AUSTRALIAN Christians support same-sex marriage and don’t want extra discrimination exemptions, a new poll shows.

A Galaxy poll of 1000 Australian Christians shows 54 per cent support marriage equality, with 77 per cent support for a free vote in parliament as soon as possible. Almost half were opposed to civil celebrants being able to refuse services to same-sex couples.

The survey, commissioned by PFLAG, also found that 61 per cent of Christians are unhappy with conservative religious groups representing the views of all Christians.

“With Australian Christians so conclusively behind marriage equality, it’s time for politicians to have a free vote and get this done,” said PFLAG spokesperson Shelley Argent.

“Changes to the Marriage Act have always been made through the parliamentary process and should remain so.

“Politicians should stop paying so much attention to conservative Christian advocacy organisations which a majority of Christians feel don’t represent them.

“As a mother I want my gay son to have the same rights and responsibilities as his brother. One of the rights being the right to legally marry his partner and have it recognised in his home country.”

The Very Reverend Peter Catt, spokesperson for Progressive Christian Voice, said, “This poll proves that Australian Christians believe everyone should be treated equally and fairly without discrimination.

“I’m pleased to see Australian Christians holding firm to Christ’s injunction to treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves.”

Marriage equality advocate and just.equal spokesperson Rodney Croome said, “Not only do Australians support marriage equality, they want it resolved in parliament asap and they don’t want any further legal discrimination once same-sex couples are able to walk down the aisle.

“It’s important that politicians understand that Australians don’t believe equality comes in half measures and don’t want new forms of discrimination to replace an old one.”

Liberal Senator Dean Smith is expected to introduce a bill for marriage equality when parliament resumes next month.

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