Australian Marriage Equality has called on the Western Australian Liberal Party to clarify its position on same-sex marriage.
In emails to voters in seat of Maylands state election Liberal candidate, Sylvan Albert, has stated that Premier Colin Barnett will allow a conscience vote for Liberal members if the issue arises in state parliament.
But when contacted directly, Mr Barnett refuted this saying he will not allow a conscience vote.
AME WA convener and Maylands resident, Brian Greig, said the mixed messages were confusing and concerning.
“I find it passing strange that a carefully crafted email from Mr Albert on this topic in answer to my questions, which had clearly been vetted by Liberal party campaign headquarters, is now being denied by the Premier,” Mr Greig said.
Mr Greig said it was very misleading for Mr Albert to be telling voters in seat of Maylands, an area with a high proportion of same-sex couples, that the Premier will allow a free vote on marriage equality if this isn’t true.
“Voters who care about this issue will be wondering if this policy confusion is accidental or deliberate,” Mr Greig said.
In November of 2010, a Newspoll survey of 148,000 Australians found that 65 per cent “Have no problem with same-sex marriage.”
In December of the same year, a Westpoll conducted in WA found 61 per cent support.
Mr Barnett’s office has responded to inquiries by stating “the Premier has not made a commitment re a conscience vote and gay marriage”. The letter to Mr Greig from Mr Albert saying Mr Barnett has made a commitment is attached below.
For more information contact Brian Greig on 0407 776 961.
Thank you for your email.
As you may or may not know the Premier has commented on this issue and has stated that like euthanasia, any vote in Parliament on gay marriage would be a conscience vote for Liberal members of Parliament.
His personal position is that he respects the relationships between gay people and believes that the wider community should respect these relationships.
He does not support same sex marriage but does support civil unions.
He believes that marriage is an institution between a man and a woman but recognises that public support for same sex marriage is growing.
I believe that marriage is an institution between a man and a woman and that all people should be respected, regardless on what position one might hold.