MEMBER for Macquarie Susan Templeman has hailed the same-sex marriage vote as one of the most important in recent Australian history.
On December 7, the Australian parliament passed legislation to allow same-sex attracted couples to legally marry in civil ceremonies, after the results of the postal survey showed the majority of Australians were in favour of it.
Ms Templeman said Parliament had finally caught up with what the community wanted.
“The push for this has come from the community...I feel incredibly privileged that I am part of the Parliament that has changed this law,” she told the Gazette.
“It was standing room only on the yes side.”
Ms Templeman praised people that had campaigned for marriage equality for a number of years.
“The message for the community is that there are many people who have had to wait for a long time to not be discriminated against,” she said.
“At the same time, some people had to go on a journey to come to a point where they felt comfortable saying it is ok for same-sex attracted people to be married.
“There has been a huge amount of soul searching across the board and when you look at the results in Macquarie, you can see there was as much support for marriage equality among the over 60 age group as there was among the 18-21 year group.”
She added that the ability for people to be married in religious ceremonies would not change.
“Nothing in what we voted on yesterday takes away religious freedoms from churches and how they handle marriage,” she said.
“This was about civil ceremonies not religious ceremonies.
“We clearly have a lot of people who are churchgoers and absolutely should have the right to have religious freedoms within their churches.”
Me Templeman said she knew of many couples who would be getting married in the new year, when the laws come into effect.
She added that the Macquarie electorate should see an economic boost because a number of couple, previously unable to marry, would now host their weddings in the electorate.