Research commissioned by a group opposed to marriage rights for same-sex couples has found that 58 percent of Australians believe same-sex couples should have the right to marry – and 64 percent if they value it highly.

The report, Public Attitudes Towards Same-Sex Marriage in Australia, was compiled by the Sexton Marketing Group for the Ambrose Centre for Religious Liberty.

It also found that 59 percent of those surveyed believed preventing same-sex couples from getting married constituted discrimination. A large number of people who were currently opposed would be open to changing their minds if there was evidence that marriage was beneficial to same-sex couples and their children.

Australian Marriage Equality national convenor Alex Greenwich (pictured) welcomed the polling.

“When even dyed-in-the-wool opponents of equality find the majority of Australians are for marriage equality, we can be absolutely sure it’s true,” Greenwich said.

“We also welcome the Ambrose Centre’s conclusion that the case against marriage equality will be weakened if there is scientific evidence children do not suffer from having same-sex parents.

“This evidence is clear, and has led both the American and Australian Psychological Associations to conclude there is nothing wrong with a child having two parents of the same sex.”

“The union of same-sex genders is not in conformity with nature, biological design nor anatomical construction,” Ambrose Centre chair Rocky Mimmo wrote in May.

“If the State was to legislate for same-sex marriage, the repercussions of this would not merely be a simple redefinition of marriage but include a raft of other cultural changes. It would mean that legislation would decree sexual acts between heterosexuals to be the same as sex between homosexuals: Both sex acts would be deemed to be equal, normal and natural. These concepts defy the law of nature.

“No institution — religious or otherwise — nor individual or law would be free to pronounce, preach, opine or declare homosexual sex anything other than normal, natural, equal to and the same as heterosexual sex between consenting adults.

“All schools would be required to teach nothing different to this illusion and untruth to young children. Homosexual families would in time be normal and be considered unexceptional.”

However, contrary to Mimmo’s claims, the report found that few Australians believed that legalising same-sex marriage would curtail opponents’ freedom of speech.

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