Australia Op-Ed: Polls No Indicator for SSM Attitudes


Jim Wallace is the managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby:

Despite the grandstanding, the Greens' attempt to demonstrate that there is majority support for gay marriage in the suburbs and regional Australia has failed, in fact backfired.

... Firstly in 18 of the 30 electorates on which MPs reported back as required by Adam Bandt, the feeling in the electorate was reported as overwhelmingly for retaining the definition of marriage; well over 90 per cent in a good number of them, with figures like 595 to 14 (Hinkler) and 1,015 to 65 (Deakin). Only six of the 30 reported their electorates in favour of gay marriage, and only three of those produced statistical proof from their consultation and not surprisingly they were from the inner-city seats of Wentworth, Moreton and Melbourne.

Secondly, the great majority of those who support marriage are not going to bother publicly proclaiming it when they are continually subjected to vicious language and abuse whenever they raise their heads. The charges of homophobe and bigot may have neutralised public debate until now, but they will not affect people in the privacy of the polling booth.

... 15 per cent of [Australians] hold marriage so deeply for cultural or faith reasons that it is for them a vote-changer. They simply will not support a party which fails to protect the definition of marriage. They also don't want to see it weakly make marriage a conscience issue, as Labor is now considering, but to show that it stands for this foundational relationship as a matter of principle.

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