Malcolm Turnbull has released the results of his survey of the residents of the seat of Wentworth and a clear majority support same-sex marriage.
Out of nearly 2,500 respondents, more than 72 percent supported the legalisation of same-sex marriage, while only 16 percent supported civil unions, 7 percent opposed any recognition and 3 percent opposed same-sex marriage but did not express a view on civil unions.
Many high profile Australians who are residents of Wentworth took part in the survey and showed their support for marriage equality.
The former NSW Premier and Liberal, Nick Greiner, wrote that marriage equality was ”self evidently a matter of justice.”
“It in no way stops religions or individuals acting in accord with their conscientious views. Also [it is] not a left/right issue. Support for [this] proposal is consistent with conservative support for marriage and for stable long-term relationships as well as individual freedom,” Greiner wrote.
Former Australian Medical Association President, Dr Kerryn Phelps, wrote that it was an issue of separation of church and state and respect for same-sex families.
“It is essential that the political/legal and religious aspects remain separated, as the majority of mixed-gender Australian couples currently choose to marry outside of a religious ceremony, and religions differ from each other on their positions with regard to performing marriage ceremonies for same sex couples,” wrote Phelps.
“Similarly, there needs to be a separation of procreation from marriage. Many couples currently marry with no intention or biological ability (for instance because of age) to procreate. Yet increasing numbers of same-sex couples are having babies and raising children. Those children deserve their families to have the same rights and protections as children of mixed-gender couples.
“The suggestion of civil unions is an insult which would serve to perpetuate the inequality by creating a two-tier hierarchy of relationship recognition. It is not true that civil unions in other countries confer the same rights. It is not equality unless it is truly equal and I would not personally get ‘civil-unioned’, just as I suspect the majority of mixed gender couples wanting to marry would resist being forced to call their relationship a civil union rather than a marriage.”
The St Vincents Hospital’s Dr Alex Wodak, wrote that there would be public health benefits from marriage equality,
“I am ashamed that homosexual friends of my wife and I do not have the same options that we have had,” wrote Wodak.
“I have spent the last 30 years in efforts to try and reduce the harms of HIV. We should also do everything we can to help gay couples stay together to protect public health.”
Many of those who left comments opposing same-sex marriage cited religious arguments or wrongly believed that religious groups would be forced to marry same-sex couples if marriage equality were legalised.