Friday August 4th
SURVEY SHOWS LGBTI AUSTRALIANS OVERWHELMING OPPOSED TO A POSTAL VOTE
LGBTI Australians strongly oppose a postal vote on marriage equality but are prepared to work to win it if it goes ahead.
That's the finding of a new survey of the LGBTI community released today
. It comes ahead of Monday's Liberal party room debate about the way forward on marriage equality where one option on the table will be a voluntary, non-binding postal vote as proposed by Government front bencher, Peter Dutton.
The survey of 5,261 LGBTI Australians across all demographics was commissioned by Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays and just.equal, and conducted by social science researcher, Dr Sharon Dane.
It found almost 80% opposition to a postal vote which increased to almost 90% when respondents were informed it would be a voluntary vote that won't be binding on MPs.
also asked respondents their preferred response to a postal vote, with 56.5% saying they oppose it but are also prepared to win it if it is held. Only 15% said they prefer to boycott the vote.
PFLAG national spokesperson, Shelley Argent, said,
"This confirms that the LGBTI community do not want Peter Dutton's divisive, unnecessary, unrepresentative and expensive postal vote."
"As a mother of a gay son, I agree that a postal vote is not the way forward and we should have a free vote in parliament instead."
Dr Dane said,
"The strong opposition to a postal vote is not a surprise given the equally strong opposition to a plebiscite in a similar survey conducted last year."
"The two main reasons LGBTI people had for opposing a postal vote were that it isn't a legitimate way to deal with human rights issues and it will be a platform for prejudice."
Long-time marriage equality advocate and just.equal spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,
"The take home message from this survey is that LGBTI Australians want equal rights through an equal process."
"The survey also shows the deep resolve among LGBTI Australians to fight for marriage equality, even when the odds are stacked against us, as they will be in a postal vote."
"I am proud to be part of a community that is both determined there shouldn't be a postal vote and also up to the challenge of winning one."
Advocates are concerned a postal vote would be biased against the 'yes' case because younger people are more likely to favour reform but less likely to return postal ballots.
The survey report can be downloaded from here
For a copy of this statement on the web, click here
For more information contact Shelley Argent on 0409 363 335, Dr Sharon Dane on 0403 895 268 or Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668.