THE City of Wodonga became the latest in a growing list of local governments to publicly endorse same-sex marriage this week.

On Monday night, councillors representing the Victorian country area voted 5-1 — with one abstention — in favour of Cr Lisa Mahood’s motion to have council officially declare support for marriage equality.

The motion also dictated that council would write to local state and federal MPs to let them know, too.

“I believe in a community where we are supportive of all people, I believe in a community where differences are accepted and celebrated,” Cr Mahood said.

The motion came about after local resident Cathy Prior wrote to the council asking them to show that her family had equal standing in her community.

“My daughter was born in Wodonga hospital, we have built a house in Wodonga, we pay rates in Wodonga, my partner and I both work, shop and live our lives in the Wodonga community,” she wrote.

“My daughter will grow up and go to school in this community, I want her to be accepted and considered no different than the little girl next door.”

News of the motion being approved by council was welcomed by Australian Marriage Equality deputy director Ivan Hinton.

“Wodonga has added it’s name to the growing number of local governments around Australia to show leadership on this issue,” he said in a statement.

“It is time for our federal MPs to recognise that, regardless of where their electorate is, communities are calling for change.

“It is time for the Coalition to have the party room discussion on marriage equality that was promised prior to the last election and it may just be our rural MPs that are the ones to find the courage to take the lead.”

Read Cathy Prior’s full letter to Wodonga councillors here:

Dear Wodonga councillors,

I am writing to express my extreme gratitude that Wodonga council consider voting to support marriage equality. 

For Wodonga council to publicly support marriage equality says to me that you believe that my family and family’s like mine are just as equal and important as any other family in Wodonga. 

For Wodonga council to publicly acknowledge that my family is currently seen as second class citizens because my daughter has two mothers, and acknowledges that we deserve the same protections under the law as any other family, and that OUR community will not stand for its citizens to be discriminated against on the base of sexuality. 

My daughter was born in Wodonga hospital, we have built a house in wodonga, we pay rates in wodonga, my partner and I both work, shop and live our lives in the wodonga community. My daughter will grow up and go to school in this community, I want her to be accepted and considered no different than the little girl next door. 

By Wodonga council voting to publicly support marriage equality you say to my family and families like mine ‘we stand with you, we do not discriminate’. 

Please vote to support marriage equality.

Many thanks,
Cathy Prior

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