How Sue Lines 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 Sue Lines Supporters vote Division outcome

20th Jun 2013, 11:28 AM – Senate Marriage Act Amendment (Recognition of Foreign Marriages for Same-Sex Couples) Bill 2013 - Second Reading - Agree with bill's main idea

Show detail

The majority rejected the bill’s main idea (in parliamentary jargon, they voted against giving the bill a second reading). This means the bill failed and won’t be debated anymore.

The bill’s main idea was that Australian law should recognise all marriages that are legal overseas, including same-sex marriages.

Rebellion and a free vote

Liberal Senator Sue Boyce was a rebel and agreed with the bill’s main idea while the rest of the Liberal Party disagreed with it.

The Labor Party treated this division as a free vote so Labor senators could vote for or against it.

Background to the bill

Same-sex marriage is not legal or recognised in Australia so homosexual couples who marry overseas are not considered married here.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young introduced this bill two months after New Zealand became the latest country to allow same-sex marriage (more information on Wikipedia).

ABC News reported the result of this division.

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

How "voted very strongly for" is worked out

The MP's votes count towards a weighted average where the most important votes get 50 points, less important votes get 10 points, and less important votes for which the MP was absent get 2 points. In important votes the MP gets awarded the full 50 points for voting the same as the policy, 0 points for voting against the policy, and 25 points for not voting. In less important votes, the MP gets 10 points for voting with the policy, 0 points for voting against, and 1 (out of 2) if absent.

Then, the number gets converted to a simple english language phrase based on the range of values it's within.

No of votes Points Out of
Most important votes (50 points)      
MP voted with policy 2 100 100
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 100 100

*Pressure of other work means MPs or Senators are not always available to vote – it does not always indicate they have abstained. Therefore, being absent on a less important vote makes a disproportionatly small difference.

Agreement score = MP's points / total points = 100 / 100 = 100%.

And then