Tuesday 9 November 2010

Entsch wants a gay vote, at odds with both major parties

Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch is backing the Greens motion, sponsored by Adam Bandt, for a conscience vote on the issue that Prime Minister Julia Gillard says is best left to the Labor Party conference to deal with.

The Greens motion call for all MPs to consult their constituents on the gay marriage.

Warren Entsch, who has campaigned for equality for same-sex couples in the past, especially in areas like financial matters, is rallying behind the Greens motion.

"A conscience vote would be appropriate," Warren Entsch said. "However I personally think the push for gay marriage was provocative and could distract from other issues, such as the rights of gays in aged care."

It a radical move, Entsch, who is also Liberal party whip, is seeking support from his MPs with a plan to set up a non-partisan "parliamentary friendship group" for people to direct issues to MPs around the gay marriage debate. New Zealand adopted a less-controversial Civil Union partnership recognition, more than five years ago, which still bestows the same rights to couples as does the Marriage Act. Many opposite sex couple have also taken up a civil union.

Mal Washer, West Australian Liberal MP, is also advocating for a free vote on the issue.

"It was a matter of MPs making a personal decision on behalf of the views of their constituents," Mal Washer said. "While I don't personally have a problem with gay marriage, I believe my constituents would be against it - it was a matter for a generation on."

The Opposition will discuss the issue of a conscience next week in their cabinet meeting, however Christopher Pyne, who manager of opposition business, says it's at odds with their policy, and therefore says there's no reason for a free vote. This is the same position that as Labor.

Gillard doesn't support gay marriage or even a conscience vote. Greens MP Adam Bandt has written to all MPs.

"Given widespread community support for gay marriage, I strongly encourage you to contribute to the debate on this motion, both in the house and in the public discussion that ensues," Bandt wrote.

The motion will be debated on this coming Monday, but voted on separately, in the two week sitting, which is the last for 2010.


Leigh Dall'Osto said...

One can always hold out hope that this bill will pass. Highly doubtful but in real terms, those opposed would not be affected by it getting through and those in favour would finally be able to live in an equal relationship to the rest of us.

It doesn't hurt anybody, nobody will be forced into a gay marriage if they are heterosexual and it will not even be noticed by the majority of the population. I can't really understand why it's such a contentious issue.

Good luck to all who have a vested interest in this bill passing. My fingers are crossed for you.

Unknown said...

While they are at it, why not add SRS to medicare to avoid people traveling to Asia and India to get the op done.
Gender Dysphoria is a recognised medical condition, yet the government both past and present refuse to add it.
Medicare in the UK cover it, same in Canada and other countries, but this dimly lit land of ours is like 1000 years behind everyone else.

Wazza - How about take this up in parliament where others have failed to get off there buts and do something about it!


Syd Walker said...

If this isn't a conscience vote issue I don't know what is.