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This major poll on marriage equality in Australia will terrify homophobes

August 21, 2017
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (Stefan Postles/Getty Images)

Malcolm Turnbull

A new poll on Australians’ attitudes towards marriage equality has caused a panic among anti-gay campaigners.

The Australian polled voters on their intentions for the upcoming plebiscite on same-sex marriage.

Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull is planning to hold a postal vote on same-sex marriage later this year, after coming under pressure to block an equal marriage bill.

Though the vote will not be legally binding – it is a national postal ballot to inform the government – the latest poll on the topic looks like there is going to be a very clear result.

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY CONOR BARRINS

According to the newspoll, the pro-equality ‘Yes’ campaign has a huge lead.

63% of respondents said they intend to back yes in the vote, while 30% say they will vote against the proposal, and six per cent remain uncommitted on the issue.

The poll is double good news for marriage equality campaigners, as it shows a three per cent swing to the ‘yes’ side since the last comparible poll in September 2016.

However turnout could have a huge impact on the result – with over 65s, who majority oppose the measure, most likely to vote.

While 70% of 18-34s say they support extending marriage rights, just 58% have pledged to vote – compared to 76% of over 65s.

The poll will likely devastate Catholic Archbishops in Australia, who pledged last week to lead the charge against equal marriage.

Ahead of the vote a divisive campaign has already kicked into gear, and the Catholic Church in the country is leading the charge.

In the days since the vote was announced, both Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher has sought to mobilise parishioners to back a ‘no’ vote, while the country’s Bishops have begun recirculating a missive opposing same-sex marriage.

There are more than five million Catholics in Australia, making it the country’s single largest Christian denomination.

During Pope Francis’ tenure, the Catholic Church has lobbied against LGBT rights around the world

Speaking to The Australian, Archbishop Fisher claimed that letting gay people marry would lead to religious persecution.

He insisted the change would have “consequences”, adding: “Many people believe that redefining marriage won’t affect them. Respectfully, I would say they need to take another look – it will affect every Australian.”

“In other parts of the world that have legalised same-sex marriage, those who believe in traditional marriage have been harassed or coerced into complying with the new view of marriage. It would be extremely naive to think that won’t happen here.”

He went on to make a string of incendiary claims, sugggesting that if equal marriage becomes law school children “will be subjected to [government] propaganda in favour of same-sex marriage and gender fluidity”.

More: Australia, Australia, Equality, Gay, LGBT, marriage, Same-sex

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