Kogarah Council, which takes in the seat of Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland, has moved to recognise same-sex marriages and unions in deciding benefits for council employees and residents.
In an even bigger slap against the Rudd Government’s opposition to same-sex marriage, the move was introduced by someone from its own party, Labor councillor John Mikelsons.
Kogarah is not exactly the most progressive area in Sydney -” it certainly isn’t like Marrickville or the City of Sydney in terms of demography, but we are happy to show a bit of leadership and remove discrimination against our residents and employees where we can, Mikelsons said.
He said Kogarah was already a diverse community in many ways.
Our people deserve to be respected and have their relationships respected, and that is what we are doing, Mikelsons said.
Mikelsons said he would write to Australian Marriage Equality seeking to be listed on its register of employers who recognise same-sex marriage.
Like other NSW councils, Kogarah residents will go to the polls on 13 September. Mikelsons will not be seeking reelection.
He said once the new council is elected, all current policies would be reviewed within 12 months and discrimination on marital status, sexual orientation or transgender identity removed.
Marrickville and Sydney councils already have policies not to discriminate against same-sex partners of employees or residents, but have not specifically resolved to recognise gay marriages conducted overseas.