Same-sex marriage survey results, Bathurst leaders have their say | Video, photos, pictures

TIME TO CHANGE THE LAW: Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst, Michael McKenna, said: “Now that voters have expressed their opinions on changes to the marriage law, it is time for the parliament to do its work.” Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 060215cbishp1
TIME TO CHANGE THE LAW: Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst, Michael McKenna, said: “Now that voters have expressed their opinions on changes to the marriage law, it is time for the parliament to do its work.” Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 060215cbishp1

IT might not have been the result they were looking for, but Bathurst’s church leaders say it is now time “for the parliament to do it’s work”.

Nationally, 61.6 per cent of Australians said the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry, it was announced on Wednesday.

In Calare, the result was similar with 60.2 per cent of voters saying yes.

Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst, Michael McKenna, said: “Now that voters have expressed their opinions on changes to the marriage law, it is time for the parliament to do its work.”

“I trust that the assurances given, by both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, that any legislation would not impinge on religious liberty, will be respected,” he said.

“I would encourage everyone to work together in a spirit of co-operation for social harmony and the common good.”

Bathurst Presbyterian Church pastor Bryson Smith said the result was not a shock and he was pleased it was “decisive”.

“Even though we as a denomination personally don’t agree with the result, the big message is how we move forward loving each other with different opinions,” he said.

I think it's appropriate that the government approves the bill.

Bathurst Presbyterian Church pastor Bryson Smith

“I think what’s important is how do we show love to each other and still differ in our points of view.

“I think it's appropriate that the government approves the bill.”

Meanwhile, Federal Member for Calare Andrew Gee said given the results of the same-sex marriage survey that the federal parliament should pass the same sex marriage legislation before Christmas.

HAPPY DAYS AHEAD: Andy Wheeler (front) led a yes vote celebration in Machattie Park on Wednesday. Photo: PHIL BLATCH 111517pbyes4

HAPPY DAYS AHEAD: Andy Wheeler (front) led a yes vote celebration in Machattie Park on Wednesday. Photo: PHIL BLATCH 111517pbyes4

“I think the survey has given all Australians the opportunity to have their say in this debate and now the results are in I think that Australia needs to come together and unify,” Mr Gee said.

“This unity needs to occur across both city and country communities.”

“I’ll therefore be voting in favour of the same-sex marriage legislation and I would encourage everyone in our area to accept and respect the outcome of the survey and come together in the best traditions of country Australia. Everyone, no matter how they voted, should now unite.”