Wilson backtracks on SSM vote
O’Connor MP Rick Wilson says he will abstain from voting on same-sex marriage legislation if the Bill fails to include religious protections.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull vowed to pass the legislation by Christmas, after last Wednesday’s plebiscite result showed overwhelming support for same-sex marriage, including in the traditionally conservative seat of O’Connor.
The electorate returned a survey result of with 56.2 Yes and 43.8 per cent “no” — the highest “no” vote of any WA Federal electorate.
In October, Mr Wilson told the Albany Advertiser, despite opposing same-sex marriage, “if the people of O’Connor voted ‘yes’, then I would honour that and vote ‘yes’.”
However, Mr Wilson now said he held concerns about religious rights in wake of the survey result.
“I’m not talking about the butcher, the baker or the candlestick maker saying that they don’t want to serve and provide service for a gay wedding” Mr Wilson said.
“My position is that religious institutions should be able to teach whatever it is in the Bible — and in my case, I have a significant community in Katanning who also follows the Koran.” Mr Wilson said there should be more people standing up for the 40 per cent of Australia’s population who voted “no” during the postal plebiscite.
“One of the things that’s strengthening my result is the attacks on me personally and anybody who disagrees with the 60 per cent who voted ‘yes’,” he said. “The more that I’m attacked on social media and through emails, it strengthens my result that there should be some protections for those 40 per cent who voted ‘no’.”
Mr Wilson said he would vote according to his conscience and would continue to fight for the nation’s religious freedom and protection.
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