MEDIA STATEMENT: Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017
MEDIA STATEMENT FROM FEDERAL MEMBER FOR HINKLER KEITH PITT on 7-12-17:
“The Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017 was passed in the House of Representatives today.
“My vote today was not for or against same sex marriage, as the Australian people have already decided that.
“I did not support the legislation because I believe it does not adequately address the concerns of many in my electorate around religious freedoms, parental choice and the right for parents to raise their children as they see fit.
“The debate today was about the bill and its details. I supported a range of amendments which I believed would have improved the bill, but the final legislation was put without these amendments included.
“I was aware of the opportunity to abstain from the vote today, but in this place I believe you should always have the courage of your convictions.
“Of the 80,197 ballots returned in the federal seat of Hinkler for the postal survey, the count was 40,649 for the ‘yes’ case and 39,548 for the ‘no’ case, a difference of just 551 primary votes would have changed the result. Approximately 23,000 constituents did not take the opportunity to have their say.
“I acknowledge this issue is incredibly personal for many people. My vote is not a reflection on them, on either side of the debate. My vote is simply about the bill itself.”