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The mayor of Byron Bay in northern New South Wales says he wants to make gay marriage legal in the shire and has flagged the creation of a “love park”.

Mayor Simon Richardson says the Federal Government is failing same-sex couples and he says it is time for local government to champion their cause.

He will put a motion to the council in the coming weeks to recognise the marriage of gay and lesbian couples, although the council does not have the powers to make it legal.

Councillor Richardson says he hopes other councils will take up the issue to put gay marriage on the agenda during the federal election.

He says he wants residents to feel validated by the gesture.

“Even though within Byron it might be a bit token, at least within Byron we will acknowledge your wedding, we acknowledge your marriage, we acknowledge your partnership,” he said.

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