Darren Chester wants a respectful debate on same sex marriage
The Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester, has called on Gippslanders to keep the debate about same-sex marriage respectful in the lead-up to a postal vote.
As many people turn to social media to comment on both sides of the debate Mr Chester is urging people to do it in a civil way that respects all people.
"I know a lot of Gippslanders who are passionate and respectful and moderate in their views.
"They're prepared to listen to other people's points of view, and conduct themselves in public debates in a reasonable way, exactly the way I'll be approaching this issue.
"Everyone knows I'm supportive of changing the marriage act, and when I get my postal ballot I'll be filling it out with a 'yes', others will fill it out with a 'no'.
"That's the way we can resolve this issue, by giving everyone a chance to have their say."
Mr Chester has reaffirmed his position in favour of marriage equality.
He says most National Party MPs don't share his views but they all support a voluntary national poll on the issue.
"My colleagues in the National Party have a diversity of views on the issue.
"It's fair to say the majority are opposed to same sex marriage but they've given me every opportunity to express my view to the alternate, and it hasn't restricted them in terms of how we've had the debate.
"It's been a responsible and respectful way of reaching our position as a political party."