Hartsuyker says no to gay marriage
FEDERAL MP Luke Hartsuyker has already declared that he will not be voting for gay marriage to be recognised in Australia.
"From my own personal viewpoint, I will not be supporting gay marriage," Mr Hartsuyker said.
A bill to legalise gay marriage will be rushed into Parliament early next year after the Australian Labor Party voted overwhelmingly on Saturday to adopt marriage equality as its official policy.
When the bill is passed, the governing party will ask its members to vote along conscience lines rather than party policy.
Mr Hartsuyker said that the subject matter will be discussed in the party room but if the coalition is asked to also vote on conscience lines, he will be voting no.
"The definition of marriage, and marriage is about children, it is a union between a man and a woman," he said.
"That is a fairly fundamental concept.
"That's not to say that there could be appropriate provisions for duly recognised civil unions."
The Cowper member added that his opinion is one that he has reached after speaking "to a great many people" within the electorate.
"There are a range of viewpoints out there and I've listened to those that wish to speak with me and correspond with me," he said.
"I've certainly been speaking to a lot of people on the issue and taken all those views on board.
"I'm certainly sympathetic to a wide range of views but my own view is that I believe in the traditional definition of marriage which is a union between a man and a woman."
Mr Hartsuyker said that he realises that this is an important issue to some people but he believes the majority of Australians are more concerned about other issues.
"There are a great many issues confronting this country at the moment and for many, many Australians, this issue is of a lower order," he said.
"We have a situation where there are massive cost of living pressures on families and many pressing issues of the day apart from this one."