Broad to respect marriage views



FEDERAL Member for Mallee, Andrew Broad will support legislation to alter Australia's Marriage Act to enable same-sex couples to marry.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed on Wednesday that out of the 12,727,920 people who returned their Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey forms before the November 7 deadline, 61.6 per cent supported changing the law to allow same-sex couples to marry.

The margin between those who supported changing the Marriage Act and keeping the status quo was much closer within the Mallee electorate, with 54.3 per cent of the 78,290 registered voters who returned survey forms supporting change.

"I have been impressed by the decent manner in which the people of the Wimmera, Mallee and Mildura have conducted themselves," Mr Broad said.

"A large number of Australians participated in the postal survey regarding changes to the Marriage Act. There will be some Australians who are pleased with the result and some who will be displeased."

Mr Broad confirmed on ABC radio on Wednesday morning that although he doesn't support same-sex marriage, he would respect the views of those who took part in the survey and support a private member's bill devised by Liberal Senator, Dean Smith and backed by numerous members from both government and opposition parties.

"The result will now require the wisdom of Members of Parliament to work through the legislation to ensure there is balance between honouring the result and ensuring freedoms are available and maintained," he said.

The electorate of Mallee was one of 133 which saw a "yes" vote receive the majority of support, whilst 64.9 per cent of the 2.15 million Victorians who completed the survey supported change.

In neighbouring electorates, 57.6 per cent of the 83,657 registered voters in the Division of Murray voted "yes", with the figure being 55.2 per cent in favour in the New South Wales electorate of Farrer, which takes in Barham.

"This high response rate far exceeds expectations and compares extremely favourably with other voluntary exercises conducted around the world thanks to the strong interest and engagement of eligible Australians in this topic," Australian Statistician, David W. Kalisch said.

"Independent assurers checked our approach and actions along the way, and external observers reviewed our coding processes.

"This combined with our efforts to ensure only one response was counted per eligible Australian, means Australians can have confidence these statistics reflect the country's views."

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