Openly gay Liberal Party state politician and member for Coogee Bruce Notley-Smith gave the Star Observer his reactions to the vote and its significance for the national debate on marriage equality.
“Whilst the result was disappointing for those who’d worked so hard to get this bill through the upper house it’s also very encouraging, because we saw members of the Liberal Party and the National Party for the very first time vote in favour of same-sex marriage,” said Notley-Smith.
When asked whether MPs who spoke in favour of federally legislated same-sex marriage but voted against the state-based bill were using constitutional issues as an excuse, Notley-Smith argued such a position was only possible due to public pressure on the issue.
“Whilst I don’t agree with them… on the flip side I think those MPs are able to take that position because I believe that they see that this issue has gained so much momentum that the federal parliament will have to act on it soon,” he said.
Notley-Smith sits on the NSW parliament’s Cross-Party Working Group on Marriage Equality, which will begin to look at ways forward after the failed vote.