Malcolm Turnbull, federal Liberal member for the inner city Sydney seat of Wentworth, has spoken to Southern Star about his decision to stand again in an exclusive interview.

“I recognised that my passion and commitment for public service was undiminished and that the best way for me to pursue the values and the political principles that I believe in was as a member of the House of Representatives,” Turnbull said.

However, Turnbull said it would be “very unlikely” that he would lead the Liberals again.

On gay rights, Turnbull stated his opposition to same-sex marriage but said he saw the need for same-sex relationships to be given recognition, and was open to that being done under federal law.

“Unions between same-sex couples should not be discriminated against in any way, should have exactly the same degree of respect and recognition and entitlement as far as the law is concerned, but I think that marriage per se is a union between a man and a woman,” he said.

“But once you say that same-sex unions are entitled to the same rights as unions between men and women, be they formally married or not, there obviously arises a big question as to whether people are in that union.

“There are many cases where it’s quite hard to say whether two people living together are in a long-term relationship or not. That’s obviously why, if you go back centuries, it was convenient to register and record marriages … so there’s going to be an administrative driver there in favour of that.”

Turnbull also backed Opposition leader Tony Abbott’s in-principle support for federal anti-discrimination legislation.

“I believe gay people should have the same rights to be protected from discrimination as anybody else,” he said.

Turnbull said he hoped to continue representing the interests of the gay community in Wentworth.

“I’m very keen to continue working hard for the gay community in this electorate.”

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