'No' to same-sex marriage vote - Federal MP

Riverina MP Michael McCormack.
Riverina MP Michael McCormack.

IN LIGHT of a potential upcoming parliamentary conscience vote on same-sex marriage member for Riverina Michael McCormack says he believes the topic is taking away the focus from "more pressing matters".

During the coming spring session of parliament, the Coalition party room is likely to decide on a conscience vote on gay marriage.

Mr McCormack said while he was not against the vote itself, his views on same-sex marriage had not changed.

"Same-sex marriage will never be off the radar but I do not support it and I would vote against it," he said.

Mr McCormack said a same-sex marriage survey of 60,000 homes in his electorate had returned "thousands of responses" in 2012, with 78 per cent voting against a change of the marriage act.

"My stance on the issue is clear, and I have always maintained my view on it," he said.

"I just hope the topic doesn't take away the focus from issues that really matter to the community - the economy, or family incomes."

In 1993 Mr McCormack, the editor of the The Daily Advertiser at the time, wrote a column on his views on homosexuality.

"A week never goes by anymore that homosexuals and their sordid behaviour don't become further entrenched in society," he wrote.

"Unfortunately, gays are here and, if the disease their unnatural acts helped spread doesn't wipe out humanity, they're here to stay."

The Federal MP has since apologised for his homophobic slurs, but his opinion hasn't changed.

"I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman," he said.

A conscience vote on the topic is highly likely and could be tabled within the next two sitting fortnights in parliament in August and September, after senior Liberals asked crossbench Senator David Leyonhjelm to introduce his draft bill to legalise same-sex marriage.


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