Clarence Valley 50/50 on marriage equality
WITH the member's bill put forward by opposition leader Bill Shorten, the debate about marriage equality has firmly re-seated itself in the national agenda.
The idea of rural and regional sectors of Australia hold a negative view towards changing the legal definition of marriage has been a focal point of debates, but according to local Federal members that is not the case.
In fact, the local area appears to be split right down the centre, according to representatives.
Member for Page Kevin Hogan said his office had been contacted on numerous occasions by both supporters and opposition of the change.
"Both supporters and opponents of same sex marriage have contacted my office recently," Mr Hogan said. "It is important everyone is heard in this debate and I would like to thank everyone for the respectful way they have put their case."
Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker who represents half of the Clarence Valley said he had received a multitude of correspondence on the issue of marriage equality in the past week alone with the responses all varying.
"Over the past week I have received around 70 pieces of correspondence from constituents supporting and opposing same sex marriage," Mr Hartsuyker said.
"I believe it is close to 50/50 as to people's support or opposition on the issue."
Australian Marriage Equality, a peak non-government body supporting marriage equality, has stated about 72% of Australians supported marriage equality based on 2014 Crosby/Textor research.
The Clarence Valley remains below the national average of people who support the change to the legal definition of marriage but not far off.
Mr Hartsuyker said he was conscious of the rights for same sex couples.
"I am sympathetic to the situation of same sex couples and it is important that their legal rights are respected," he said.