With same-sex marriage survey forms hitting people’s mail boxes this week, deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce wants advocates on both sides of the debate to “get out of my face”.
Mr Joyce (pictured) believes Australians have made up their minds and people are already “sick of being yelled at”.
“They’ve up their mind, they’ve got it worked out, they’re going to send their ballot back,” he told ABC radio.
“Sometimes I believe on both sides the advocacy is doing more to harm them than to help.”
Mr Joyce personally wants to keep the existing definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman but will not stand in the way of a ‘yes’ result when a private bill is put to parliament.
“I just don’t want people standing on the corner yelling at me, telling me if I don’t agree with them then I’m somehow less than human,” he said.
“Get out of my face.”
As tens of thousands of people rallied in support of marriage equality around the country yesterday, both Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten made strong cases in favour of change.
Mr Turnbull said it was fundamentally a question of fairness and he was “utterly unpersuaded” by the idea that his 38-year-long marriage to wife Lucy was undermined by gay couples and noted other countries where same-sex marriage had been legalised.
“In any one of those nations has the sky fallen in, has life as we know it ground to a halt, has traditional marriage been undermined? The answer is plainly no,” he said.
Mr Shorten told the Sydney rally it was time for same-sex marriage and apologised that politicians had failed to make it happen.
Meanwhile, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson told Sunrise this morning she would be voting ‘no’ as she has
“grave concerns” for children if same-sex marriage is implemented.
“Are people going to be stripped of calling this person mum or this person dad because it’s going to offend those families who have parents of the same sex?” she asked.
“We need to know the impact it’s going to have on our society.”
Senator Hanson said she was concerned that if the parliament implemented same-sex marriage, they would then implement “multiple marriages”.
“A lot of the gays don’t even agree with same-sex marriage either, they don’t want to get married,” she said.
The postal votes will be sent to millions of Australians from tomorrow with the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”
The result of the survey will be announced on November 15, followed by a vote in parliament on a private member’s bill if there is a majority ‘yes’ result.