Ann Sudmalis opposes same-sex marriage: POLL

Ann Sudmalis.

Ann Sudmalis.

GILMORE MP Ann Sudmalis has said she would reflect the values of her community and not vote for same-sex marriage legislation.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten introduced a bill to legislate same-sex marriage to near-empty government benches on Monday.

“We have a very conservative seat and from the huge number of emails and letters I have received, people don’t want to see a change,” she said.

“So I will be saying no.

“I have sat and spoken to a number of people in same sex relationships, including a caring couple with young children.

“They are in a very close and caring relationship and that is their choice.

“While I have the greatest of respect for them, at this stage our local community is pretty consistent in saying they are not happy with marriage equality.”

However, she said more people have said they would look at the issue if the word marriage was removed.

Mrs Sudmalis said she was not in the house when Mr Shorten introduced his bill.

“It is not unusual not to have many members in the house on a private member’s bill,” she said.

“The only time is if the bill is directly relevant to legislation, if you are speaking about it or on the roster.

“We are not on duty all the time in the house.

“People see question time, which lasts for an hour and 10 minutes, but tend to think we are there all the time.

“It’s not the case.”

She said she felt the opposition was raising the same-sex marriage issue to take the focus away from the budget.

“I feel it is extremely unfair to people who are in like sex relationships that the opposition are portraying it as the time to make the ultimate decision,” she said.

“The structure is not in place, the legislation is not in place and the debate is not in place.

“It is just politicking to take everyone’s eye off what is a good budget.”

Mrs Sudmalis said there was still a long way to go before any legislation on same-sex marriage could be introduced to the parliament and believed it would not be on the agenda until some time next year.