Survey shows LGBTI Australians opposed to postal plebiscite

A survey produced by the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and just.equal has shows that the LGBTI community is overwhelming opposed to the idea of a postal plebiscite.

The release of the survey comes ahead of Monday’s Liberal party room debate about the way forward on marriage equality where one option on the table will be a voluntary, non-binding postal vote.

The idea has been heralded by Immigration minister Peter Dutton and was endorsed by the recent Queensland LNP conference.

The survey of 5,261 LGBTI Australians across all demographics was commissioned PFLAG and just.equal, and conducted by social science researcher, Dr Sharon Dane.

It found almost 80% opposition to a postal vote which increased to almost 90% when respondents were informed it would be a voluntary vote that won’t be binding on MPs.

The survey also asked respondents their preferred response to a postal vote, with 56.5% saying they oppose it but are also prepared to win it if it is held. Only 15% said they prefer to boycott the vote.

PFLAG national spokesperson, Shelley Argent, said the survey clearly showed that the community was opposed to the proposal.

“This confirms that the LGBTI community do not want Peter Dutton’s divisive, unnecessary, unrepresentative and expensive postal vote.”

“As a mother of a gay son, I agree that a postal vote is not the way forward and we should have a free vote in parliament instead.”

Dr Sharon Dane said the results were not surprising.

“The strong opposition to a postal vote is not a surprise given the equally strong opposition to a plebiscite in a similar survey conducted last year.”

“The two main reasons LGBTI people had for opposing a postal vote were that it isn’t a legitimate way to deal with human rights issues and it will be a platform for prejudice.” Dr Dane said.

Long-time marriage equality advocate and just.equal spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said LGBTI Australians deserved to be treated equally.

“The take home message from this survey is that LGBTI Australians want equal rights through an equal process.”

“The survey also shows the deep resolve among LGBTI Australians to fight for marriage equality, even when the odds are stacked against us, as they will be in a postal vote.”

“I am proud to be part of a community that is both determined there shouldn’t be a postal vote and also up to the challenge of winning one.”

Advocates are concerned a postal vote would be biased against the ‘yes’ case because younger people are more likely to favour reform but less likely to return postal ballots.

In recent days just.equal has raised to possibility of challenging the postal plebiscite in the High Court should the government choose to adopt the idea as it’s new policy on addressing marriage equality.

OIP Staff


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