Senator Ricky Muir has become the latest politician to publicly voice his support for same-sex marriage, saying his views echo the opinions of many “country folk”.
The Motoring Enthusiast Party politician unveiled his support for same-sex marriage while speaking at mental health information evening in rural Victoria on Wednesday night.
Describing himself as a family man who liked to “ride dirt bikes, camp and four-wheel drive”, Senator Muir said he lived without judgement.
“If marriage equality was put to a conscience vote, and my vote was the deciding vote, a change to the Marriage Act would occur,” he said.
“If a decision to put the question to a plebiscite was to be on offer, I too would support this to allow the people of Australia to make their vote count."
Senator Muir also criticised anti-marriage equality advocates for saying that rural voters would not back the change to the Marriage Act, as proposed by the bill put forward by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
He said many country communities had already embraced the idea of same-sex marriage.
“I do not think it is up to large lobby groups, or political parties to tell us what we are or are not ready for,” he said.
“The reality is, the majority of people I have spoken to or have contacted me seem to overwhelmingly accept the lifestyle of others and do not feel threatened by a change to the Marriage Act.”
Senator Muir’s announcement follows those by Nigel Scullion and Darren Chester, who have also come out in support of marriage equality since Mr Shorten introduced Labor’s bill to parliament on June 1.
Federal MPs are unlikely to debate Labor's gay marriage bill before mid-August, if at all.
Read an extract from Senator Ricky Muir's address below.