A POSTAL plebiscite on same-sex marriage will allow the Australian people rather than the politicians to decide the issue, says Calare MP Andrew Gee.
Ballots for the $122 million postal plebiscite are expected to be mailed out to households from September 12 with voters given until November 7 to cast their vote.
A result will be declared on November 15 before the issue returns to parliament.
Mr Gee said the postal plebiscite would give all Australians the chance to have their say.
“There are some strong views on either side of the debate but the general feedback I have received is that people want to have a say on the issue, and that includes people supporting a change and those who don’t,” he said.
“The mandate in this electorate and nationally was for a plebiscite and as a general plebiscite has now been blocked in the Senate for a second time, I think that a postal plebiscite is an appropriate way to go about giving people their say.
“I think our country communities are mature enough to have a respectful discussion about this topic.
“People should decide this issue, not politicians, so let’s hear what they have to say.
“It’s now up to the people of Calare to decide if the definition of marriage should change and I think it would follow that its elected representative would have to accept the outcome.”
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But Bathurst Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) spokesman Tony Sutton said the plebiscite was an unnecessary distraction that could expose gay and lesbian families to bigotry.
“We’re just so over it,” he said.
“The Liberals are obviously controlled by the fundamentalist conservative zealots.
“They might be a minority but they somehow impose their unfounded views on the whole community.
“The government has much more important issues to deal with but they’re too afraid to stand up and take action on things like climate change so marriage equality provides them with an easy distraction.”