BALLARAT Liberal candidate John Fitzgibbon refused to state his views on same-sex marriage yesterday, despite the issue’s prominence on the political agenda.
Mr Fitzgibbon said he believed Australia was in the early stages of debate about marriage equality and that his own views were not relevant to Ballarat voters.
“It is not about what views I personally hold,” he said.
“As a potential future member for Ballarat, I am canvassing the views of the electorate and asking how they want to be represented in the parliament and in the decision-making processes.”
A Galaxy Poll commissioned by Australian Marriage Equality last year found that 64 per cent of Australians support reform.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott last year required MPs to observe the Coalition policy and vote against same-sex marriage reforms considered by parliament.
Ballarat MP Catherine King voted for legislation which was eventually defeated in both houses of parliament, after conducting a community consultation on the matter.
After previously opposing a change to the Marriage Act to allow same-sex couples to marry, Ms King said her views had been “fundamentally challenged” by her constituents.
Yesterday, Greens candidate for Ballarat Steph Hodgins-May said Australians were supportive of marriage equality.
“The Greens are fully supportive of changes to allow same-sex marriage, which is why we have introduced bills in parliament to legalise what the majority of Australians believe in,” she said.
“Britain has taken a step in the right direction and Australia is behind the times on this issue.”