TO THE POST: Voters must post their results to be received by November 7 to be counted in the same sex marriage survey.
TO THE POST: Voters must post their results to be received by November 7 to be counted in the same sex marriage survey. Trevor Veale

Warwick MP weighs in on marriage debate

AS THE same-sex marriage debate rages on, Member for Maranoa David Littleproud has vowed to stick by the views of his electorate.

Postal surveys asking voters whether they agree to legalise same-sex marriage were sent out by the Australian Bureau of Statistics between September 12 and 25.

Mr Littleproud said the postal survey delivered on the Coalition government pre-election promise to give the Australian people a say on whether the law should be changed and favoured neither side of the debate.

"This is a significant change to the social fabric of our society,” Mr Littleproud said.

"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.”

Last year, the Maranoa was the only electorate to outright oppose same-sex marriage with more than half of voters not in support of changing marriage laws.

Nationally, the proportion of voters who support same-sex marriage is now at 57%, back from 63% in August and 62% in September 2016.

The no vote has lifted to 34%, from 30% in August and 32% a year ago, while about 9% remain uncommitted.

Data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey revealed the support for equal rights between same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples has also increased steadily from 38% in 2005, to 45% in 2008 to 51% in 2011.

The postal survey itself cannot legalise same-sex marriage, and MPs will not be bound by the results.

In the event of a "Yes” vote, the government said it would allow a private member's bill to be introduced to the House of Representatives in the final parliamentary sitting fortnight of 2017 at the end of November.

Mr Littleproud said he would 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,” he said.

"I will take a public role in ensuring the debate remains respectful and considerate while ensuring that everyone's voice is heard.

"I will always use my vote to represent the views within my electorate.”



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