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If Australia says Yes to Marriage Equality, Sydney will cover the wedding venue

Nick Karvounis via Unsplash

In an act of goodwill, costs of public venue locations will be made free to same-sex couples.

Last month Darcy Byrne, mayor of Sydney’s Inner West area, made a unique proposition, that if Australia said yes for the upcoming national survey, she would promise free use of public facilities as venues for same-sex marriages in the area.

Other officials have endorsed what is now called the Yes campaign, extending the proposition throughout all of Sydney.

This action would then serve as an act of good will to a population that has faced difficulties at the hands of the government in the past.

Even if the national survey demonstrates a majority desire for marriage equality, it will still have to make its way through parliament before legislation is solidified. Couples will also still have to cover other expenses such as catering and their personal attire.

Opponents to the offer claim this motion is discriminatory because the same offer does not extend to straight couples.

Those who are opposed to same-sex marriage have also used this to bandwagon their anti-LGBT campaigns, claiming this example as proof that same-sex marriage is not about equality, but about special treatment.

Related: This Australian flash mob for same-sex marriage will fill you with joy

Speaking with Fairfax Media, Labor Councillor, Linda Scott denies this, saying: “This is a practical way for the council to combat discrimination.

“This community has suffered significant discrimination and many have felt hurt during the campaign.”

However, Liberal Councillor Christine Forster, does not agree. As a gay woman herself, she provided a great deal of help in drafting the Yes campaign, but ultimately voted against the motion.

Her original goal was for the campaign to apply to both gay and straight couples.

She told the Sydney Morning Herald: “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.”

Regardless, couples are planning a mass same-sex wedding to take place at Sydney Town Hall should the laws regarding marriage equality change.

The tally for the national survey will be revealed on 15 November, and if it passes, the government will move to legislate the decision by 7 December.

Words Kevin Kissane

Related: Majority of Australians have voted ‘Yes’ to same-sex marriage, poll shows

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