Gladstone people don't want marriage equality, MP says
THE people of Gladstone don't want same-sex marriage. That's what our federal member Ken O'Dowd says, and he's basing that on a survey of 1600 people from 2010-11.
Half of the respondents were from Gladstone city and half from rural areas.
The survey found 90% of residents were against changing the Marriage Act.
Mr O'Dowd is happy to admit attitudes might have changed, and says he will vote on what the people say anyway.
He wants the debate.
"I did vote against it previously because the people elected me on no change to the Marriage Act," Mr O'Dowd said.
"If they have changed their mind, I will go along with what they say."
Opposition leader Bill Shorten has called for a change to the definition of marriage from "the union of a man and woman" to "the union of two people".
But Mr O'Dowd said changing the definition of marriage would have consequences and those needed to be discussed.
In particular, Mr O'Dowd wants to debate the rights of children in same-sex marriages.
He says there hasn't been enough research on the impacts of children being raised in same-sex partnership households.
"I definitely want to see that debate in the house and in my electorate," he said.
"We want to know what people have to say about that and discuss all the implications down the line (if we change the definition of marriage)."
Mr O'Dowd doesn't "care what the people of Ireland think" and doesn't expect the issue to come to a vote until September at the earliest.
However, if the Liberal Party was allowed a conscience vote, his would reflect the mood in his electorate.
"My personal opinion is irrelevant in this," Mr O'Dowd said.
"At the end of the day majority rules and I will vote based on what the people of Flynn want."
Despite only a handful of liberal MPs showing up for the introduction of Mr Shorten's private member's bill, there is support within the Liberal Party.
On the ABC's Q&A program on Monday night Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg indicated his support for marriage equality.
He joins other prominent liberal MPs including Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Environment Minister Greg Hunt, who have previously expressed their support for a change to the Marriage Act.
Would you like Ken O'Dowd to vote for or against same sex marriage?
This poll ended on 25 June 2015.
For. We're behind the times with this not being legalised yet.
Against. Marriage is between a man and a woman.
It doesn't worry me either way. I'm tired of hearing of this debate.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
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