The biggest study of LGBT Australians to date reveals that 85% oppose a plebiscite on same-sex marriage.
After weeks of post-election uncertainty and several obstacles in the road to marriage equality in Australia, it has been found that the majority of the LGBT community are against a public vote – even if it means no change to the law.
Australia’s Attorney General George Brandis has said the “only way” the issue of same-sex marriage will be resolved is through a public vote or plebiscite.
However, the country’s Labor Party accused the public vote, which was the idea of previous Prime Minister Tony Abbott and carried through by his replacement Malcolm Turnbull, of being a “taxpayer-funded platform for homophobia”.
Now, a survey of 5,500 LGBT people conducted in late July has found opposition to a plebiscite among women, men, all age groups, and in every state and territory.
Of those surveyed, 84.7% said they opposed, 71.5% strongly opposed, and only 9.9% supported a plebiscite.
When asked if they would support a plebiscite if it was “fairly framed” and “had a good chance of success,” opposition still remained.
Even if the popular vote was the only way same-sex marriage could be achieved under the Coalition, 57.8% opposed.
LGBT rights activist and academic Rodney Croome said the results show that the LGBT community understands a plebiscite would delay a change to the marriage act.
“There are clear concerns about the indignity of our rights being subject to a show of hands and the negative impact of hate speech on the mental health of LGBTIQ people, especially when the plebiscite result won’t be binding,” Mr Croome said.
After his narrow victory, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull pledged to bring a public plebiscite as soon as possible and it is now expected for late 2016 or early 2017.
Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays spokeswoman Shelley Argent said, “If Mr Turnbull goes ahead with a plebiscite it’s not for the LGBTIQ community’s sake, it’s for the sake of anti-equality groups and for his own sake.”