A survey has found that a vast majority of Australians would oppose a plebiscite if it meant allowing others to determine their right to marry.
The Galaxy poll of 1000 people (203 from Queensland), commissioned by Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), found 76 per cent of respondents would not be happy if they needed popular support before tying the knot.
Only 13 per cent said they would be happy to rely on a popular vote while 11 per cent said they did not know.
On the question of whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, 36 per cent said they supported a plebiscite, compared with 35 per cent who are opposed and 29 per cent who said they were undecided.
PFLAG opposes the Turnbull government’s plan to hold a plebiscite, either later this year or early in 2017, on same-sex marriage.
It is a significant drop in support for a plebiscite as only a month ago a poll revealed that 48 per cent of Australians supported a plebiscite on same-sex marriage, compared with 35 per cent who were opposed.
However, pollsters say the shift can be attributed in part to questions about wide marriage rights in the latest survey.
Earlier this month, QNews reported on a survey result which found that 85 per cent of LGBTIQ Australians opposed a same-sex marriage plebiscite with about 60 per cent saying they opposed it under any circumstances.
Long time marriage equality advocate Rodney Croome said it was clear that when everyday Australians are encouraged to walk in the shoes of LGBTI people they reject a plebiscite.
“Our job is to make sure politicians are encouraged to empathise as well, and drop plans for an expensive, divisive and unnecessary plebiscite,” he said.
Mr Croome recently quit as Australian Marriage Equality’s national director to focus on opposing the plebiscite.
PFLAG national spokesperson Shelley Argent said the Galaxy poll showed that Australians are against judging other people’s relationships and reject a plebiscite “when they realise this is exactly what a plebiscite is about”.
“We will soon be launching a campaign that will educate Australians about the indignity and dangers of a plebiscite,” she said.