Same-sex marriages should be legal by Christmas if Border politicians’ confidence in the Federal Parliament proves to be true.
The country’s “yes” verdict means legislation will be put to a conscience vote and Farrer’s Sussan Ley and Indi’s Cathy McGowan have indicated they will vote “yes”, in line with their personal beliefs and the electorates’ postal survey results.
“For those who have really been waiting for this, it is a celebration,” Ms Ley said.
“I’m confident in the next two sitting weeks of both houses we will have this done and dusted because unlike a lot of legislation, there’s tremendous willingness on all sides from all parties to do this and do it well.”
She said she was pleased with the high number of people who participated and hoped everyone could accept the umpire’s decision.
“It’s a good result and now it’s time to move on, legislate same-sex marriage and keep the Parliament working hard for Australia,” she said.
“I understand many people in my electorate didn’t support and don’t support same-sex marriage and I completely respect that.
“I’m going to make very sure as the legislation comes before Parliament with all of its amendments that the people who are uncomfortable about this, because of the protection for religious freedom, have their concerns noted, looked after and respected.”
The wording of the marriage act will be the next issue to be dealt with, but the Farrer MP said she would look at the amendments before making her call.
“We don’t want Australia to go backwards when it comes to discrimination, particularly for gay and lesbian men and women, but what we do want is to have the concerns addressed around the protection of right and religious freedoms,” Ms Ley said.
Ms McGowan said she supported a change in words from marriage being between “a man and a woman” to “two people”.
She was pleased Indi’s above average “yes” vote.
“I’ve always believed that my representation accurate the feelings of my electorate and this validates it,” she said.
“There’s a general acceptance that we’re a progressive, egalitarian community and we liked people being treated well. I think that’s why people are pleased and happy with the result.”
Albury Marriage Equality campaigner Toni Johnson said there would be no rest and the group would push for Ms Ley to campaign for fair legislation without discrimnination.
“She said ‘yes’, she has to fight for us now and get a really good bill,” she said.
“We can’t go backwards in time, we have to go forwards.”
Ms Johnson said she had sadly been told of people in the LGBTI community being approached with negative comments after the verdict was handed down, but has encouraged them to not waste their energy on any fights.
Indigo mayor Jenny O’Connor said she was delighted with results of the postal survey and proud the community made its wishes “abundantly clear on this issue”, demonstrating values of acceptance and inclusion.
“When almost two thirds of those who participated say ‘yes’, we are obliged to listen. I hope now that the federal government will act to get legislation into the parliament before Christmas,” she said.
“Our community has spoken out on this issue with a resounding yes and we must respect that.”