Stirling MHR Keenan commits to supporting marriage equality, but flags need to protect religious freedom

Stirling MHR Keenan commits to supporting marriage equality, but flags need to protect religious freedom

STIRLING MHR Michael Keenan has committed to supporting marriage equality in Federal Parliament while flagging the need to protect religious freedoms.

The Stirling electorate returned a majority ‘yes’ vote in the same sex marriage survey, with 61 per cent of the more than 77,000 respondents in favour of amending Australia’s marriage laws.

The support rates were less than the WA average of 63.7 per cent and the sixth lowest of the state’s 16 electorates.

Mr Keenan said he would follow the views of the majority of his constituents.

“I will be voting yes in line with my electorate of Stirling and the overwhelming majority of Australians, while ensuring religious freedoms are respected,” he said.

The strongest support for marriage equality in WA came from the Curtin electorate, where 72.2 per cent of the 82,500 respondents voted yes.

It covers suburbs including Scarborough, Doubleview, Innaloo, Osborne Park, Woodlands, Wembley Downs, Glendalough and Churchlands.

Curtin MHR Julie Bishop said the survey turnout vindicated the political decision for Australians to have their say on same sex marriage.

“The  Australian people have spoken and now it’s up to the Parliament to reflect the will of the people,” she said.

“I voted yes in the survey and will vote to support legislation that reflects the will of the people.”

Survey participation across the state stood at 78.4 per cent, with women more likely to respond than men.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said following the result that the people of Australia had spoken, and he intended to make same sex marriage law by Christmas.

Members of Parliament are not bound by the result of the survey, but the Government has promised to allow MPs a conscience vote on a same-sex marriage bill.