It’s high time to de­cide

Chinchilla News - - FRONT PAGE -

WILL you be vot­ing ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s postal plebiscite on al­low­ing same-sex cou­ples to legally marry?

Chin­chilla res­i­dent and openly gay woman Jane Zerbst stands firmly in the yes camp and finds it dif­fi­cult to ex­press how the plebiscite makes her feel, call­ing it “com­pletely of­fen­sive”.

Ms Zerbst said come Novem­ber, if the non-bind­ing, non-com­pul­sory sur­vey returned a no vote she would be “gut­ted”.

❝ It’s not same-sex marriage, it’s marriage equal­ity be­cause it’s about equal­ity.

— Jane Zerbst

YES Some­where over the rain­bow

JANE Zerbst can’t find the words for how the same-sex marriage de­bate makes her feel but one thing’s for sure: come Novem­ber, if the plebiscite re­turns a no vote, she’ll be dev­as­tated.

“I’m not go­ing to lie, I’ll be gut­ted, I’ll be ab­so­lutely gut­ted and I’ll be an­gry as well,” Ms Zerbst said.

A Chin­chilla res­i­dent and openly gay woman, Ms Zerbst stands firmly in the yes camp when it comes to same-sex marriage and is op­posed to the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment’s plebiscite, which she said was “com­pletely of­fen­sive” and lit­tle more than a Lib­eral Party farce to de­tract from Coali­tion in-fight­ing on an issue about equal­ity.

“To start with it’s not same-sex marriage, it’s marriage equal­ity be­cause it’s about equal­ity,” she said.

“If it’s go­ing to be equal, then it’s just called marriage.”

Ms Zerbst be­lieves a plebiscite will only serve to re­in­force the Aus­tralian com­mu­nity’s ma­jor­ity view on al­low­ing leg­is­lat­ing same sex marriage and that de­bate should have been solved in Par­lia­ment with a free vote.

She said she could not find any va­lid­ity in the ar­gu­ments of same-sex marriage naysay­ers.

“How is me be­ing able to marry my part­ner go­ing to af­fect you?” she said.

Ms Zerbst said for her, the le­gal­i­sa­tion of same-sex marriage would mean be­ing af­forded the same rights as het­ero­sex­ual cou­ples.

“As it stands, my part­ner has no power to make a call in a life or death sit­u­a­tion.”

NO Lit­tleproud: ‘I will lis­ten to the peo­ple’

MARA­NOA MP David Lit­tleproud sup­ports a plebiscite on same-sex marriage be­cause he said it would mean a sig­nif­i­cant change to the so­cial fabric of our com­mu­nity and said the great ar­bi­tra­tors of the de­bate are the “Aus­tralian peo­ple”.

If the ma­jor­ity of the Mara­noa elec­torate votes yes, how­ever, Mr Lit­tleproud said he would rep­re­sent that view in Par­lia­ment.

“I believe in a plebiscite be­cause it will give greater va­lid­ity to the out­come,” he said.

“The Aus­tralian peo­ple are the ul­ti­mate demo­cratic body in this na­tion and they should de­ter­mine whether this should take place.”

Mr Lit­tleproud said he had no in­ten­tion of cam­paign­ing for a no vote as the plebiscite was a “pri­vate de­ci­sion for Aus­tralians to vote on”.

“This is an op­por­tu­nity now to fi­nalise this and get a clear pic­ture of where the Aus­tralian peo­ple want to go.”

Mr Lit­tleproud said while he will be vot­ing no, he un­der­stood both sides of the de­bate and said as a mem­ber of his elec­torate he re­spected Ms Zerbst’s views.

“I re­spect her feel­ings on that as I do those con­stituents that come to me who feel quite fiercely about the in­sti­tu­tion (of marriage) they feel so pas­sion­ately about,” he said.

“It’s great you have a view from Jane but go and get a view from peo­ple who hold the in­sti­tu­tion of marriage in a dif­fer­ent light and then let all voices be heard if we want to de­ter­mine this.

“I’ll be lis­ten­ing to all the peo­ple I rep­re­sent and their views.”

When asked if the postal vote would dis­cour­age voter en­gage­ment and if the re­sults would be truly rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Mr Lit­tleproud said it was an op­por­tu­nity for the Aus­tralian peo­ple to ex­press their opin­ion.

“I saw yes­ter­day there are over 36,000 new en­rolees to the elec­toral role. That’s fan­tas­tic if peo­ple re­ally want to get engaged in the na­tion’s fu­ture, if this plebiscite has in­spired that pas­sion in peo­ple to get in­volved in the po­lit­i­cal process,” he said.

PHOTO: JU­LIA BAKER

HOPE­FUL: Chin­chilla res­i­dent Jane Zerbst pas­sion­ately be­lieves LGBTI Aus­tralians should be al­lowed to legally marry.

PHOTO: JU­LIA BAKER

VOT­ING YES: Jane Zerbst will be ‘gut­ted’ if the postal plebiscite re­turns a no vote.

PHOTO: MICHAEL NOLAN

VOT­ING NO: MP David Lit­tleproud.

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