Australian MP gives personal reason why he’ll vote ‘yes’ in majority ‘no’ seat

A Labor MP in Australia has explained why he’ll be voting ‘yes’ for same-sex marriage despite his electorate voting overwhelmingly ‘no’.

The results of the Australian postal vote were announced Wednesday morning local time. The country voted by 61.6% to 38.4% in favor of politicians moving to legislate for same-sex marriage.

A draft bill was today debated in the Senate, and campaigners are hopeful it may be voted upon before Christmas.

West Sydney

However, although almost all regions in Australia voted in favor, a handful of constituencies voted against – predominantly in the West of Sydney.

MP Jason Clare is the MP for the Western Sydney suburb of Blaxland. The district had the highest ‘no’ vote in the country, with 73.9% voting against same-sex marriage.

Despite this, its MP told Sky News today the personal reasons why he will be voting to change marriage laws when the matter comes up for debate in Parliament.

.@JasonClareMP says he’ll vote Yes on marriage bill despite his electorate recording the highest No vote of 73.9%

— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) November 16, 2017

‘Back when this was debated in 2012 I was getting married myself,’ said Clare. ‘My wife Louise is Vietnamese, and I was thinking about this issue back in 2012 in the context of my own life.

‘If Louise and I had tried to get married in a different place at a different time we might not have been able to get married because it’s an interracial marriage. Until 50 years ago in many parts of the United States that would have been illegal.

‘Until 1953 aboriginal and non-aboriginal people couldn’t get married in the Northern Territory. And so, looking at this issue I thought to myself, “How would I feel if this was done to me?”

‘Don’t underestimate Australia’

Australia’s Senate today debated the issue of same-sex marriage and the results of the postal vote.

Liberal senator Dean Smith, who is gay, has introduced a draft cross-party bill to introduce same-sex marriage. The Attorney General, George Brandis, hopes this will pass through both houses of Parliament by 7 December, ‘if not earlier,’ reports The Age.

If the bill passes, and given that couples must give 28 days of notice to marry, the first same-sex marriages in Australia could happen around mid-January.

Debating today, Smith spoke passionately about the result of the postal vote.

Smith fought to hold back tears as he concluded his speech, saying.

‘I never believed the day would come when my relationship would be judged by my country to be as meaningful and valued as any other. The Australian people have proven me wrong.

‘To those who want and believe in change — and to those who seek to seek to frustrate it — I simply say:

‘Don’t underestimate Australia.

‘Don’t underestimate the Australian people.

‘Don’t underestimate our country’s sense of fairness, its sense of decency and its willingness to be a country “for all of us”.

‘Not only does our country live these values, it votes for them as well.’

The Senate debate is scheduled to resume on 27 November.

See also

Same-sex marriage law introduced to Australian parliament

Read more from Source: Australian MP gives personal reason why he’ll vote ‘yes’ in majority ‘no’ seat


About Gay Today

Editor of Gay Today