Wangaratta Council has backed a push to support the LGBTIQA+ community including the possibility of the Rainbow Flag flying at public facilities despite concerns being raised by one councillor that the move was prompted by a city-based lobby group.
Cr Irene Grant put forward an amendment guaranteeing support for the Rainbow Ball and initiating a diversity and inclusivity reference group, but was voted down.
"(It's) more the agenda of a city-based lobby group," she said.
"Because of that I do have concerns with the way we are approaching this whole process.
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"To actually ask the community to tell us what they would like to see would be a significant step forward.
"We should focus on inclusivity, not exclusivity and ensure decisions we make reflect our community."
Her amendment only attracted the backing of Cr Harvey Benton and Cr Harry Bussell.
"Over my lifetime I've found the more people who want to identify themselves, the more divided society we have become," Cr Benton said.
"Those wanting to receive the respect need to earn it. I just plead whatever comes out of this we find the commonalities between us and we build on it and we don't just end up with a lot of words and a lot grandstanding."
Cr Fuller's notice of motion was seconded by Cr Ashlee Fitzpatrick with Cr Jack Herry also speaking in support.
"It takes courage to stand here and ask the community to join it," Cr Fuller said.
"It takes courage for young people in our community to tell us about their experiences and ideas.
"It takes courage from the older generation to open and listen to these conversations."
He rwas one of 29 openly LGBTQI candidates elected or re-elected last year.
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