If politicians represent the people, why is there so much media noise going on about whether to allow same-sex marriages or not? Perhaps because the politicians are not really doing what they purport to do.
Our recent research based on a nationally representative sample of 1,500 adults (over 18 years of age) between July 24-25, 2017 concluded the public view is pretty clear.
What does Australia think?
Almost two out of three Australians (63 percent) support a change to the law to allow same-sex marriages.
Of course, not everyone agrees. 25 percent of Australians are opposed to the legalisation of same-sex marriage, and 9 percent are unsure.
Women appear to be stronger supporters of same-sex marriage than men, with 68 percent of women advocating for change vs. 58 percent of men.
The younger generation are almost unanimous in their support of same-sex marriage with 91 percent of 18-24 year olds stating the law needs to be changed to allow this. However, this support nearly halves (50 per cent) in the 65+ year old generation.
The Pureprofile study into Australians’ views on same-sex marriage reinforces earlier opinion. Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays research conducted by Galaxy earlier this month found 54 percent are in support of allowing same-sex couples to marry, and 77 percent believe parliamentarians should be free to vote as soon as possible.
How do we resolve the issue?
The Pureprofile study revealed that nearly half (48 percent) of Australians believe that a referendum or plebiscite should be used to resolve the issue. However, a substantial 26 percent believe that politicians should make the decision.
Curiously perhaps, those that are opposed to same-sex marriage would prefer to see the issue resolved by referendum or plebiscite: 55 percent of the 'No's vs. 45 percent of the 'Yes's.
Over one in three (35 percent) of those who support the idea of changing the law to permit same-sex marriage said that politicians should be making the change.
It’s clear that the public support for the legalisation of same-sex marriage is strong and stable, despite the noise being made in the media - and the lack of noise being made by politicians.