Federal Member for Forde Bert Van Manen has voiced his disappointment in the Australian Senate voting down the Federal Government’s same-sex marriage plebiscite bill.
The proposal was defeated in the Upper House at the second reading, 33 votes to 29, on Monday.
While Mr Van Manen does not support same-sex marriage, he believed every Australian should be entitled to their own opinion and the plebiscite should have been left in the hands of the public.
“Our position, throughout the election, was to let the public have their say on gay marriage – via a plebiscite – and I really think we should pursue that,” Mr Van Manen said.
“Having the bill defeated is very disappointing to see.”
David Leyonhjelm, Jacqui Lambie and One Nation senators supported the bill; while those who opposed the plebiscite included Labor, the Greens and the Nick Xenophon Team.
The cost of the same-sex marriage plebiscite – which was set to be held on February 11, 2017 – would have set taxpayers back $200 million.
“I am not sure what is going to happen from here,” Mr Van Manen said.
“That’s a discussion I’m waiting to hear about and looking forward to having.
“I believe having the plebiscite is still the best path to head down.”
Federal Member for Wright Scott Buchholz also reiterated his support for the same-sex bill and said it was the quickest path to reform.
“There is nothing more fair than asking all Australians to offer their commentary,” he said.
“With the winning of an election comes the right to implement the policies you took to an election, and it is important we implement what we promised.
“It would be no better than former prime ministers who stood up and said one thing before an election, and did something totally different.”
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