Rainbow army confronts bigoted Newcastle council

June 28, 2013
Newcastle residents called for council to support the marriage equality campaign. Photo: Aaron Hargrave

More than 100 people encircled by chalk rainbows greeted the weekly meeting of Newcastle city council on June 25.

Chaired by Save Our Figs veteran Debbi Long, the rally heard from Greens councillors Michael Osborne and Therese Doyle; federal Labor candidate Sharon Claydon; Michelle Lancey from support service Parents, Friends and Family of Gays and Lesbians; and Miss La Bang, a flamboyantly dressed bridal drag queen representing the radical rainbow army.

Osborne, who is a federal candidate for the Greens, said he had sent a notice of motion to council general manager Ken Gouldthorp calling for council to support the marriage equality campaign.

However, the rally heard that Gouldthorp refused to include the motion in the council minutes, despite this being part of his obligations. The crowd denounced this illegal silencing of debate.

Claydon said: “The time for equal marriage has well and truly arrived.”

Miss La Bang described the aggressive manner in which council had rapidly dispatched graffiti removal teams to scrub chalked rainbow flags from sidewalks across Newcastle earlier in the year, and noted that no such action was taken against children who drew hopscotch runways or other non-rainbow themed pictures.

Rally organiser Aaron Hargrave signaled the intention of the colourful, dancing, chalking protestors to maintain a visible presence in the community until such time as marriage equality comes into law in Australia.

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