Christensen asks for same-sex vote, won't commit

A POLITICIAN who has spruiked the merits of a same-sex marriage plebiscite for more than a year will not confirm if he will honour its outcome.

Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen was one of the first MPs to pitch the idea to the public last year, saying it would make sure every Australian's vote on the issue counted just as much as a politician's.

"Why should a bunch of politicians get to determine what happens about something which is deeply personal? This way, your vote will be just as important as my vote," Mr Christensen said this year.

But as the public vote would not be binding and politicians would have to vote to pass legislation through parliament, this was not technically true.

It is now likely the plebiscite will be held this year. But conservative senator Cory Bernardi, often at Mr Christensen's side as they argued against the Safe Schools Program last year, stated there was no way he would ever vote in favour of same sex marriage.

Eric Abetz and Bridget McKenzie also indicated they were unlikely to vote for it, regardless of the plebiscite.

But when The Daily Mercury asked Mr Christensen how the plebiscite's outcome would influence his vote, he declined to comment.

Plebiscites have been held in Australia only three times before, regarding conscription in 1916 and 1917 and to choose the national song in 1977.

Both votes about conscription were opposed by the people and government honoured their decision.

Although government considered a legally binding referendum on the issue, which would also see the constitution changed, this idea was dismissed by the coalition party room last year. However it is widely accepted the majority of parliamentarians will honour the result.


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