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Australians back gay marriage

15 July 2016


MOST Australian Roman Catholics are in favour of same-sex marriage, whereas Protestants are evenly split on the subject, according to the results of a national online survey.

More than 350,000 people gave their views on the subject on “Vote Compass”, an online opt-in survey of voter views run by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in the lead-up to the Australian Federal elections, held on 2 July.

While 58 per cent of Roman Catholics supported same-sex marriage, only 41 per cent of Protestants — a category that included Anglicans — supported the change. Among “other religions”, 66 per cent supported same-sex marriage, and only 10 per cent of those claiming “no religion” were against it. Overall, 56 per cent of Australians supported the change, a slight increase on the figure three years ago.

The current Liberal-National coalition government will hold a national plebiscite on the issue if it is returned to power; if the plebiscite supports same-sex marriage, the matter will then need to be decided by the Federal Parliament. The opposition Labor Party, which opposes a plebiscite, has promised to bring the necessary legislation to Parliament within the first 100 days of its term if it is elected.

Meanwhile, Anglicare Australia, the main Anglican welfare agency, has identified four key election priorities: affordable and secure housing; secure work; adequate income; and tax reform as an enabler for housing, employment, and increased living standards.

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