Ian Thorpe urges people to return their marriage survey forms

Olympian Ian Thorpe has urged people to vote ‘yes’ in the marriage equality survey and get their completed forms in the mail by Friday to ensure they make it back to the Australian Bureau of Statistics in time to be counted.

Thorpe said he was optimistic that the marriage survey would return a ‘yes’ result and was pleased to see the survey had attracted a high level of response, but urged younger Australians to make sure they’ve had their say.

“I am optimistic, and I’m glad that many Australians have voted, who have been able to give their voice on this issue, but we also know that the group least like to vote in favour of marriage equality has actually turned out about 90%, as where younger Australians really haven’t got their votes back.” Thorpe told Sky News this morning.

“That’s the group of people, under the age of 35, who are most likely to support marriage equality, so we really want to encourage them, and anyone you know who hasn’t got their vote I yet, to get it back by tomorrow.”

Polls have shown that 40 per cent of people in the 18-35 age group have not taken part in the marriage postal survey.

The call for people to ensure they were listed on the electoral roll prior to the marriage survey commencing saw a record number of younger people signing up for the right to vote, this may not have actually resulted in votes though, as it appears many within the young age bracket have not posted the forms back.

“It’s no good in the bottom of your gym bag, it’s not a vote at all.” Thorpe said.

Thorpe said the postal survey debate had reminded many in the LGBTIQ community of times from their past when they were bullied and in some cases bashed for their sexuality.

Reflecting on his own experience of being hesitant to come out, Thorpe said no good came of painting homosexuality in a negative light.

“It was really tough for me, I guess I struggled being in the closet, I was asked about my sexuality for the first time when I was a sixteen year old, and that was by a journalist. I kind of felt that I was being accused of it, and when you hear about something only in the negative you don’t think of all the good things that could come of it.” Thorpe said.

The Olympic champion said since he’d come out he’d be able to live his life with authenticity and was really able to be himself.

Ian Thorpe said marriage equality would allow young LGBTIQ people know that the way they feel about someone is equal.

“If I had known that, If I had felt that way when I was a younger person I would have been more comfortable with myself, my sexuality, and actually been out a lot earlier.”

The Australian Bureau of Statistics recommends that postal survey forms be posted back by Friday 27 October, and will only accept forms up until 6pm on Tuesday 7 November.

OIP Staff

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