It’s high time to decide
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.
HOPEFUL: Chinchilla resident Jane Zerbst passionately believes LGBTI Australians should be allowed to legally marry.
VOTING YES: Jane Zerbst will be ‘gutted’ if the postal plebiscite returns a no vote.
VOTING NO: MP David Littleproud.