Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt.
Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt. Mike Knott BUN160517SHADE2

Why Keith Pitt did not support the Same Sex Marriage Bill

WHEN the Marriage Amendment Bill was being debated in Parliament, one local minister was nowhere to be seen on the Yes side.

Hinkler MP Keith Pitt was one of four members to vote No to the bill on Thursday.

Of the 83,572 people who voted in Wide Bay, 46,507 (55.6 per cent) voted yes while 37,065 (44.4 per cent) voted no.

In the Hinkler electorate, 40,649 (50.7 per cent) voted yes and 39,548 (49.3 per cent) said no.

In a statement, Mr Pitt said he did not support the legislation because it did "not adequately address the concerns of many in my electorate around religious freedoms, parental choice and the right for parents to raise their children as they see fit."

"I was aware of the opportunity to abstain from the vote today, but in this place I believe you should always have the courage of your convictions," Mr Pitt said.

"My vote today was not for or against same sex marriage, as the Australian people have already decided that.

"The debate today was about the bill and its details. I supported a range of amendments which I believed would have improved the bill, but the final legislation was put without these amendments included.

"Of the 80,197 ballots returned in the federal seat of Hinkler for the postal survey, the count was 40,649 for the 'yes' case and 39,548 for the 'no' case, a difference of just 551 primary votes would have changed the result.

"Approximately 23,000 constituents did not take the opportunity to have their say."