Pauline Hanson says she would vote for same-sex marriage legislation in the Senate if that’s what the people of Australia say they want in a plebiscite.
In an interview on Melbourne gay and lesbian radio Joy FM, she said she didn’t personally favour gay marriage.
But if the people of Australia wanted it, she would back it, she said.
“I would support that because people have had their say. I’d give it my total support because I’m there as the people’s representative. I believe we’ve got to start listening to the majority and not the minority,” she said, according to a Fairfax media report.
Senator Hanson suggested the plebiscite should be held in conjunction with the next federal election in around three years’ time.
She also said fears that the proposed plebiscite would produce an outpouring of hate directed at gays and lesbians were overblown.
“I think you are actually blowing that out of proportion to make that an excuse why you shouldn’t have a plebiscite,” she said, adding she believed it would be a balanced debate.
Senator Hanson said everyone had the right to peace and harmony.
“But the gays and lesbians are now wanting to change my way of thinking, who I am,” she said.
“You want to take something away from the majority of society that we’ve grown up with. Why do you want to take the word marriage?”
Mandela anti-gay-marriage leaflets misleading
Meanwhille the Nelson Mandela Foundation has voiced its disapproval over the use of the anti-apartheid leader’s image to oppose same-sex marriage, after his face was included in leaflets distributed by Liberal Party members.
They included an image of the anti-apartheid leader and a quote from him that said children were “our greatest treasure” and “our future”.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation said it had become aware his image and words had been used to infer he opposed same-sex marriage.
“The Nelson Mandela Foundation would like to correct this misrepresentation,” it said in a statement.
“As South Africa’s first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela signed into law a constitution that stood for the rights of all.”
It said that included introducing legislation which said the state could not unfairly discriminate against someone on the basis of their sexual orientation.
“We object to the misuse of the legacy of someone who worked precisely for the recognition of such rights,” it said.
Federal Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman told AM those who distributed the pamphlets did so as private citizens and were not acting on behalf of the Liberal Party.
He said he found the use of Mandela’s image concerning.
“I do think it’s disappointing that material, which is quite self-evidently factually incorrect, is being used, and quite bizarre that a great and inclusive leader like Nelson Mandela would be associated with a campaign of this type,” Mr Zimmerman said.
-ABC, with AAP