Friday, 21 October 2011

Marriage Update, Australia: Opinion poll favourable, Gillard to allow conscience vote

Numerous polls have shown that Australians support legal recognition for same -sex marriage, by a wide margin. A new poll goes one step further than simply counting heads, and attempts to assess the impact on voting patters for the Australian Labour Party, if it endorses support for equality at its December conference.  
"Labor could expect a five per cent swing in its favour if it supports gay marriage, a new poll suggests.A Galaxy poll, commissioned by lobby group Australian Marriage Equality (AME), found almost half of Australian Greens voters and a third of young voters would be more likely to vote for the ALP if it allowed same-sex couples to marry.The ALP's national conference is due to debate changing party policy in December, but Prime Minister Julia Gillard says the legal definition of marriage - being between a man and a woman - should not be changed."

Meanwhile, it is reported that Prime Minister Julia Gillard, while not holding back her personal opposition to marriage equality, is about to reverse her position on a parliamentary vote. She is now expected to permit a conscience vote.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard's free vote on gay marriage 
JULIA Gillard is set for a reversal on gay marriage, with government sources claiming she would announce within weeks a conscience vote on the issue. Government sources said the Prime Minister would state her position ahead of the Labor Party's national conference in December.
It could come as early as Monday or after the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth finishes at the end of next week, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Left wing and some Right-wing MPs who are delegates to the Labor conference will push for a reversal of the party's platform, which currently opposes gay marriage." 
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