Support for equal marriage plummets in Australia
Support for equal marriage had dropped sharply in Australia, as anti-gay marriage activists continue a scaremongering campaign.
Australia’s right-wing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is currently holding a country-wide postal vote on whether same-sex marriage should be permitted.
As the vote got underway, anti-LGBT activists have begun a divisive campaign based on tactics developed by evangelicals in the US, attempting to conflate the marriage vote with transgender issues and LGBT sex education.
The ‘No’ camp has received broad coverage throughout the Australian media with warnings about ‘transgender marriage’ – even though the vote has no impact on transgender issues – and claiming without basis that it will lead to ‘radical gay sex education’.
A new poll this week showed that their scaremongering is beginning to pay off, with a sharp drop in support for equal marriage.
The Guardian Essential polling carried out this week shows that support for equal marriage has dropped to 55 percent – down from 59 percent two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, opposition has risen to 34 percent, up 3 percent in just two weeks.
The figures represent a seven-point drop in support from July, when 61 percent of Australians backed equal marriage.
Opposition has also intensified, surging 8 points from a low of 26 percent in June.
Equal marriage campaigners say that the rise in opposition shows that the ‘No’ campaign’s dirty tactics are beginning to cut through.
The ‘No’ camp have plenty of cash to hammer their message home, massively outspending the ‘Yes’ campaign with a series of TV ads repeating warnings about ‘radical gender ideology’.
Due to the untested nature of the postal vote system, it is unclear how many voters will actually take part in the plebiscite – meaning the actual result could be much closer than the poll suggests.
The public vote is non-binding and advisory in nature, has no legal power – but the result will likely be taken into consideration by the country’s lawmakers.
The first-of-its-kind postal vote is now underway, with the first ballots mailed out by the Australian Bureau of Statistics earlier this month.
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Australians have more than a month to cast their vote, with a November 7 deadline for the return of ballots.
The result will be announced on November 15.
The country’s anti-LGBT lobby has taken to branding the same-sex marriage proposals ‘transgender marriage’ in a bid to adopt US-style ‘wedge issue’ tactics.
In a release last week, the Australian Family Association took the claims to a bizarre extreme – using their falsehoods to try and convince lesbians to vote against equal marriage.
The group asks: “Is this the sort of ‘equality’ Australians want to impose on women and lesbians?”