The Equality Campaign today released a poll showing strong Australian support for the cross party bill sponsored by Senator Dean Smith that delivers marriage equality.
The independent, nationwide poll of 1,500 people was commissioned by the Equality Campaign and conducted by Newgate Research in late October (while voting was underway). It revealed that, when given examples of possible extensions to discrimination on religious grounds Australians are strongly opposed.
"Dean Smith's bill strikes a fair balance between LGBTI couples having equal access to marriage and the need to ensure people can practice their religious beliefs. If it is a Yes result on Wednesday, this legislation should be introduced and passed by the end of the year," Anna Brown of The Equality Campaign said.
"The survey shows that Australians are not interested in the debates that are currently raging in the US - where there are proposals to massively extend discrimination so people can be refused service, such as in shops or taxis, based on an individual's religious view.
"When given hypothetical examples of how additional discrimination based on religious views might play out in our society, Australians were overwhelmingly against extending discrimination in these ways. (survey examples below)
"Australia turned its back on this type of discrimination when it ended the White Australia policy and extended equal rights to Indigenous Australians in the 1967 referendum. We will not accept any moves to take our country down a path where discrimination is sanctioned by our laws and practiced every day," Anna Brown said.
The Equality Campaign's Alex Greenwich also welcomed the announcement by Senator Dean Smith that he would introduce his marriage equality bill into the parliament on Thursday.
"Dean Smith's announcement reflects the strong desire across the country to get this done by Christmas and celebrate the parliament coming together to deliver on our national values of fairness and equality
"The proposed bill has support across the government, opposition, and cross-bench and there should be no impediment to it passing now.
"Fairness and equality are at the heart of Australian society and we believe our laws should reflect these values of which we are most proud.
"Achieving marriage equality is a unifying moment for our nation as we include all Australians in our marriage laws. Let's get this done so we can all move forward as a fairer and more inclusive nation," Alex Greenwich concluded.
Note: The Equality Campaign commissioned a large sample poll (n=1,500) through Newgate Research. The poll was conducted independently in late October when voting was still open. Margin of error is +/- 3%.