Gambaro comes out in support of marriage equality
Member for Brisbane Teresa Gambaro (LNP) has declared she will vote in favour of same-sex marriage if given a conscience vote.
Previously, Gambaro said she supported a conscience vote on same-sex marriage, but had not indicated which way she would vote on the issue.
Gambaro, who holds the Brisbane seat by the slimmest of margins, explained in this statement to the ‘House of Power Forum’ at the Brisbane Powerhouse on Thursday, August 22, how she came to formulate her view on marriage equality:
“This is a highly emotional and personal issue and in my view, marriage should not be anybody’s political play thing.
Marriage is not about politics. And sadly it has been used as a political wedge during this campaign. Government has no place in either defining love or telling people who they can love.
My consistent position on this issue for the last three years has been that I would support a conscience vote for all Members of Parliament.
I have spoken to Tony Abbott about the need for a conscience vote.
When I surveyed the electorate in 2010 only 0.7% of less than 1% of the electorate was in favour of same sex marriage.
Despite the result of that survey, I never closed my ears, my mind, or my heart to the people Brisbane and I kept listening to them – and that means listening to ALL views – for and against.
Earlier this year, I voted against changes to the Marriage Act in 2012 because I believe it was consistent with the assurances I gave prior to the 2010 election and I believe it accurately reflects the majority views of the electorate of Brisbane at that time.
As I have continued to go around the electorate, I have had many people ask me how I would vote in a conscience vote.
When I have voted on conscience votes in the past – with issues like RU486 and euthanasia – I took soundings from my electorate right up until the time I voted, so as to ensure I had the opportunity to properly hear the views of my constituents and best represents their wishes.
I am on record as saying that I will not be bullied into one position or another and I believe in representing people properly, not using them for a political purpose.
I believe in representing the people of Brisbane properly – not chasing populist votes.
But as I said initially, it saddens me that some people have sought to exploit this issue for political gain.
So I have decided to declare now and bring this shamelessly divisive campaign to an end.
Should I be honoured by the people of Brisbane and re-elected to this seat – my conscience vote will be in favour of Same-sex marriage.
I have made this decision because my personal journey in speaking with people touched by this issue communicated to me as I have been door knocking and meeting with people in my electorate.
All I can say to everyone is this – who people choose to love is not a decision for government and people should be free to love who they want free of discrimination, bias and prejudice.”