BALLARAT MP Catherine King says her opposition to same-sex marriage has been “fundamentally challenged” by consultation on the issue. Despite previously opposing a change to the Marriage Act, Ms King has told Parliament she has not as yet formed a view on the issue. She said her office had received a large amount of correspondence, including through a survey on her official website and many personal representations. “From my own point of view I recognise that there are divided views in the community I represent on the issue,” Ms King said. “I am on the public record as supporting the current definition of marriage, but I have to say that belief has been fundamentally challenged by the representations I have had by same-sex couples.”After receiving 1800 contacts on the issue, Ms King said she would watch the debate at Labor’s December national conference with great interest. She said many people contacted her more than once. “I respect that for those with firm religious beliefs the existing definition of marriage is fundamental to those beliefs and they cannot under any circumstances countenance a change,” Ms King said. “But equally I respect the views of those who firmly believe that just because they are in a same-sex relationship they should not be precluded from having that relationship legally recognised as a marriage under the Marriage Act.” Ms King said she had been discussing the issue for some time, but added the survey to her parliamentary website after a House of Representatives motion was passed last year calling for all MPs to gauge community attitudes. “Labor supported the motion, but many of us thought it was a somewhat odd suggestion given that the very job of a local member of parliament is to talk through issues with those who voted for us, weigh the often competing views and advocate for change both within our own party processes and within this parliament.” Ms King declined to be interviewed by The Courier yesterday.