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Poll finds majority of Australian Christians support same-sex marriage

Friday, August 19, 2011
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SYDNEY, New South Wales, Australia — SA national opinion poll conducted by the Galaxy research group released earlier this week — ahead of a rally against same-sex marriage in the Australian capital city Canberra — finds a majority of Australian Christians support same-sex marriage.

The results showed that 53 percent of Australians who identify as Christians support same-sex marriage, while 41 percent oppose — 67 percent of non-Christians support it.

Australian Marriage Equality spokesperson, Malcolm McPherson, himself a Christian, said the poll shows church leaders and Christian lobbyists who oppose same-sex marriage are not representative of the feelings of most Australians on the subject of same-sex marriage as evidenced by the poll’s results.

The Galaxy poll found overall support for allowing same-sex marriage to 60%, which is unchanged from an identical poll conducted by Galaxy in October last year (the result of the October poll was 62 percent, which is within the margin of error of +/- 2 percent).

However, there has been a marked shift in how strongly views on the issue are held. Since October last year 5% of supporters of equality have shifted from “agree” to “strongly agree”, with a similar shift among opponents of reform from “strongly disagree” to “disagree”.

Religious leaders who have given their support to the campaign for marriage equality come from Uniting, Anglican and Baptist churches across Australia, and include Sydney minister and 2GB radio host, Reverend Bill Crews who said in an interview:

“In a secular and non discriminatory society gay couples should be as free to marry as any other human couple. If people wish to be married within a religious or spiritual institution’s framework then they should accept the rites and rules of that institution. However it is the state that legitimizes all marriages.

“Today in Australia we all live in a secular non discriminatory society. Churches and other spiritual institutions exist within this society. It seems to me that in a secular and non discriminatory society gay couples should be as free to marry as any other human couple. If people wish to be married within a religious or spiritual institution’s framework then they should accept the rites and rules of that institution. However it is the state that legitimises all marriages.”

Buoyed by the poll results, Australian Marriage Equality has launched a “Christians 4 Equality” letter-writing campaign which has the endorsement of a wide range of Christian leaders and has already seen almost 10,000 letters sent to MPs from Australian Christians since the site went live last Friday afternoon.

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