Australians are officially running out of patience with politicians stalling on same-sex marriage, polling has shown.
The country’s PM Malcolm Turnbull is trying to avoid a rift with his own ultra-conservative MPs by bringing forward plans to take same-sex marriage to the public in a non-binding plebiscite.
However, opposition parties are set to shoot down the $200 million plebiscite – insisting the measure is expensive and largely redundant, given overwhelming public support for marriage equality. LGBT activists say the issue could be settled with a vote in Parliament within days.
Amid a showdown on the issue this month that could see the plebiscite plan defeated in the Senate, a poll has revealed that Australians are fast losing patience.
The reachTEL poll commissioned by Australian Marriage Equality (AME) and Australians for Equality (A4E) shows that two-thirds (66%) of Australians voters want marriage equality to be legislated by the Australian parliament by the end of the year.
The survey also revealed that almost 60% of Australians over the age of 65 and 68% between the ages of 51-65 want marriage equality to be legislated by the end of the year.
Alex Greenwich, Co-Chair of Australian Marriage Equality, said: “Australians are ready to celebrate marriage equality and want our politicians to legislate this year.”
“A majority of voters across all parties, and undecided voters, feel it’s important this reform is achieved without delay.
“This survey reveals that the Australian people support marriage equality and simply want parliament to do its job so we can all move forward.”
“The opponent’s campaign wont stop if a plebiscite is blocked, this means urgent action is required from our supporters across the political divide to deliver this reform by a parliamentary vote without further delay.”
Tiernan Brady, Executive Director of Australians for Equality said: “Around the world we know once equality is embraced it is celebrated, and everyone moves forward.
“Once it happens it ceases to be a political issue because everyone just moves on. In Ireland, no one stood at the recent election on the platform of repealing same sex marriage.
“Just as Ireland, the USA, NZ, and the UK have put the unnecessarily divisive debate behind them, the Australian parliament has in its power to do this by the end of the year.
“If the plebiscite is derailed this week it is now more important than ever to use the momentum and enthusiasm built up to enact marriage equality.
“Should Labor oppose a plebiscite, we will be urging all parties to put the plebiscite to rest swiftly, and move to achieve marriage equality this year through a vote in parliament.”