Poll: Majority of parliamentary members support a change in marriage law

CHERYL YONG

Around 72 per cent of Australians support same-sex marriage, poll shows. Photo: Cheryl Yong

Around 72 per cent of Australians support same-sex marriage, poll shows. Photo: Cheryl Yong

Senator David Leyonhjelm’s last attempt to push for a vote on same-sex marriage has sparked a shift in parliamentary support.

Nearly 80 per cent of swing voters in parliament favour a change in the law, according to a Crosby Textor poll.

PFLAG President Donna Goddard said while the Labor and the Greens support same-sex marriage, the Liberal Party still needs to follow suit in order to enact the legislation.

“This will always be an issue if we don’t have cross party support. At the moment, we don’t currently have the numbers in parliament to get a bill through because we need a three-vote in the Coalition,” she said.

“Tony Abbott will need to stop suppressing his members and allow them to vote freely with their heart and their mind.”

The Crosby Textor poll indicates that public support for same-sex marriage has risen to its highest level at 72 per cent.

Thousands of supporters march for marriage equality at a Brisbane rally. Photo: Cheryl Yong

Thousands of supporters march for marriage equality at a Brisbane rally. Photo: Cheryl Yong

Equal Love convenor Ali Hogg said Australians want to see people treated equally and it is now up to parliament to represent the majority views of Australians.

“Marriage equality has brought hope to many people who have been fighting for this issue,” he said.

“It’s going to be hard to see a bill getting through but we are hopeful to see a growing number of members within the Coalition who are with us, and together we will keep up the pressure so we can see marriage equality come to fruition.”

Australian Christian Lobby Queensland Director Wendy Francis said gay marriage is out of step with the Christian denomination, describing the gold standard as being “a marriage between a man and a woman.”

An increasing percentage of people were found to support marriage equality since the formation of Equal Love in 2004, but Ms Francis said the polls can be ‘superficial’.

“We shouldn’t draw too many notions from what the 68 per cent believe. We need to be wary about it and many Australians still have very strong views that marriage should remain between a man and a woman,” she said.

Meanwhile, Socialist Alliance Griffith Candidate Liam Flenady said legitimising equal marriage rights is a key way to fight homophobia, violence, racism and sexism in society.

“It is a matter of equal rights and the kind of society we want to build. If they are allowed to marry, then that allows for more legitimacy for who they are and allows for more confidence for the community to fight discrimination,” he said.

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