'Australians should make decision on marriage equality': MP

FEDERAL Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker is standing with Page MP Kevin Hogan in backing the Federal Government's decision to take the issue of same-sex marriage to the public.

Following a marathon six-hour discussion in the Coalition party room erlier this week Prime Minister Tony Abbott decided to consult the people on marriage equality after the next election.

The government has promised a plebiscite or a referendum to be held in the next term of governanment to ask the Australians if they want to change the marriage laws.

It has been an issue firmly on the national agenda since Ireland conducted its own marriage equality referendum where the yes vote won.

"This is a deeply personal issue, so there is certainly merit in the idea that the Australian people should get to make this decision directly," Mr Hartsuyker said.

"I'm sure many of my constituents would appreciate the opportunity to express their view directly through the ballot box."

Marriage equality supporters have questioned the government's decision, claiming it to be just another roadblock set up to stop the momentum of same-sex marriage.

Mr Hartsuyker disagrees with this notion and said he has been disappointed by the rhetoric being used by Labor and Greens.

"The Coalition spent about six hours respectfully debating the issue in the Party Room," Mr Hartsuyker said. "And then took a vote which made it clear there is still majority support for traditional marriage within the Government.

"This process was totally consistent with the position we took to the public before the last election.

"There are many good people on both sides of this issue, and I am disappointed in the rhetoric from Labor and the Greens suggesting that there is no more debate to be had and those Australians who sincerely support the traditional definition of marriage are somehow homophobic and should not be heard."

"My personal position has not changed: I support the current definition of marriage."

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