Campaigners: Australian PM should represent the 71% of her supporters who want gay marriage

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Australian campaigners have “demanded” the Prime Minister act in accordance with public opinion on gay marriage, after a poll which shows 71% of the Prime Minister’s Labor Party voters are in favour of the move.

The statement comes after the Prime Minister re-affirmed her opposition to marriage equality and proposed a conscience vote on the matter.

Labor Senator Doug Cameron told ABC news a conscience vote would not appease gay people and members on the Left of that party.

He said: “I think the position the PM is taking pushes this argument off.

“Anyone who knows how the party operates understands that a vote on the basis of a conscience vote will not deliver change.”

Australian marriage Equality national convener, Alex Greenwich said: “A majority of Australians, and Labor members and voters, want the Prime Minister to lead the country towards equality, not support outcomes designed to scuttle progress”.

“The families and friends of gay and lesbian Australians are demanding the Prime Minister act in accordance with public opinion, human rights and Labor principles, but the only people she’s paying attention to are conservative union boss, Joe De Bruyn, and the tiny Labor faction he speaks for.”

The poll puts national support for marriage equality at 62% (up 5% from Nielsen’s 2010 poll), with 71% of Labor voters supporting the reform.

The support is highest amongst young voters at 80%, and more coalition voters support reform than oppose it (50% for, 44% against).

The release of the poll comes as the Prime Minister affirmed yesterday that her opposition to same-sex marriage is based on the “particular meaning and standing of marriage”, and that she would allow her MPs a conscience vote on the matter based on their beliefs.

Mr Greenwich warned that the Prime Minister’s stance would lead to a voter backlash, but that the party could see a swing of 5% in their favour if they introduce marriage equality.