Corangamite Shire is in the top-11 electorates with the highest percentage of “yes” votes for the same-sex marriage postal survey in Australia.
Seventy-two per cent of the electorate’s residents voted in favour of changing the marriage act to allow same-sex couples to marry.
The strong yes vote has helped Colac shake its homophobic image with comedian Joel Creasey taking to Facebook to congratulate Colac on its support and highlighting the strong result.
Creasey said in a Facebook status on Wednesday that “anyone who knows my history with Colac will know it’s not my favourite place in the world”, referencing an incident in 2011 when group of people yelled homophobic slurs while he was performing at a gig in Colac.
“They recorded a 72-per-cent yes turn out, a town which once saw me chased out by a bunch of homophobes”, Creasy said.
His experience in Colac inspired the 2014 documentary on homophobia Gaycrashers that explored the issue in the region.
The electorate is also equal third highest in Australia for participation with 85 per cent or 97,757 of eligible voters having their say in the in the survey.
Four other electorates also had a 72-per-cent yes vote and there were only 17 of Australia’s 150 electorates above Corangamite with a higher percentage of yes votes.
The national total of yes votes was 61.6 per cent with 79.5 per cent of eligible voters sending in their survey forms.
The “no” vote in Corangamite received 27,708 or 28 per cent of the total number of votes compared with 38.4 per cent of voters nation-wide that voted no.
The Federal Government will now debate the same-sex marriage bill in Parliament with the majority of MPs in the House of Representatives and the Senate expected to vote in favour of a Private Member’s Bill.
For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.