New England more evenly divided than nation

The area remained divided after the result of the survey on gay marriage, though with both sides saying tolerance was now needed.

In New England, the result was much closer than in the country as a whole. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 52.5 per cent were for and 47.5 per cent against.

The Glen Innes area seems unlikely to be any less evenly divided.

The vicar of the the town’s Anglican church, the Reverend David Robinson, said: “I don’t know how those numbers translate to Glen Innes itself but it is clear that opinion is still quite divided on this issue.

“What is important now is that we are generous and tolerant toward one another. I believe that we can all coexist despite the fact that there is disagreement and will be varying reactions to this result.”

Rev. David Robinson.

Rev. David Robinson.

On the other side, a gay man who didn’t want to be identified told The Examiner: “It was obviously a great result. It was the result expected. It makes you question why the process was necessary.”

He said he expected legislation to follow, making gay marriage legal: “Legally, politicians could now do nothing but that would be politically not a good thing to do. It was overwhelming in every state and territory. We now need to see actions not words.”

But he didn’t foresee a rush to seek marriage in unwilling churches or orders to bakeries which were unhappy about making wedding cakes featuring people of the same sex.

The Reverend Robinson emphasised that his view on the Word of God hadn’t changed: “This doesn’t change what the Bible teaches about marriage and I will continue to seek to honour that teaching. As with other areas where the law and the Bible are at odds (and there are many), I will try to be as respectful of others as I can. But I must ultimately stand firm on those things God is clear about.