Parents with children in same-sex relationships have called on Prime Minister Turnbull to scrap plans for a plebiscite on marriage equality in the wake of a new poll showing plummeting support for the proposal.
A national survey of 3,000 people shows that only a minority of Australians (40.4%) support a marriage equality plebiscite and that support plummets even further when voters know that a plebiscite is costly, not-binding and will have negative social impacts.
National spokesperson for Parents and Friends of Lesbian and Gays (PFLAG), Mrs Shelley Argent, said the survey conducted on its behalf by the Centre for Applied Political Psychology (CAPP Research) explodes the myth that a plebiscite has popular appeal.
“This national survey found that support for a plebiscite is lower than politicians assume, and collapses once voters understand it will be a burden on tax-payers, won’t bind politicians and will damage the mental health of vulnerable people,” said Mrs Argent. “The idea that there is strong community support for this wasteful and cowardly plebiscite is an illusion.”
“As parents, we call on Mr Turnbull to show leadership and have a free vote so our LGBTI children and their families are protected from the abuse and indignity of an ugly public debate over their right to equality under the law. This matter needs to be dealt with sensibly in the federal parliament and not reduced to a slanging match in the public square with our children used as political punching bags.”
The research, conducted by the Centre for Applied Political Psychology (CAPP) as part of its bi-annual RealPoll, was based on a nationally representative survey of 3000 voting age Australians. CAPP’s research director, Matt Farrugia, said the research showed lower support for a plebiscite than other recent research because of the high percentage of undecided respondents.
“It’s clear from our research that the proportion of Australians who are undecided on their support or opposition for a plebiscite on marriage equality is greater than previous research indicates,” said Mr Furrugia.