The VICE Guide to the Postal Plebiscite

Sydney Promised to Give Same-Sex Couples Free Weddings

This was a promise made back in October. Time to cash in!

by Maddison Connaughton
23 October 2017, 11:07pm

Image via Shutterstock

Back in October, the city passed a motion that if marriage equality got through the postal vote, and was then legalised, gay couples would have free access to some of the city's buildings, halls, and parks for 100 days after legalisation. Straight couples would not be given free access—a decision which pissed off the "No" campaign.

"By promising to continue its already extensive and expensive 'Yes' campaign advocacy even if a 'Yes' vote prevails, the City of Sydney is sending a clear message that a change in marriage law will have consequences for everyone," a spokesperson from the Coalition for Marriage told VICE, "including ratepayers whose money will be used to fund the celebration of same-sex weddings."

There was also some push back on the council. Sydney Liberal councillor, and Tony Abbott's sister, Christine Foster—who's campaigned for "Yes"—voted against the motion, telling reporters that the decision "flies in the face of" inclusivity.

"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," she told the Sydney Morning Herald. "It's also been about making marriage inclusive not exclusive, and this motion flies in the face of that."

However, the council promised hetero couples wouldn't have their wedding bookings bumped in response to the expected flood of same-sex ceremonies after a "Yes" vote.

That wasn't the first show of support Sydney gave the "Yes" campaign. The city has also gifted organisers office space, mailouts, and erected banners in support throughout the CBD to the tune of some $100,000.

Anyway, yesterday, on the final day of parliament's sitting year, lower house MPs managed to pass legislation allowing same-sex Australian couples to marry. Australia finally has marriage equality—and it's time to book that Sydney location for the wedding. You've got 100 days.

Tony Abbott
same-sex marriage
marriage equality
Yes campaign
postal survey