Tony Windsor on Marriage Equality

From http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2010/s3068312.htm

LEIGH SALES: Let’s whip around some of the other subjects that are featuring in the political debate at the moment. What’s your view on gay marriage?

TONY WINDSOR: Well, I married a woman. Ah – the – I agree with the amendment that was put up last night, or the motion that was put up by Adam Bandt. I’ll be consulting with my constituents as to what they think and I’ll be representing their view. I’ll do it in the way – the similar way that I mentioned there earlier: I’ll survey the electorate to find out what their view is and I’ll represent that view back to the Parliament.

LEIGH SALES: So you wouldn’t be representing your own personal view then?

TONY WINDSOR: I don’t regard a conscience vote – and bear in mind I’m an independent, so every vote in a sense is a conscience vote, but it’s a conscious recognition of what I believe the electorate would want and I’d actually do that in this case as well. And I think that’s what we’re being asked to do: as members of Parliament, to go back to their constituency, ask the question and return to the Parliament with that question.

Some people get that excited – the party members get very excited, they think this is freedom that they can give their own view. I’ve never had that view. I think my view is to represent the people I represent, not myself.

LEIGH SALES: Nonetheless, what is your personal view?

TONY WINDSOR: Well, I don’t have a problem, as long as it’s not compulsory. I’m very happy with my wife.

LEIGH SALES: Do you think that community attitudes to gay marriage have changed over the time that you’ve been in public life? So, say, the past 20 years or so?

TONY WINDSOR: Well, same sex relationships, you know, are very common these days. The marriage word is the one – if there is to be a difficulty, that that may well be the issue here. I don’t have a problem with what, you know, consenting adults do. That’s their business. As long as people don’t interfere with my business, I don’t interfere with theirs.

LEIGH SALES: But do you think though that society’s views have loosened up on that though?

TONY WINDSOR: Slightly, but I think we’ll find out by referring back to our constituencies. And I think it’s very important that we actually do, as members, represent our constituency, not our private views.

I think this is – we’re not special people because we’re members of Parliament; we represent constituencies. And my private views and that of my constituency may be completely different. And I’ve represented things into the Parliament before that I haven’t personally agreed with, but that’s not – I’m no technical expert on everything and I’m there to represent my community.

So it’s up to the New England community to make sure we say loud and clear what we want our MP Tony Windsor to do!

I posted contact details for Tony Windsor previously here

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