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Marriage on the agenda
Lobby group Australian Marriage Equality (AME) has begun surveying key candidates in Western Australia on the issue of same-sex marriage in the lead up to this year’s state electon.
AME will publish its survey results prior to polling day and activate its WA database to disseminate the information. It said support for marriage equality is high across many WA seats, especially in inner-north electorates such as Perth, Maylands and Mount Lawley. “There is a significant number of gay and lesbian voters through the inner north of the Perth CBD, but it is also the case that these electorates contain a high percentage of white-collar professionals, many of whom are Liberal voters and believe marriage equality is very important,” Croome said.
Former Democrats senator – now West Australian AME convenor – Brian Greig said marriage equality would be an issue in many seats, even for those who regard it as a federal issue.
“It is important to many voters to know where their candidates stand on this issue, it’s a question of values and principles,” Greig said.
WA Premier Colin Barnett has not made a clear commitment on whether he would allow a conscience vote on marriage equality.
Barnett did say he would vote against a gay marriage bill, while opposition leader Mark McGowan was in favour. The WA Greens support marriage equality and have introduced a bill to the state’s Upper House.
In December 2010, a Westpoll conducted in WA found 61 per cent in support of gay marriage.