10 December 2011
NATIONALS MP Bridget McKenzie describes marriage “as between a man and a woman”.
The Bendigo-based senator made the comments about marriage in the wake of the Labor party endorsing same-sex marriages. She said she was an advocate of removing discrimination against people because of sexual preference but fell short of endorsing changes to the marriage act.
“I am absolutely opposed to any discrimination on sexual preference,” Ms McKenzie said.
“As a modern society, we have well and truly moved on and I am so rapt to see that. “In terms of changing the marriage act, I think it is a decision for the Parliament.
“I see marriage as a union between a man and a woman but I am vehemently opposed to discrimination around sexual preference.”
Ms McKenzie said her religious faith had led to her forming the opinion on same-sex marriage. A bill will enter the Federal Parliament to legalise same-sex marriage next year. Labor politicians will get a conscience vote on the bill and are calling for opposition members to do the same.
Former Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull has also joined the chorus of people calling for a conscience vote on the bill. Ms McKenzie said “every vote is a conscience vote” for National Party members but was unsure if her party would vote as a block on the matter.
The former teacher said she supported moves to break down homophobia within rural and regional communities. She said youths shouldn’t be made to feel ashamed about their sexual preference.
Ms McKenzie is calling for people to complete a survey to help her learn about issues people want addressed. The survey, which will appear in the Bendigo Advertiser at a later date, is on Ms McKenzie’s website.
“I hope that people will tell me what are the issues that concern them,” she said.
“Whether they are local issues or those more major policies that play out at a local level, I want to know about it.
“It is always the squeakiest wheel that gets the grease.”