday afternoon. ...

On the Bite, by Chris Pitman Corio Bay continued keeping anglers entertained over the past week with salmon along Geelong’...

A record field of runners will contest a fourth annual marathon along the Surf Coast this weekend, organisers have announced. ...

Entertainment

Four of the Surf Coast’s most promising painters will combine for the inaugural Surf Coast Youth Exhibition this school ...

Distinguished actresses Nancye Hayes and Sue Jones will star in the riotous tale of two fiercely competitive bridge-playing grannies in ...

Chelsea Gibb has joined fellow songstresses Amanda Harrison and Melissa Langton for the first time to pay homage to legendary ...