SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: State MPs have their say

One-of-the not so reluctant local faces of same-sex marriage, Kristy Millers, recently urged Macarthur MP Russell Matheson to be on ‘‘the right side of history’’ when forming his view.

While any decision has to be made a federal level, local state MPs have also had their say.

Labor MPs Greg Warren (Campbelltown) and Anoulack Chanthivong both threw their support behind same-sex marriage.

Mr Warren said he personally believed it was a matter of ‘‘equality’’.

‘‘Personally I believe everyone should be equal in the eyes of the law,’’ he said.

‘‘The ethos I was bought up with was that you should not judge anyone and you should treat your neighbours as you treat yourself.

‘‘[In my role as MP] I will represent every man, woman and child without prejudice.’’

Mr Chanthivong said couples didn’t always consist of one female and one male.

‘‘Australia and New South Wales is a very tolerant and accepting society and those principles should guide us,’’ he said.

‘‘I do support same-sex marriage because it’s important we realise relationships are about love and affection.

‘‘There are a number of opinions out there in the community so being an open society it’s important we have that debate.’’

Both local Liberal MPs, Chris Patterson [Camden] and Jai Rowell [Wollondilly] said did not want to enter the debate given it was a federal issue.

‘‘It’s a federal issue for federal parliament, no ifs of buts,’’ Mr Patterson said.

‘‘I’m not a decision maker in that process.’’

Mr Rowell said: ‘‘It if was me, I would want to have a conversation with the community before I formed a view one way or another.’’

‘‘It’s a conversation that must be held with the entire community.’’

The Advertiser attempted to contact Mr Matheson for comment as early as Wednesday last week, but was unsuccessful.

Mr Warren showed his public support for same-sex marriage by liking the Marriage Equality in Macarthur Facebook page set up a couple of weeks ago.

‘‘I like many pages in the community because it give me a good ears and eyes to what’s happening in the electorate,’’ he said.

Administrators welcomed him with special message.

‘‘We welcome Greg Warren to our page and thank him for his support,’’ the post read.

‘‘No surprises why our community supported you Greg!’’

Last month local lawyer Jim Marsden wrote an open letter to Mr Matheson in the Advertiser, calling on him to change his views, and now another local legal eagle is joining the debate.

Macarthur Law Society president Brett McGrath – an openly gay man – said he was contacted personally by Mr MAtheson when he returned from an overseas trip recently.

''He was very good, listened openly and said he would continue to sound out community opinion.''

Mr McGrath said it was a matter of when, not if, same-sex marriage would become legal in Australia.

"Momentum is building within Parliament and there is a broad community acceptance."

There was speculation on Tuesday that Mr Abbott would allow Coalition MPs to cast a conscience vote; but Fairfax Media reported the topic was not discussed during a party room meeting.

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