The City of Sydney last night passed a motion to allow same-sex couples free venue hire for their weddings if marriage equality becomes law.
The city’s community facilities, halls and parks would be available at no charge for gay weddings for 100 days, The Sydney Morning Herald has reported.
While the offer will be extended only to same-sex weddings, straight couples can be assured their existing booking will not be cancelled or moved.
Liberal councillor Christine Forster, who has been a prominent figure in the Yes campaign, opposed the motion after trying to extend it to straight weddings as well.
“This has been a fight for equality before the law and it’s my belief that we can’t ask for equality for ourselves and then deny it to others,” said Forster.
“It’s also been about making marriage inclusive not exclusive, and this motion flies in the face of that.”
Labor councillor Linda Scott, who moved the motion, said an offer just for same-sex couples was not discrimination because “this community has suffered significant discrimination and many have felt hurt during the campaign”.
“This is a practical way for the council to combat discrimination,” said Scott.
Sydney’s Inner West Council last month similarly moved to offer its facilities free for same-sex weddings.
“We have one of the largest and proudest [LGBTI] communities in Australia and the inner west must lead the national charge for civil rights,” said councillor Darcy Byrne.
With the result of the marriage equality postal survey set to be announced on November 15, the Turnbull government has said it will move to legislate before the end of the year in the event of a Yes outcome.