Nationals MP dismisses same-sex marriage referendum
MEMBER for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker has dismissed the idea of a referendum on same-sex marriage in Australia.
Mr Hartsuyker said he has not changed his position on same-sex marriage following news that Ireland last week voted in favour of amending the country's constitution on the issue.
"I believe in the traditional definition of marriage - that being that a marriage is between a man and a woman," Mr Hartsuyker said.
Mr Hartsuyker rejected supporting a national plebiscite on a proposal to change to the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.
"The matter has been dealt with relatively recently in the Parliament and I don't believe a plebiscite is appropriate at this time," he said.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has ruled out holding a referendum on the issue, saying federal parliament would deal with the matter if it was ever brought to a vote again.
"Referendums are held in this country where there is a proposal to change the constitution," Mr Abbott said.
"I do not think anyone is suggesting the constitution needs to be changed in this respect."
Australian Marriage Equality national convener Rodney Croome said people no longer bought into the scare campaign against reform.
He said Australia was now the only developed English-speaking country that does not allow same-sex couples to marry.
"Ireland's vote for marriage equality is a win for Australia because it will increase momentum for marriage equality here," Mr Croome said.
Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said The Greens would push for a vote on a bill for same sex marriages to be recognised before the year is out.
"There is nothing in the Australian constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage," Ms Hanson-Young said.
"A vote by parliament is all that is needed and Tony Abbott should allow his party a conscious vote on the subject."