THE people should determine the definition of marriage in a constitutional referendum that offers voters two clear choices about that definition, according to Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen.
"I believe there should be a constitutional referendum and it should offer the people the choice between two definitions of marriage to be inserted into the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia," Mr Christensen said.
"At present, the Constitution does not define marriage, in Section 51 (xxi); it merely states that the Commonwealth has the power to make laws with respect to marriage.
"A definition of marriage could be added onto Section 51 (xxi) or a subsection of Section 51 (xxi)."
Mr Christensen said the referendum should offer voters a choice between:
- Defining marriage as a union between two persons, including persons of the same sex in the Constitution
- Defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman in the Constitution; or
- Making no change to the Constitution.
"Having the option of no change to the Constitution would need to be part of the referendum question but really the public debate will be between marriage as we currently know it or marriage which includes same sex couples and I have no doubt the people will vote for one of those two options," Mr Christensen said.
"The referendum will bring finality to the question because the matter will then be resolved in the Constitution and Parliament's time will not be wasted on this topic ever again."
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