Shayne says no to gay marriage
BLAIR MP Shayne Neumann has not changed his mind on same-sex marriage and would vote against it again if another bill came before parliament.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd indicated in a debate with Coalition Leader Tony Abbott that, should Labor win the election, a private bill would soon be introduced on gay marriage.
Mr Neumann based his vote against same-sex marriage in parliament several months ago on his own conscience and on the views of his electorate. The legislation was voted down 98-42.
"My personal view is that it should be a conscience vote on both sides of politics...as it is on our side," Mr Neumann said.
"Last time I voted against same-sex marriage when the legislation came before the House of Representatives...and I haven't changed my position. I canvassed the electorate widely with 700 people getting back to me...and 585 were opposed to same-sex marriage and 115 were in favour. I sat on the committee that looked at the legislation...and I was unconvinced by the arguments. If the same legislation came before the house again I wouldn't change my mind."
LNP candidate for Blair Teresa Harding said "our policy is that marriage is between a man and a woman and I support that".
"I recognise...it is an important issue for some people, but our priority is to secure jobs and ease cost of living pressures for the people of Blair.
Palmer United Party's candidate Anthony Stanton said "our party policy is that social matters should be put to a conscience vote because we don't believe in forcing members to go against their core beliefs."
"Personally I believe marriage is the fundamental building block of a stable, and economically stable, society and I think that the law should ensure the same rights are available to all people, but that churches should not be forced to conduct the ceremony if it is in contrast to their beliefs. This is the same stance as David Cameron, the British PM."
Katter's Australian Party candidate Dale Chorley said Mr Rudd was "ambiguous" about his plans.
"He didn't specifically say, 'I will put a bill before parliament within the first 100 days about gay marriage'," Mr Chorley said.
Mr Chorley said that if elected he would canvas opinion in the electorate on the issue.
"It is up to the people, not the government," he said.