Ky vot­ers get some an­swers

Kyabram Free Press - - WHAT'S ON - By Charmayne Al­li­son

KYABRAM’S Su­san Ful­ton is urg­ing peo­ple to be­come in­formed be­fore vot­ing for or against same sex mar­riage.

As the cut-off date creeps nearer for Aus­tralians to cast their vote on the con­tro­ver­sial is­sue, Ful­ton said re­spect­ful con­ver­sa­tion was needed on both sides.

And at a re­cent Q&A ses­sion, Kyabram lo­cals on both sides of the fence – along with some bal­anc­ing in the mid­dle – gath­ered to­gether to do just that.

The night was opened by Aus­tralian Chris­tian Lobby Vic­to­rian state direc­tor Dan Flynn, fol­lowed by a speech from Aus­tralian Fam­ily As­so­ci­a­tion state pres­i­dent Terri Kelle­her.

The floor was then opened for the Q&A.

Ques­tions touched on var­i­ous con­cerns in­clud­ing toi­lets for gen­der-fluid school stu­dents and adults, the im­pli­ca­tions of the Safe Schools pro­gram, and whether le­gal­is­ing gay mar­riage could lead to the le­gal­i­sa­tion of other unions.

Ms Ful­ton said the ses­sion aimed to present in­for­ma­tion on the “no” side of the de­bate with­out any hype or at­tack.

“I think a lot of peo­ple walked away feel­ing like they’d got­ten an­swers to their ques­tions. There wasn’t a bit of put-down against any­one – and no one walked out which is al­ways pos­i­tive,” she said.

“Mr Flynn also ac­knowl­edged that you are not nec­es­sar­ily a bigot or ho­mo­pho­bic for say­ing ‘no’ to same sex mar­riage.”

Ms Ful­ton said it was valu­able to see peo­ple on op­pos­ing sides gather to­gether for re­spect­ful con­ver­sa­tion.

“A lot of peo­ple don’t want to talk about it – full stop. But we need to. We need to know why we’re vot­ing. I keep say­ing that to peo­ple. What you do in the end is up to you. But you need to be in­formed,” she said.

“And that goes for both sides of the de­bate. If I’m on the ‘no’ side of the de­bate, I need to be lis­ten­ing to the per­spec­tive of those on the ‘yes’ side.

“We can dis­agree. But we need to be able to re­spect each other in this dis­agree­ment and not lose re­la­tion­ships over it.”

Opin­ions from both sides of the same-sex mar­riage de­bate were heard.

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