A Galaxy poll of 1000 people for Fairfax Media found that 30 percent of voters were more likely to vote in favour of Labor because of Rudd’s support for same-sex marriage, compared to 19 percent who stated that they would be less likely as a result.
The same poll found that Rudd’s stance resonated especially strongly with younger voters, with over half of respondents aged between 18 and 24 more likely to vote Labor compared with just 18 percent of respondents aged over 50.
The poll comes as radical LGBT activists around the country called on Rudd to move an equal marriage bill in the first 100 days of a new Parliament if he is elected, and to change Labor’s policy on same-sex marriage from allowing a conscience vote to binding Parliamentarians to vote in favour.
An open letter signed by every state branch of the left-wing LGBTI activist movement Equal Love as well as the Sydney-based group Community Action Against Homophobia called on Labor to “make history” and push hard for equal marriage.
“August 2014 will mark ten years since the Howard government introduced its homophobic and discriminatory amendment to the Marriage Act. This is ten years during which basic civil rights have been denied to LGBTI Australians and homophobic attitudes and actions have been legitimised in Australian law,” the letter states.
National Union of Students Queer Officer Cat Rose, who signed the petition, said that the onus was on Rudd to keep his word.
“That the office of Prime Minister is now held by someone who publicly declares his support for marriage equality shows just how far we have come. But sentiment won’t be enough – if Rudd is serious about undoing the harm these discriminatory laws have caused he needs to make firm commitments and assure us that an ALP government would pass equal rights,” Rose said.
A longtime opponent of marriage equality, Rudd announced his change of heart in a blog post in May where he said that “the secular Australian state should be able to recognise same sex marriage”.