The revelation that most ns supported same-sex marriage is a “national watershed moment”, says Queensland’s first openly gay politician, federal MP Trevor Evans.
Now he hopes same-sex reform is approved by federal Parliament before Christmas.
“This is national watershed moment,” Mr Evans said, applauding the 80 per cent turnout of ns who voted.
“It’s a process that ns will be able to own; to be able to say that we helped in making equality a reality,” he said.
Mr Evans’ electorate covers much of inner-city Brisbane and recorded Queensland’s highest vote in favour of same-sex marriage, 79.5 per cent.
Overall 60.7 per cent of Queenslanders voted in favour of legalising same-sex marriage.Mr Evans said the decision would boost the confidence of every gay person in .
“Every gay n and every vulnerable person questioning themselves will now receive the confidence boost and the validation that they can only get from knowing the majority of ns support them and their equal opportunity to make a loving, lifelong, legal commitment,” he said.
“As Queensland’s first openly gay MP, I’m proud to represent Brisbane, which voted 79.5 per cent in favour. The best result in the state,” he said.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters earlier on Wednesday he wanted the bill to become legislation by December.
Mr Evans welcomed that step.
“The next logical step would be to talk about legislating the result,” he said.
“Yet it is worth reflecting – even if it is just for one day – on the significance of today.
“As for legislating a ???yes’ vote, I will work with my colleagues to ensure fair and balanced legislation passes through the Parliament. I for one would be willing to keep the Parliament sitting for as long as it takes to have this matter properly resolved before Christmas.”
Queensland’s long-serving North Queensland MP Warren Entsch has also long advocated Parliament support for same-sex marriages.
Mr Evans has worked with LNP Senator Dean Smith and other Liberal MPs including Mr Entsch to draft a bill allowing same-sex marriage.
“It came out of a cross-party Senate committee that consulted widely to find a good balance between equality and religious freedoms. Its starting point was a government bill drafted by our Attorney-General.”
Mr Evans, a 36-year-old economist elected in 2016, said other well-considered amendments may be presented to the bill his working party of MPs helped draft.
“Put it down to the naivete of a newcomer, but I look forward to some debate in the Parliament where individual MPs persuade each other on the merits of our ideas and vote according to our conscience, informed by the postal survey results.”
Mr Evans said he would be disappointed if there were further delays.
“There are no reasons or excuses for further delay,” he said.
“On this historic occasion, we owe it to all of the ns who have expressed their view, to resolve this issue in a businesslike fashion. There are so many other important challenges and opportunities in front of us to focus on.”
Both houses of federal Parliament now sit between November 27 and 30 and then again between December 4 to 7.