Polls show marriage equality would be a winner for the government

gay wedding

New polling shows 71% Australians, including 64% of Liberal voters, will look more favourably on the Turnbull Government if it allows a free vote on marriage equality instead of a plebiscite.

The polling from Galaxy Research, also shows Australians are firmly against any new laws that would allow civil celebrants or businesses to refuse their services to marrying same-sex couples on the basis of the service provider’s religious or personal beliefs.

Support for marriage equality remains overwhelmingly positive despite the long campaign to stop same sex couples relationships being recognised.

The poll coincides with the government’s proposed date for its failed plebiscite and comes ahead of a Senate inquiry report into a proposed law allowing refusal of wedding services to same-sex couples.

Long-time marriage equality advocate and just.equal spokesperson, Rodney Croome said,

“This poll shows Australians want marriage equality, they want it via a free vote in Parliament and they want it to be truly equal without caveats entrenching further discrimination.”

“The message to Malcolm Turnbull is that a he will win back support from potential Liberal voters at the next election by dropping the plebiscite policy and passing marriage equality on a free vote.”

“The poll also sends a clear message that in the eyes of most Australians equal means equal and discrimination against same-sex couples in the provision of wedding services should not be allowed.” Croome said.

Advocates for marriage equality said they would be presenting the findings of the research to politicians in Canberra this week.

“This week we will be in Parliament alerting law-makers to the result of this poll, as well as earlier research showing the LGBTI community will not accept marriage equality legislation that is compromised by refusal-of-service provisions.”

Despite reports that Liberal MPs were growing increasingly concerned about the government’s dead-end position on marriage equality PM Malcolm Turnbull has remained adamant that a plebiscite is the only pathway his government will pursue.

The poll was commissioned by Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. National spokesperson, Shelley Argent, said,

“This increases the pressure on Malcolm Turnbull to do the right thing and allow a free vote so our sons and daughters can be treated equally under the law.”

“Passing marriage equality asap will be a win for our children, a win for Malcolm Turnbull and a win for Australia.”

“Malcolm Turnbull needs to heed the message that Australians remain firmly against a plebiscite and want marriage equality dealt with in Parliament by a free vote.”

“A plebiscite would have been a platform for hate against LGBTI people and the sooner the Government admits the idea has had its day the better.”

The poll found two thirds of voters support marriage equality, with almost half strongly supporting it.

The poll has also revealed that even the government’s own voters support change. The poll found 59% support for a free vote among voters who lean to the Liberals and 60% support amongst those who lean to the Nationals.

45% of respondents opposed laws allowing refusal of service in general with 35% in favour, but this jumped to 65% against and only 17% in favour when respondents were asked about laws that would specifically target same-sex couples.

A recently-released survey of 6342 LGBTI Australians found around 90% oppose proposals to allow marrying same-sex couples to be refused wedding services and would rather wait for marriage equality than accept refusal-of-service provisions as a trade off.

Earlier this week a separate ReachTEL poll that focused on seven seats held by the Liberal and National party’s also found huge support for a free vote on the marriage equality issue.

The poll of 4742 people – in Chisholm, Corangamite, La Trobe and Murray in Victoria, Gilmore and Page in NSW, and Durack in Western Australia – shows 60 per cent of people think it’s important the issue be resolved this year.

OIP Staff

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