MP supports marriage plebiscite
THE impending voluntary postal vote on same-sex marriage is being backed by Maranoa MP David Littleproud who says the issue must be dealt with "once and for all”.
Following months of public party division about the matter, the Coalition government has chosen the path of a voluntary postal plebiscite after its compulsory attendance plebiscite was rejected by the Senate.
Despite projected costs of $122 million for the non-binding vote, Mr Littleproud said the Australian people must be given a voice.
"What price do you put on democracy? This would be a significant change to the social fabric of this nation and therefore the Australian people should make that determination,” he said.
"This is why I encourage every voter in Maranoa to have their say on this issue.
"The Coalition government is committed to deliver on its pre-election promise to give the people a say on whether or not the law should be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry.
"This is a significant change. Therefore, I believe the ultimate democratic body in this nation - the Australian people - should determine that question.
"By doing so, we will give greater validity to the result because no one can challenge the verdict of the people.
"This government's preference was to deliver that commitment through a compulsory attendance plebiscite but the Senate did not allow this Bill for a compulsory attendance plebiscite to be considered.”
Mr Littleproud has spoken against same-sex marriage in the past but said he would support the outcome of his electorate's vote.
"The institution of marriage has both cultural and historical significance to the people of this country - any changes to permit same-sex marriage will change the social fabric of this country and, for that reason, it should be left to the people of this country to make that determination,” he said.
"I will vote in parliament based on the Maranoa outcome.
"Same-sex marriage is a private, emotive issue and one that should be put to the people of Australia to enable parliamentarians to do their job as representatives and vote accordingly.
"I will take a public role in ensuring the debate remains respectful and considerate while ensuring that everyone's voice is heard.”
If you are not yet on the electoral roll, you have until August 24 to register with the Australian Electoral Commission before ballots are sent out in September, to be returned by November 7.
Enrol or update your details online at www.aec.gov.au/enrol