“Last night the Tea Tree Gully Council overwhelmingly rejected a push by the South Australian ‘Feast Festival’ for councils to fly the Rainbow Flag during November when the festival – the SA version of the Sydney Gay Mardi Gras – is held,” FamilyVoice national research officer Ros Phillips said today.
Four ratepayers spoke at the beginning of the Council meeting, saying that any flag flown by the Council should unite the community – as does the Australian flag – not divide it. They said the Rainbow Flag is the symbol of a political campaign to change the meaning of marriage – an issue that has split the community, with strongly held views on both sides.
They said it is not appropriate to fly the Rainbow Flag on Council flagpoles, when the issue of marriage is not and never has been a Council concern.
“Two councillors – Matthew Harbinson and Damian Wyld – moved and seconded a motion directing Council not to fly the Rainbow Flag during the current term (which ends in late 2018),” Ros Phillips said. “No one spoke against the motion, which passed by 10 votes to 2.”
“Some councillors said they had received more emails on this issue (all opposing the flying of the Rainbow Flag) than any other during their time on Council. The Mayor told the meeting that he had received 70 emails, and had replied to all of them,” Ros Phillips said.
Councillor Harbinson said his motion was in no way a rejection of LGBT people. His Indian background and appearance meant he was bullied severely during his school days, and he could only imagine the suffering of those from the LGBT community.
Many people in the public gallery applauded loudly when the motion passed.
Mrs Roslyn Phillips, BSc DipEd National Research Officer FamilyVoice Australia: a Christian voice for family, faith and freedom