Same Sex Marriage Postal Vote update
As you would be aware, the results of the Australian marriage law postal survey have been announced this morning. There has been a comprehensive show of support to amend the Marriage Act, with more than 61 per cent of voters returning a “Yes” vote. In O’Connor, the result was closer, but 56.2 per cent of respondents voted in favour of changing the law.
My personal belief has always been that the traditional definition of marriage should be upheld. However, the postal survey reflects that the majority of the Australian public believe we should amend the law to allow same-sex couples to marry.
Since we announced the Government’s intention to put this decision to the Australian people, my position has been that I will act in accordance with the will of my electorate. Given that the O’Connor electorate has returned a majority “Yes” result, I will not be voting against any legislation to amend the Marriage Act. My promise to my constituents, and to the Australian people, was that I would not stand in the way of the will of the public.
Having said that, I will be working with my colleagues from all sides of Parliament to ensure we produce a bill that respects the rights of groups and individuals who hold religious or similar beliefs. The United Nations dictates that “that freedom of religion or belief should be fully respected and guaranteed”, which is an important principle to acknowledge in any changes we make to the Marriage Act. If the legislation put before Parliament does not contain adequate protections for religious groups, be it churches, schools, charities or otherwise, I will not support that Bill and I will abstain from voting.
I hope that clears up any questions you have in relation to this very important issue.