Wilson willing to sway on same-sex
O’Connor MP Rick Wilson says he will support same-sex marriage in Parliament if his electorate votes accordingly, in a national plebiscite later this year.
Liberal MPs, including Mr Wilson, attended an emergency meeting on Monday night in Canberra to determine the Federal Government’s approach to the controversial same-sex marriage issue.
Recent calls by some party members to hold a conscience vote were rejected at the meeting, with the Government sticking to its election promise of holding a plebiscite.
A postal vote is now considered a back-up plan if the plebiscite legislation does not pass through the Senate.
Mr Wilson has openly supported the traditional definition of marriage between a man and woman but is willing to honour the electorate’s stance on the issue if there is majority support for same-sex marriage.
“My personal stance hasn’t changed,” he said.
“But if the people of O’Connor voted yes, then I would honour that and vote yes.
“I would certainly want to see the overall will of the Australian people implemented and if that meant that I had to vote yes to see that happen, then I would do that because I’ve made that commitment. “My commitment to the people of O’Connor is I won’t frustrate the will of the Australian people.”
Mr Wilson said it was difficult to quantify but he believed support for same-sex marriage was not as strong in O’Connor as other constituencies.
“I would imagine it would probably be at the lower end of the scale, when you compare it to the seat of Melbourne or the seat of Sydney but obviously there are people in O’Connor that feel very strongly about this issue,” he said.
“If my electorate voted no, but the overall will of the Australian people was for yes, then I wouldn’t do anything to frustrate that overall sentiment.”
Cost estimates put a national plebiscite at $150 million while a postal vote could cost as much as $122 million.
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