This Government made a promise to the Australian people that they could have their say about Same Sex Marriage. I strongly supported the postal survey as it gave the opportunity for all Australians to be a part of the conversation. Given the 79.5% participation rate it is clear the people did want to have their say.
The people of Wright have shown the way to have a mature and reasoned conversation within our community. I want to acknowledge the respect that has been shown on all sides.
Alongside my own personal convictions is my deep responsibility to represent the people of my electorate and their views on the issue. The national vote was very clear with 61.6%. The people of Wright have voted in favour of same sex marriage with a 56.8% return.
I am a Member of the House of Representatives. My first responsibility is to represent the people of Wright and to take their views to the House of Representatives. I am bound to set aside my personal beliefs on this issue and vote in favour of same sex marriage. That is democracy in action.
I will be working closely with my colleagues in the Federal Parliament to ensure any Bill to enact same sex marriage protects freedom of religion and freedom of speech, and particularly the rights of parents to teach their children their personal values and convictions.
The people of Wright have made their decision. I thank you for your participation in this important process and I know that we will move forward with the same respect and sense of community that we have displayed all along.