I’m always proud to be Lord Mayor of Melbourne, I think it is the greatest job in the world, but announcing we were the World’s Most Liveable City and Melbourne City Council’s support for Marriage Equality was a day of particular pride for me.
It is ironic that I made both announcements concurrently because the two are intrinsically linked. I often say that great cities are not designed for roads, buildings, cars or anything else; they should be designed for people.
The Economist Intelligence Unit recently ranked Melbourne the World’s Most Liveable City for the seventh consecutive year: the first time a single city has held the title on its own for that period of time.
This world record is an amazing feat that all Melburnians should be extremely proud of. I know I am. The EIU measures factors that make cities great places to live and again we achieved outstanding results in the areas stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. We are a great all-rounder.
We also nominate ourselves as a city of wellbeing, of diversity, inclusiveness and tolerance. For me there is no doubt that marriage equality is a matter of wellbeing – of personal, social, emotional and psychological wellbeing – and I think it is important that Council took a stand on this issue.
When I think of Melbourne, I think of equality. I think of us as a welcoming place; I think of us as an inclusive place. But while we don’t have marriage equality, we aren’t complete as a tolerant, inclusive, welcoming, equal place.
That’s my aspiration for Melbourne. That’s why I am proud to support a yes vote on marriage equality.
Melbourne City Council unanimously endorsed a motion to campaign in support for marriage equality. Council also resolved to take a leading role in promoting respectful dialogue at a time when an acrimonious public debate will divide our LGBTIQA+ community.
This was quite a remarkable achievement when you consider the range of political and personal backgrounds on the Melbourne City Council. We are made up of Liberals, Labor, Greens and Independents. I am proud that we were united on this important issue. Nevertheless, Council appreciates that we have a wider city and there will be diverse views which must be respected.
Melbourne City Council has supported marriage equality for some time: Council unanimously resolved in 2015 to support marriage equality and called on the Federal Government to legislate for it. The Council has also maintained a relationship declaration register since 2007 as a means of recognising the relationship status of couples, irrespective of gender.
Along with lighting Melbourne Town Hall in rainbow colours over two nights, the City of Melbourne displayed a message in support of marriage equality on the iconic Young and Jackson Hotel on rotation over a three week period. Shopfront window stickers are available for city businesses that wish to show their support for marriage equality.
Please read on to find out about more ways that we cultivate wellbeing in our residents, businesses, workers and visitors.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle AC