McMahon MP and Immigration Minister Chris Bowen (pictured) has revealed he won’t be supporting marriage equality when it goes to the vote in the House of Representatives.
“I have decided not to support the bill to legalise same sex marriage,” the MP from Sydney outer suburbs confirms in a statement today.
“There are essentially two reasons for this decision,” Bowen outlines. “Firstly, the Labor Party went to the last election with a clear policy on the legal definition of marriage. People who enquired about my position on same-sex marriage were informed of the Labor position. While I certainly respect people who have taken a strongly held position to the contrary, I feel that this commitment should be honoured with my vote.
“Secondly, many in my community have explained to me the great importance they place on the traditional definition of marriage and their support for the existing definition in the Marriage Act. Again, I have decided it is appropriate to reflect this overwhelming and strong community view in my vote.”
The MP says he met with strong advocates both for and against changing the Marriage Act from within my electorate and more broadly, with some visiting him in person to lobby him.
Other MPs representing nearby outer suburbs of Sydney are similarly opposed to marriage equality, including David Bradbury in Lindsay, Ed Husic in Chifley, Chris Hayes in Fowlet and Michelle Rowland in Greenway.
“This ain’t the inner city . . . you’ve got the god squad out here,” one western Sydney Labor MP told The Australian this week.