Abbott urged to abide by conscience and Liberal principles
Almost three quarters of voters believe Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has turned his back on Liberal Party traditions by not allowing a conscience vote on the issue of same-sex marriage, according to a major opinion poll released today.
The Galaxy poll also found that 61 per cent of Australians want marriage equality now.
The poll involving 816 people aged 18-64 was commissioned by Australian Marriage Equality (AME) and conducted over telephone last weekend.
The results of the survey suggest people would rather Abbott stick to Liberal Party principles rather than his own promise not to back marriage equality, with 73 per cent of voters preferring he abide by the Coalition’s tradition of allowing conscience votes on such issues.
Support for the legislation to be passed this term is highest among younger people aged 18-24 (68 per cent), while the poll also shows support for the reform is lowest amongst the older generation of Australians aged 50-64 with only 51 per cent of them backing marriage equality.
AME convener Alex Greenwich said the voting public had been consistent over the past six months or so in wanting Abbott to allow a conscience vote for Coalition MPs.
“Australians respect the Coalition's history of allowing free votes on issues such as marriage equality, unfortunately Tony Abbott does not,” Greenwich said.
“This will only serve to cause disruption and disunity for him within his party room, his electorate, and at the next election.”
The poll comes as Australian Marriage Equality (AME) today released a full list on its website of all federal MPs and senators detailing where each stands on the issue.
Greenwich said increasing public support for marriage equality meant support within Federal Parliament was higher than ever before.
“Just as supporters have won over the hearts and minds of most Australians, we now need to win over the undecided MPs and Senators,” he added.
AME’s list suggests over 60 MPs and about 25 Senators are either undecided or yet to declare their position on the reform.
Meanwhile, it’s been announced that much-loved and proudly out comic actress, Magda Szubanski, will join the likes of Lisa McCune and Rachel Griffiths for special one-night-only readings of Oscar winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black’s play, 8, on the controversial referendum that stripped gay and lesbian couples of the freedom to marry in California.
All profits from the events in Melbourne and Sydney on June 8-9 will go to AME, with the group set to intensify campaigning efforts before Federal Parliament votes on a marriage equality bill in the second half of this year.
To view the full list of positions held by federal MPs and senators on marriage equality, visit http://www.australianmarriageequality.com/whereyourmpstands/
To book tickets or for more information on 8, visit www.showbiz.com.au