How Arch Bevis voted compared to someone who believes that the Federal Government should amend the Marriage Act 1961 so that same-sex couples can marry under Australian law

Division Arch Bevis Supporters vote Division outcome

24th Sep 2008, 10:55 AM – Representatives Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws — General Law Reform) Bill 2008 - Second Reading

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to keep the words "That this bill be now read a second time" unchanged. Liberal MP Sussan Ley had proposed to delete the words after "That" and replace them with:

That all words after “That” be omitted with a view to substituting the following words: “whilst not declining to give the bill a second reading, the House:

(1) affirms its commitment to the central importance of the institution of marriage to Australian society;

(2) nevertheless recognises that partners in same-sex relationships ought not to be discriminated against on the basis of their sexuality, and ought to be treated on a similar basis to partners in heterosexual de facto relationships;

(3) recognises the right of children who live in same-sex households not to be discriminated against; and

(4) notes that the Opposition has referred the bill to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee for reporting by September 30 with a view to ensuring that, in removing discrimination against people in same-sex relationships:

(a) the centrality of marriage is not devalued, whether by the use of inappropriate statutory language or otherwise;

(b) there is no unintended recognition of same sex marriage, including through amendments to the Migration Act 1961;

(c) the rights and status of children are properly protected; and

(d) the rights and status of people in interdependent relationships other than same-sex relationships are recognised and properly protected”.

MPs who voted "Aye" (Yes) disagreed with MP Ley's proposed new wording.

What does it mean to read a bill for a second time?

All bills have to be read three times: first to introduce the bill for discussion; second to decide if the majority agree with the main idea of the bill; and third to decide whether the majority will pass the bill or not so it can become law.

So a second reading vote is a vote on whether to agree with the main idea of the bill or not.

absent Yes Passed by a small majority

How "never voted" is worked out

Normally a person's votes count towards a score which is used to work out a simple phrase to summarise their position on a policy. However in this case Arch Bevis was absent during all divisions for this policy. So, it's impossible to say anything concrete other than that they have "never voted" on this policy.