Friday, October 22, 2010
The Galaxy poll for two gay rights groups also found rising support for marriage equality, with 62 per cent of Australians backing reform, up from 60 per cent last year.
The release of the polls on Friday marks the launch of a new community campaign for a conscience vote by Australian Marriage Equality and Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).
The Australian Greens introduced a bill to amend the Marriage Act to recognise same-sex couples on day one of the new parliament.
Ms Gillard has ruled out giving her MPs a conscience vote on the issue, and said it remains "a big if" as to whether the Greens bill would ever reach the House of Representatives.
PFLAG spokeswoman Shelley Argent said it was about time that her gay son, who used to work as a police officer, had the same right to marry as the criminals he locked up.
"That's appalling, I think that the government should be ashamed," she told reporters in Canberra.
Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said it was time for both Ms Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to let MPs speak freely on the issue.
"This should not be a political issue," she said.
"This should be about equity ... and ensuring that people have equal access to celebrate and express their love."
Independent MP Andrew Wilkie was also behind the move.
Mr Wilkie this week spoke out against the war in Afghanistan in a parliamentary debate where MPs adhered to bipartisan support for the war.
He said it was a "breakdown in democracy" when MPs couldn't represent the true values of their constituents.
"It's virtually unexplainable how the prime minister can be so prepared, so consistently, to be out of step with the will of the people," he said.
Mr Wilkie said he would not withdraw his support of the government over the issue, but would consider supporting a coalition proposal for marriage equality.
Galaxy polled 1050 people aged 18 and older throughout Australia.