Mr Abbott, what is the Liberal Party’s stance on gay marriage after the Labor Party having declared their MPs allow a conscience vote in the parliament?
Thank you, Charlotte. Good to see the kids at Tranby College aren’t being sheltered from the issues. Look, I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. I think that for good reasons from time immemorial, just about all cultures have believed that the best way to have a good society is to encourage one man to come together with one woman for life and be open to kids and when we talk about marriage we are not just talking about the two people that pledge commitment to each other in the ceremony. We are talking about the family which more often than not is going to result from that and marriage is not just about the fulfilment of two people. Marriage is about the children that invariably come into the world and need to be looked after. That’s why we’ve always wanted to preserve and protect marriage and that’s why we should be very reluctant to change the basic way of approaching these things which has been imminent almost in the way of the world since we first know what our forebears were doing. So I think marriage is between a man and a woman. I don’t support changing the law to accommodate other forms of relationship under the rubric of marriage. When the Howard Government was confronted with a proposal from the ACT that gay marriage should be permitted we changed the Marriage Act with the support of the Labor Party to specify that marriage is between a man and a woman. I think that the overwhelming majority of the Liberal National party room would want marriage to stay between a man and a woman. I accept that we have a tradition in our party of allowing people to dissent from the party line if they feel strongly enough about it but I think that someone has to represent the traditional view and I am confident that it will be the Liberal and national parties which continue to represent the traditional view.