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Resounding support for marriage
More than 177,000 Australians have expressed support for marriage equality in the House of Representatives survey conducted by the Social Policy and Legal Affairs Committee.
Final results were published today showing 64 percent of the 276,437 respondents expressed support for allowing same-sex marriages.
Australian Marriage Equality national convenor Alex Greenwich said the result showed how passionately Australians support the reform.
“No other reform has ever motivated this many Australians to engage in a parliamentary inquiry,” he said.
“Marriage equality is clearly not a fringe or minority issue, it is an issue which speaks to core Australian values. It goes to heart of the nation’s aspiration to be a fair and equal society.”
Greenwich thanked a group of more than 70 clergy from all faith backgrounds who urged their fellow Australians to write to the inquiry in support of marriage equality because of the benefit the reform will have for families and communities.
A push by Victorian Catholic bishops to have their parishioners express opposition to reform by filling out the survey failed to heavily influence the opposition numbers.
“Religious leaders are increasingly opening their hearts to this reform, and it is now time for political leaders to join them in supporting what a majority of Australians clearly and emphatically want,” Greenwich said.
Pro-equality submissions to the inquiry were also of a very high quality, according to Greenwich, with many people from across the social, religious and political spectrum taking the time to explain why their support equality.
77.5 percent of responses agreed that religious celebrants should not be obliged to marry same-sex couples.
Greenwich said campaigners for marriage equality have always respected the right of faith communities not to solemnise same-sex marriages.
“We respect the freedom of religious celebrants not to marry us and in return we ask that they respect our right to marry under civil law,” he said.
A last minute push by advocacy groups Australian Marriage Equality and GetUp saw the level of support lift from 58 to 64 percent (or nearly 50,000 people) on last Friday alone.
Full survey results can be found here.