As the push for marriage equality continues to gain traction, Liberal MP Sarah Henderson has declared her support for same-sex marriage and a free vote for Coalition MPs.
Ms Henderson’s disclosure came after a Geelong Advertiser poll revealed almost 70 per cent of readers believed she should divulge her views on gay marriage.
Unlike Opposition Bill Shorten’s private member’s Bill to allow same-sex marriage, Ms Henderson instead called for a cross-party Bill to be brought before the Parliament.
This fits with Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s belief that any decision must be owned by the Parliament, not a particular party.
Ms Henderson said marriage equality was consistent with fundamental Liberal values which embraced freedom of the individual and stable, long-term relationships.
“… I confirm that I support both marriage equality and a free vote for Coalition MPs,” she said.
Ms Henderson said she had consulted widely with the community and listened to all views “with an open heart and an open mind”.
“If two people love each other and wish to commit to a life together, they should have the option to be recognised equally under the law,” she said.
“As an MP driven by a strong sense of compassion, equity and justice, I believe our nation should follow the lead of countries such as the UK, New Zealand, Canada and Ireland and legalise same-sex marriage.”