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Same-sex marriage holds key to Aussie polls

PM Rudd pledges bill within 100 days if voted back to power
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, 2013.
Photo by www.mardigras.org.au

As Australia’s Labor Party launched an election campaign blitzkrieg Sunday, showing its support for marriage equality in the hope of wooing the LGBT community, an advocacy group said support for the issue will be key in deciding the vote of around 1.5 million voters.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has pledged to introduce a marriage-equality bill within 100 days if he is voted to power.

After a social media campaign on gay marriage, Labor Sunday unleashed its glamor arsenal with pop stars like Ricki-Lee, the Veronicas, Fun Machine, and Darren Hayes from Savage Garden supporting the campaign.

The campaign comes in the wake of a national Fairfax Nielsen poll that reported support for same-sex marriages among the 2,545 people it surveyed.

The findings of the poll saw 65 per cent for legalizing same-sex marriage, an 8 per cent improvement since December 2011.

While 75 per cent women threw their weight behind the concept, men were lagging at 55 per cent.

The poll also found younger voters more in favor of such a bill than older ones.

Sixteen per cent said the issue was ‘very important’ for them in deciding which party to vote for.

Australian Marriage Equality (AME) Deputy Director Ivan Hinton said marriage equality was giving voters hope.

‘We are confident this will translate to a parliament that is more supportive of reform than the last one,’ Hinton said in a press statement.

AME is also chipping in, letter-boxing hundreds of thousands of homes across the country and launching its Vote4Love website.

Hinton said in just over one week, AME’s how-to-vote information had been accessed over 30,000 times by people seeking their candidates position on marriage equality.

The LGBT community in Australia has high hopes this year especially with the prime minister seen as supportive of gay rights and his finance minister Penny Wong being in an openly gay partnership.

‘As a nation, we have always progressed towards greater equality, and marriage equality would be another important step in ensuring all Australians are treated equally,’ Wong had told the media.

Hinton said a strategic and cooperative approach from elected supporters of marriage equality will be what helps marriage equality happen sooner than later.

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