Support for same sex marriage is increasing

Date: Jul 17, 2014

Support for marriage equality in Australia is increasing. A new poll has found that 72 per cent of Australians now believe same-sex couples should have the ability to get married.

A Crosby Textor poll conducted in late June 2014 of 1,000 randomly selected Australians shows an increase in support across all key demographics. The poll was commissioned by Australian Marriage Equality (AME).

Furthermore, the study found that 48 per cent of Australians "strongly support" legalising same-sex marriage. Of the respondents who were opposed to legalising same-sex marriage in Australia, 21 per cent were opposed the idea to any degree and only 14 per cent were strongly opposed. 

A Nielsen poll in 2011 found that 57 per cent of Australians were in favour of same-sex marriage. The support has grown each year. A 2013 Nielsen poll found that 65 per cent were in favour. 

When looking back at polls conducted over 10 years the change in mindset towards marriage equality is even more apparent. Newspoll conducted a poll in June 2004 - 44 per cent of respondents said they did not support same-sex marriage and only 38 per cent said they were in support. 

The Crosby Textor poll has a margin of error of 3.1 per cent. 

Possible implications for same-sex marriage in Australia

The Crosby Textor poll found that 77 per cent of respondents would support MPs having a conscience vote on the matter.

AME National Director Rodney Croome said in a July 15 press release that the results of the poll are a good sign for possible reform in Australia. 

"With Australians firmly behind marriage equality, it no longer needs to be a heated or divisive issue and can instead be one where people unite across the political spectrum to achieve reform," said Mr Croome.

"It is also significant that support for marriage equality is now higher in Australia than in many other countries when they achieved the reform."

The survey also asked questions about the demographics of the respondents and found that people who identified with a major religion, including Catholics, Anglicans and non-Christian religions, were older than 55 and were already married with children supported marriage equality overall. There was also a majority of support for legalising same-sex marriage in Western Sydney. 

In June, British nationals in same-sex relationships were able to get married in British consulates in Australia.

Talk to a family lawyer about your rights as a same-sex couple in New South Wales.