Wednesday 27 October 2010

Australia still leads the Western world in marriage inequality

An opinion poll shows increased support for gay marriage and for Prime Minister Julia Gillard to allow a conscience vote on the issue.

The Galaxy poll was carried out on behalf of lobby groups Australian Marriage Equality and Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

It showed that 62% (1,005 surveyed) supported allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, up from 60% in 2009. 79% said that Gillard should allow a conscience vote.

The Labor party does not support marriage equality and Gillard has said that policy on the issue will "remain the same while I'm prime minister." She says that it is her personal view.

However, Australian Marriage Equality spokesman Alex Greenwich said that both major parties should listen and allow a conscience vote on the issue.

“Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott cannot ignore the majority of Australians who believe same-sex couples should be able to marry and the even greater majority who want a conscience vote on the issue”, Alex Greenwich said.

Federal law prohibits same-sex marriage, however civil partnerships are legal in the ACT while domestic registers are in place in some states. New Zealand passed a Civil Union Bill over five years ago. The world has not fallen in.

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