The majority of Australian Christians support same-sex marriage, poll reveals
The majority of Australian Christians support same-sex marriage being legalised.
The poll, released today by Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Australia, found that 54 percent are in favour of same-sex couples being able to marry.
And an overwhelming 77 percent of Christians want parliament to hold a free vote on the issue – with all the indications pointing to a vote for same-sex marriage.
The findings will increase the pressure on the country’s right-wing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has repeatedly blocked a free vote despite clear public support.
What’s more, 49 percent opposed the idea that those who perform weddings could refuse to marry same-sex couples.
Just 31 percent of the 1,000 Christian Australian adults polled by Galaxy Research were in favour of celebrants being allowed to turn down a same-sex couple’s wedding.
And when asked whether they wanted conservative religious groups – who are firmly opposed to same-sex marriage – to speak for all Christians on the issue, 61 percent rejected the idea.
Turnbull has favoured holding a costly plebiscite (public vote) on the issue, but his plans have been blocked.
Despite the impasse, the leader continues to insist that a plebiscite is the only way he will permit same-sex marriage to become law.
PFLAG national spokesperson Shelley Argent said: “With Australian Christians so conclusively behind marriage equality, it’s time for politicians to have a free vote and get this done.
“Changes to the Marriage Act have always been made through the parliamentary process, and should remain so.”
And she said the results indicated that conservative Christians should hold less sway over lawmakers.
“Politicians should stop paying so much attention to conservative Christian advocacy organisations which a majority of Christians feel don’t represent them,” said Argent.
“As a mother, I want my gay son to have the same rights and responsibilities as his brother.”
And she said that one of those rights was “being the right to legally marry his partner and have it recognised in his home country.”
The Very Reverend Peter Catt, who is a spokesperson for Progressive Christian Voice, said: “This poll proves that Australian Christians believe everyone should be treated equally and fairly without discrimination.
“I’m pleased to see Australian Christians holding firm to Christ’s injunction to treat others as we
would like to be treated ourselves.”
And he said that most Christians rejecting conservative viewpoints meant that “it’s time our leaders listened to a greater diversity of Christian voices.”
Australia’s government is currently playing down threats of a rebellion from backbench rebels who want to push forward with equal marriage.
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Turnbull allegedly gave private assurances to conservatives within his own party on the issue during his 2015 leadership bid, in order to shore up support.
However, the leader is facing a challenge to his authority from rebels within his party who support equal marriage.
And a recent poll found that the government is now in jeopardy of losing voters if it continues to block progress on the issue.
The Galaxy poll revealed that over a quarter of Coalition voters will consider voting for a new Government that commits to a marriage equality free vote, if marriage equality isn’t dealt with in this term.
The poll found that support for a free vote in Parliament stands at 73% across Australia, while just 27% support Turnbull’s plebiscite plan.