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Melbourne councilor loses bid to ban ‘unequal’ gay promotion

Melbourne councilor loses bid to ban ‘unequal’ gay promotion

A Melbourne councilor yesterday failed in her bid to ban LGBTI promotion in the City of Casey municipality after a fellow councilor stormed out of a council meeting.

Rosalie Crestani brought a motion to ban the council from discussing or addressing sexual orientation, which she said was a ‘private issue.’

She also called for an end to media releases concerning sexual orientation, diversity training, the removal of pro-gay signs on council premises and the promotion of LGBTI interests – which she said discriminated against straight people as the council was obligated to serve all residents equally.

Crestani is a Victoria state upper house candidate for the socially conservative Rise Up Australia Party, which opposes gay marriage and multiculturalism.

After the council refused to second her motion and councilor Sam Aziz stormed out of the meeting, Deputy Mayor Louise Berkelmans introduced a counter-motion to re-affirm their support for LGBTI Casey residents.

The municipality is the most populous in Victoria state with 252,382 inhabitants.

Another meeting has been scheduled for Thursday when Crestani may try to pass the motion again.

Despite the motion, she said she did hold any bias towards LGBTI people.

‘Even though my motion last night at council was about discrimination against the heterosexual community and addressing this breach of the Equal Opportunity Act at the Casey council, I want to ensure that I’m heard correctly about the LGBTI community; and that is, I regard them as equal and I am unbiased towards any person, especially when it comes to my role as a councilor,’ she said.

Crestani also questioned whether ‘special treatment’ in form of diversity training and free counseling actually helped LGBTI people.

‘It is time our authorities stop shoving issues of sexual orientation down every one’s throats, instead deal with it effectively and then lives will be truly saved,’ she said in a statement.

Gay councilor Rafal Kaplon said he was ‘relieved’ that the motion was not passed.

‘The motion was justified as not being against the GLBTQI community but rather to stop singling out groups for special treatment and protecting heterosexuals from discrimination, however I sadly feel that the motion was nothing more than a cheap political ploy by the Rise Up Australia Party and the mischievous “Lord” Christopher Munkton who was present in the chamber to gain traction before the state election by picking on the Muslim and GLBTQI minority groups,’ he said in a statement.