IPSWICH MPs Shayne Neumann and Bernie Ripoll both voted against a private member's bill to legalise same sex marriages inthe House of Representatives yesterday.
The bill, introduced by Labor backbencher Stephen Jones, was defeated 98-42. Mr Neumann told the QT last night that he had considered his decision long and hard before voting against it.
"I've got a gay sister-in-law and her partner and I love, respect and admire them," he said.
"I've also numerous gay friends ... and we've passed 84 pieces of legislation since I have been in parliament to end discrimination against same sex couples in all manner of things ... and I've voted for every one of them.
"But it seems to me that there is no strong community consensus to support a change in what has been the understanding of marriage for millennia - the idea that marriage is between a man and woman entered into for life."
Mr Neumann said he also considered feedback from residents in his seat of Blair on the issue.
"I received 700 responses by way of personal written approaches, faxes and e-mails. The response was 585 against same sex marriage and 115 in favour."