Despite years of relentless media and celebrity championing of same-sex marriage, Australians still think it is a low order issue and want more informed debate.
This morning’s release of a Sexton Marketing poll that found same-sex marriage ranked 13th of the political issues people were most concerned with.
Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Lyle Shelton said ACL-commissioned polling by JWS Research in the wake of the 2013 federal election also found it was a low order issue.
“Despite all the hype, Australian’s legendary scepticism of media-driven elite opinion remains healthy,” Mr Shelton said.
The Sexton poll, commissioned by the Marriage Alliance, found that Australians did not wish to be rushed into a decision on changing the definition of marriage and wanted a more informed debate.
“It is clear that people don’t fully know what ‘marriage equality’ and ‘equal love’ mean and they want more time.
“ACL has been calling for a more mature debate and it is good to see public discussion emerging that now recognises there are serious consequences to freedom of conscience and children’s rights.
“There are millions of Australian’s of ethnic background, faith and no faith who will never accept a politician-imposed redefinition of marriage.
“These people are not bigots or homophobes, they just want to always be free to publicly express their views.”
Mr Shelton said Channel 7 and Channel 10’s decision to refuse to run the Marriage Alliance’s advertisement giving the other side of the debate only reinforced peoples’ suspicions about the political agenda of the same-sex marriage lobby.
“It was disappointing to see the leader of the same-sex marriage political campaign, Rodney Croome, writing in today’s Australian that it should be illegal for religious schools to teach the school’s values on marriage.
“People are rightly concerned about where this agenda might take our society and experience overseas of people being legally punished and drummed from their jobs for believing in the traditional definition of marriage only reinforces this.”
Mr Shelton said it was interesting that even the Get-Up organisations’ members only rated same-sex marriage as a 16th order priority.
Aboriginal leaders say ‘no’ to gay marriage
It was heartening to see this week indigenous Australians express their support for man woman marriage. They made their views known on Wednesday, when a group of Aboriginal leaders and elders presented a traditional ‘Bark Petition’ to the Australian Parliament. The petition, written in the language of the Pitjantjatjara People, the traditional owners of Uluru, says it is offensive to the Aboriginal people to suggest another definition of marriage. Did you hear anything about this? Probably not! There is a good reason for this. Sadly, all the newspapers ignored the event. The Australian was the only media outlet to cover the story – and its report was biased. The only photo in the paper was part of a large paid advertisement. Of course indigenous Australians are yet another minority group who have been excluded from the national discussion on marriage.