ROCKHAMPTON REGION DIVIDED ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY


With national lobby group Australian Marriage Equality about to rock into town, a newspaper poll has revealed that 62% of respondents do not favour same-sex marriage.

The Rockhampton Morning Bulletin poll result backs up an earlier survey in May which showed 58% of respondents were against marriage equality.

There is a similar divide among the region’s politicians. Keppel Bay MP Brittany Lauga (ALP), pictured, and ALP candidate for Capricornia Leisa Neaton are supportive while Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry (LNP) and Rockhampton-based Senator Matt Canavan (LNP) are against.

Flynn MP Ken O’Dowd says his personal opinion is irrelevant and, were the LNP to allow a conscience vote on the matter, he would vote based on what the people of his electorate wanted.

He has sent a survey to 60,000 homes in his electorate to gauge their views on the topic.

Ms Neaton told the Morning Bulletin that legalisation of same-sex marriage in the United States and Ireland was indicative of growing support for equality across Western countries.

But it’s something Ms Neaton hopes she won’t have to discuss at the next election, because it will already be in place.

I would love to see this issue resolved and for it to have bipartisan support,” she said.

Ms Lauga has called on Ms Landry to get behind the push for marriage equality.

It’s time for our laws to reflect the values of modern Australia and to include everyone as equals,” she said.

Ms Landry has said on Facebook that while she personally did not support same-sex marriage, she is willing to listen to the views of those in Capricornia.

If people in the electorate feel strongly one way or the other on the topic of same-sex marriage, I am prepared to take their views back to the party room in Canberra,” she said.

Meanwhile, Australian Marriage Equality (AME) lobbyists will visit Rockhampton from July 10 to 12.

Ms Lauga is among the panellists on a Q&A-style forum which will discuss issues around marriage equality on Friday, July 10 at the University of Central Queensland.

Others include national spokesperson for PFLAG Shelley Argent, Hot FM radio announcer Ben Norris and Shirleen Robinson, from AME.

As well as the Q&A session, a public workshop will be held on Saturday, July 11 and a public postcard writing campaign will be held at Stocklands North Rockhampton (Shopping Fair) on Sunday, July 12.

For more information or to volunteer at the events, connect with PFLAG Central Queensland on Facebook.