The Liberal Party has responded to a proposal for same-sex marriage on its website nearly three months after it earned enough supporters to qualify for a response.
The Ideas section of the Liberals’ website was created as a forum for Liberal supporters to voice their ideas. However, the party has been listening to some more closely than others.
One proposal, ‘Carry concealed weapon permits’ received a response from a shadow parliamentary secretary just nine days after clocking up the required 100 registered supporters.
Another, ‘Replace Internet filtering with Gov funded filtering software’ received a response from the shadow communications minister Tony Smith, despite being more than 300 supporters short of the number for a shadow ministerial response.
In comparison, ‘Allow gay marriage’, which gained 100 supporters in May, was not responded to for over a month even after a website administrator posted that staff were “contact[ing] the relevant member of the Coalition Team”.
It and a number of other eligible ideas were left unresponded to until Southern Star contacted the Liberals’ federal director Brian Loughnane in recent days.
No comment was forthcoming, but a slew of shadow parliamentary responses went up on the website that day.
Responding to the marriage equality proposal, shadow parliamentary secretary for families, housing and human services, Senator Gary Humphries thanked those who’d registered as supporters but reiterated the party’s position.
“While the Coalition (and the ALP) is of the view that marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman we acknowledge that others have a differing view,” Humphries wrote.
Humphries told Southern Star that the need to respond to the issue had been brought to his attention in recent days.
“As I understand it, there was a minor technical hiccup with the Liberal Party’s new website that has now been resolved,” he said.
Humphries encouraged Liberal supporters of same-sex marriage to keep registering their support on the website.
If the idea receives another 200 supporters it will qualify for a response from the shadow minister for families, Kevin Andrews.
“The Liberal Party now acknowledges there is a ‘differing view’ to their policy,” Australian Marriage Equality’s Alex Greenwich told Southern Star.
“I hope they also acknowledge that this ‘differing view’ is shared nationally by 60 percent of Australians and over 50 percent of Liberal voters.
“We thank everyone who’s expressed their opinion, as this is showing the Liberal Party that they can’t ignore the issue.”