Eighty percent of Victoria’s LGBT community support same-sex marriage, according to a survey carried out by the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (VGLRL).
The findings were revealed this week as the NSW GLRL began its own state-wide community consultation process into relationship recognition with a public forum on the weekend.
Seven hundred people took part in the Victorian study, which will be published to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the Marriage Act amendment on 13 August.
Apart from those in favour of marriage, 75 percent of respondents said they supported federal government recognition of de facto status and 60 percent liked the idea of state-based registration.
Fifty percent said they would actually like to get married themselves.
There’s some fairly definitive answers in there from the Victorian LGBT community, VGLRL convenor Pete Dillon said.
We think it’s an excellent result because it now gives us statistics that we can go to the state and federal governments with and say this is what our community wants.
David Scamell, co-convenor of the NSW GLRL, said the Victorian findings were important and proved there was definitely support for marriage as well as other types of relationship recognition.
He said the NSW group’s consultation would also aim to find out what the community thought the Lobby should be focusing on and making a priority.
About 120 people attended the GLRL forum in Newtown on Saturday. While some audience members spoke passionately about their preferred model for relationship recognition, the event did not become a shouting match like the community forum on marriage in May.
Speakers included New Zealand MP Tim Barnett, who discussed his country’s new civil union laws, and Luke Gahan, convenor of Australian Marriage Equality.
Jenni Millbank, associate professor of law at the University of Sydney, said the community should push for federal recognition of de facto status before pushing for marriage, as this would give all same-sex couples equal status rather than just those who decide to get married.
A number of groups including Australian Marriage Equality and Community Action Against Homophobia are organising a national rally on 13 August to commemorate the marriage ban.
This week marriage advocate Luke Gahan accused Labor MP Tanya Plibersek, the member for Sydney, of attempting to stack Saturday’s GLRL forum with ALP members after it was learnt an email had been sent to party supporters urging them to attend.
Gahan wrote on his website the email was an attempt to clearly make sure the forum was stacked with pro-ALP and anti-same-sex marriage people.
The email, sent by one of Plibersek’s staffers, read: Comrades, the Greens will be there in large numbers. We need to get as many ALP supporters along to the GLRL forum as possible.
Plibersek told Sydney Star Observer the suggestion she tried to stack the meeting was simply not true.
To read into this some sinister intent is just absurd, she said.
The email is a regular email which is sent out every Friday by one of my staff letting ALP members know what’s on for the coming week. It deals with events like the industrial relations campaign, the anti-war rallies, the pro-refugee rallies.
I want to encourage ALP members to be participating in things like the environment movement, the anti-war movement and the movement for gay and lesbian law reform.
I’m very proud of the fact ALP members in my area have good relationships with the gay and lesbian political movement.