MPs report back on marriage consultation

Thirty Members of Parliament rose in Parliament yesterday to deliver the message that Australians support traditional marriage.

The Greens’ Adam Bandt passed a motion last November requiring MPs to consult their constituents on their attitudes to same-sex marriage.

Of the 30 MPs who reported back yesterday, 18 electorates were in favour of retaining marriage as it is currently defined. Only six electorates had a majority who supported change, while six reported no figures in their speeches.

The 18 electorates favouring traditional marriage did so overwhelmingly, in some cases by over 90%. On the contrary, most electorates in favour of changing the Marriage Act were only marginally in favour of change. The trend was consistent across party lines, with a majority of both Liberal and Labor seats preferring the current definition of marriage.

Significantly, many Members reported that changing the Marriage Act is not an important issue in their electorate, despite Bandt’s claims that it is “one of the top priority issues” for his constituents. In most electorates, voters were more concerned with issues such as cost of living, health, and education.

Among those in the population who do feel strongly about this issue, yesterday proved that the overwhelming majority support marriage as it is.

A quick News Review shows us that even those who've been picketing heavily for same-sex marriage realised "We’re not going to sugarcoat this – yesterday’s MP feedback session in Parliament on the gay marriage issue was a tough setback...", Matt Akersten in SAME SAME.

He continues to ponder that, "Of the thirty MPs who reported back to Federal Parliament, the vast majority said their electorates were opposed to marriage law reform, citing a high levels of correspondence they’d received knocking back the idea of gay marriage for various reasons.

"For some of them, it was the first time they’d spoken publicly on a topic they’d been reluctant to acknowledge was even an issue. Several said they considered a ‘civil union’-type scheme to be an option for same-sex instead of redefining marriage..."

Crikey takes a look at their speeches of the nearly 30 MPs who reported to the parliament.  You can download their guide here.

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