Nationals Senator will vote no on marriage equality despite plebiscite

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Nationals Senators Michael McCormack and Bridget McKenzie

Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie has joined her voice with Liberal Senators Eric Abetz and Cory Bernardi, vowing to vote no on marriage equality legislation despite the outcome the proposed nation-wide plebiscite.

Speaking with a colleague outside Parliament House, Senator McKenzie confirmed she would vote no on changes to the Marriage Act.

Senator McKenzie asserted that it was her right as a backbench MP to vote with her conscience and she would stick to her record of voting against same-sex marriage.

“As a backbench senator, I can exercise my conscience on every single vote that comes before the Senate and I do,” Ms McKenzie told media.

“I vote with my conscience on every issue and my conscience on this matter is that I would vote against same-sex marriage.”

Ms McKenzie’s comments followed an address from fellow National Senator Michael McCormack, who insisted the government were not divided on same-sex marriage.

“If the plebiscite said yes to same-sex marriage, I would support the fact that the will of the people said that,” Senator McCormack said.

“We’ve heard from one or two members who want to stand firm on their own beliefs but I don’t believe that the Parliament should go against the will of the people.”

Watch Senator McKenzie’s awkward back and forth with reporters earlier this morning. 

Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie has declared she will vote against same-sex marriage regardless of the result of a plebiscite, in contrast to a colleague who insisted the Government was not split on the issue. Read more here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-28/bridget-mckenzie-vows-to-vote-against-same-sex-marriage/7120460

Posted by Stephanie Anderson on Wednesday, January 27, 2016


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Greens LGBTI spokesperson Senator Robert Simms says these comments have exposed the plebiscite as a total sham.

“The idea that LNP Senators would advocate spending $160 million on a national plebiscite and then ignore the result is totally absurd,” Senator Simms said.

“It’s a flagrant waste of taxpayer’s money and a slap in the face to the LGBTI community who would be exposed to a divisive hate campaign for nothing.”

The Greens and Australian Marriage Equality are calling on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to allow a conscience vote in lieu of a plebiscite.

“A plebiscite was meant to smooth over divisions in the Coalition but clearly it is having the opposite effect,” AME national director Rodney Croome said in a statement.

“We call on Mr Turnbull to allow marriage equality legislation to be debated in parliament as soon as possible so the reform can pass and Australia can move on.”

Australian Parliament is set to resume in February.

OIP Staff


 

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