YES campaigners were left reeling by a poll that showed lower support for gay marriage. A new, and eagerly awaited, poll has just been published.
On Tuesday, a Fairfax-Ipsos poll showed 70 per cent of those who intended to take part in the same-sex marriage postal survey will vote in favour of allowing gay couples to wed.
Ballots for the postal vote will be sent out from Tuesday with households expected to start receiving them next week.
The result comes at the end of a mixed 24 hours for the “yes” campaign. While one of the largest companies in the world, Apple, has thrown their weight behind marriage equality, the debate also turned nasty when the ABC put a caller to air who praised Hitler for incarcerating gay men in concentration camps.
However, some confidence has now returned with the new Fairfax poll showing support for marriage equality at a far healthier 70 per cent.
The survey of 1400 people, conducted towards the end of last week, found women were more likely to participate in the survey than men.
Support for same-sex marriage was in the majority across all age groups including 54 per cent of over 55s. Just over half of Coalition voters were in favour of the change with 86 per cent of Labor supporters and 96 per cent of Greens voters also in the yes column.
The pro-same-sex marriage side have also received a boost with Apple, one of the world’s top 10 largest companies, backing a law change.
In a statement to news.com.au, an Apple spokesman said: “We support marriage equality and believe all Australians deserve the freedom to marry the person they love, and to have their relationships recognised with the same dignity and legal protections as their neighbours, friends, and family.”
Apple boss Tim Cook came out in 2014, the first executive of a Fortune 500 company to identify as gay.
When the Supreme Court legalised same-sex marriage in the US in 2014, Mr Cook tweeted that it was “a victory for equality, perseverance and love”.
Cricket Australia is the latest peak sports body to back marriage equality. On Monday, the organisation’s chief executive, James Sutherland, said: “Cricket must be a welcoming environment for each and every one of us, regardless of gender, cultural heritage and — importantly in the current environment — sexuality.”
Critics said the comments were “vile”. Law replied that he was talking about “consensual sex with someone disagreeable”.
On the same day Law’s comments came to light a “no” supporter weighed into the debate on ABC radio, praising Adolf Hitler’s approach to homosexuality.
On Jon Faine’s ABC Melbourne radio show, a caller identified as “Don” criticised Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Kristen Hilton for supporting same-sex marriage.
When Faine said it would be unusual for an organisation with “Equal Opportunity” in its name to not champion equal opportunity, Don invoked the Nazi dictator.
“Hitler had concentration camps for gay people. It’s one of the two good things he did [alongside building] autobahns.”
Faine told Don that, generally, once you used Hitler to back up an argument, the argument was lost. Thousands of gay men were being murdered by the Nazi regime.
Executive Director of the Equality Campaign, Tiernan Brady, said LGBTI people were being harmed by the extremes of the debate.
“This type of comment is repugnant to almost every Australian and the values of respect and fairness that have underpinned our nation.
“Sadly it is part of a clear pattern including posters and leaflets that are being circulated across Australia by groups who won’t put their name to them,” he said.
“We must never forget that this is a survey about real people’s lives who just happen to be gay and simply wish to have the same status and dignity in law.”