Close to 30 MPs had reported to federal parliament their constituents’ views on gay marriage as Crikey hit deadline, as they agreed to do under a Greens motion last November.
A majority, in fact, insisted voters were either opposed or didn’t rate the issue important enough. Others like Anthony Albanese — the only Labor front-bencher to rise — used their five minutes to speak around the issue without making a stance or revealing what constituents may have said. Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott said nothing.
But the public has already spoken. At length. Ad nauseam.
- Polls on the websites of three Liberal MPs (no longer online) showed strong support for gay marriage: Malcolm Turnbull’s website recorded 68% support, Brisbane MP Teresa Gambaro found 73% support and Julie Bishop’s poll was running as high as 80% support.
- Labor minister Tanya Plibersek said 2000 submissions to her office found support running at 80%.
- An Essential Media poll in March of this year found 49% of respondents supported gay marriage, 40% were against and 10% didn’t know.
- A Westpoll survey of 400 WA voters in December found 61% were in favour of gay marriage.
- A June Galaxy poll, commissioned by Australian Marriage Equality, found 75% of respondents agreed same-s-x marriage was inevitable.
- A Nielsen poll from November of last year found 57% of Australians supported legalising gay marriage
- A Roy Morgan poll this month for the TV show Can of Worms recorded 68% support for gay couples being allowed to marry.
- More Galaxy polling from this month found majority support for gay marriage (53%) among respondents who identified as Christian.
- A fascinating August 2010 poll by news.com.au that involved polling each electorate and contrasting the results with each local MP’s stance found that 46% overall supported gay marriage, 35% said it was between a man and a woman and 19% didn’t care.
Adam Bandt, the Greens MP who moved the original motion, today said political leaders were “out of step with mainstream public opinion”. Today’s session of parliament proved it.