Julie Bishop Softens Stance On Gay Marriage, Says She's 'Very Liberal Minded'

20/08/2015 4:45 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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CANBERRA -- Deputy Liberal Leader Julie Bishop has given the strongest indication of where she stands on same-sex marriage, just days after she declared she did not want her personal views to become the issue.

Earlier this week the Foreign Minister made the case to The Huffington Post Australia for a marriage equality plebiscite after the next election.

She also said she was keeping her own counsel: "I don’t want my personal views to become the issue,” Bishop told HuffPost Australia.

However Bishop now appears to have softened her stance.

In an interview with host Peter Van Onselen on Sky News, Bishop was asked if she was "philosophically not opposed to same-sex marriage, but the logistics and the legalities of how it is framed may make you support or not support such legislative change?”

Ms Bishop responded that the question had "articulated my position rather well".

Bishop later declared "philosophically I'm a very liberal minded person but I'm yet to see the detail of changes to the Marriage Act that would satisfy me that we should vote for it.”

The Deputy Liberal Leader said she has been asking for details for some time.

"There are a whole range of questions that I would like to see answered before I am prepared to commit to a change in the Marriage Act," she said.

The Foreign Minister said she wanted to know the impact on religious institutions and people who may want not want to conduct same-sex marriages, particularly sanctions and exemptions.

She maintained she was also conscious of the views of the people in her Western Australian electorate of Curtin, which she claims is 50-50 on same-sex marriage at present.

The Abbott Government has yet to settle whether on a plebiscite or referendum is the way forward for Australia on marriage equality.

Social Services Minister Scott Morrison backs a referendum, which Bishop, a former lawyer, said was not necessary.

Bishop prefers the option of a plebiscite or 'people’s vote', claiming "not a lot of people" have made up their mind or even thought about the issue.

"It is an important issue, but I don’t think it has been fully debated across Australia,” Bishop told The Huffington Post.

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