A survey has revealed that 8 out of every 10 LGBTIQ Australians are opposed to a plebiscite on marriage equality.
From a sample of almost 5500 people, the anti-plebiscite stance was across the board, a view equally shared by men, women, every age group and in every state and territory.
Of the 84.7% who simply don’t want a plebiscite under any circumstances, 71.5% were strongly opposed and only 9.9% were in support.
The overwhelming view (78.3%) is that advocacy groups should focus on stopping a plebiscite and work towards a successful vote in parliament.
Even if the question was “fairly framed” and “has a good chance of success”, 62.6% of respondents were opposed.
The survey was funded by Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and endorsed by LGBTIQ advocacy group, just.equal.
PFLAG national spokesperson, Shelley Argent (pictured, centre), said the missing voice in the plebiscite debate had been the LGBTIQ community.
“Now they have spoken and emphatically said ‘no’ to a plebiscite under any circumstances,” she said.
“The survey confirms that groups like PFLAG and just.equal are doing the right thing by actively working to stop a plebiscite and secure a free vote, especially given the very good chance a plebiscite will be set up to fail.
“It’s now time for groups representing the LGBTIQ community to unite behind what that community has clearly said it wants.
“If (Prime Minister) Mr Turnbull goes ahead with a plebiscite it’s not for the LGBTIQ community’s sake, it’s for the sake of anti-equality groups and for his own sake.”
Long-time marriage equality advocate, Rodney Croome (pictured, left), agreed saying the LGBTIQ community understands a plebiscite would delay marriage equality, not expedite it, and would damage the lives of vulnerable LGBTIQ people.
“There are clear concerns about the indignity of our rights being subject to a show of hands and the negative impact of hate speech on the mental health of LGBTIQ people, especially when the plebiscite result won’t be binding,” he said.
Feedback from participants at the end of the survey showed that the two most common reasons people opposed a plebiscite were anxiety of hate campaigns and the strong belief that minority rights should never be put to a popular vote.
Mr Turnbull has previously pledged to hold a public plebiscite before the end of the year but it is now more likely to be held in early 2017.