A new Galaxy poll has found nearly three in four (73 percent) voters believe that Coalition MPs should be allowed a conscience vote on same-sex marriage rather than be bound by Opposition leader Tony Abbott’s opposition to it.
“Which of the following two choices should guide the Coalition in its response to legislation allowing same-sex couples to marr?” Galaxy asked respondents.
“The Coalition’s tradition of allowing conscience votes on such issues or Tony Abbott’s statement at the last election that he does not support the issue?”
Only 21 percent thought that it was important that Coalition MPs vote in line with Abbott’s election statement on the issue.
Galaxy also asked whether Parliament should pass legislation legalising same-sex marriage during this session, with 61 percent agreeing it should and only 30 percent believing Parliament should defer the legislation.
Australian Marriage Equality (AME) national convenor Alex Greenwich said Abbott should listen to the message from the voting public.
“Australians respect the Coalition’s history of allowing free votes on issues such as marriage equality,” Greenwich said, “Tony Abbott is turning his back on Liberal Party tradition to enforce his view on others.
“This will only serve to cause disruption and disunity for him within his party room, his electorate, and at the next election. This polling shows that Australians are ready for marriage equality now and want our government to act on the wishes of a clear majority of Australians.”
AME has created a dedicated web page with a list of all MPs and senators and where they stand on the issue to help voters lobby their local members.
In the House of Representatives, 33 MPs are on the record as supporters and 60 as opponents, meaning 43 out of the remaining 57 undeclared and undecided MPs will be needed to pass a bill.
In the Senate, 25 senators are on the record as supporters and 18 as opponents, meaning 14 senators out of the 33 remaining undeclared or undecided senators will be needed to pass a bill.
“Parliamentary support for marriage equality is higher than it has ever been,” Greenwich said.
“Just as we have won over the hearts and minds of most Australians, we now need to win over undecided MPs and senators. With a vote expected in the coming months, now is time to contact all your federal representatives.”