For release: 24 August, 2011

The Australian Christian Lobby said today’s report back in Parliament on constituents views on same-sex marriage showed that the community wasn’t in favour of changing the definition of marriage.

Managing Director Jim Wallace said of the 30 MPs who spoke in Parliament today, 18 said an extraordinary majority in their electorates supported retaining the current definition of marriage, six said they favoured changed and six didn’t indicate the numbers in their electorate.

“The numbers in support of the traditional definition of marriage were overwhelming,” said Mr Wallace.

“For example, in the Federal seat of Hinkler Paul Neville reported support for marriage staying the same was 595 to 14; in the seat of Dawson George Christensen reported 456 to 78; in the seat of O’Connor the member Tony Crook reported 523 to 115; in Deakin the member Mike Symon reported 1015 to 65, in Blair the member Shayne Neumann reported 580 to 115; in Cook Scott Morrison reported 850 to 50; in the seat of Cowan the member Luke Simpkins reported 903 to 103 and in Fowler the member Chris Hayes said 90 per cent of his electorate supported marriage.

“It’s hard to imagine that won’t convert into a very significant level of support across the great majority of electorates.

“Only six people in the morning session indicated their electorates were for same-sex marriage, but all but two of those didn’t seem to have eliminated activists' emails from outside the electorate.

“Importantly, many MPs reported on the attempts by the gay lobby to warp the polls by clearly organised voting from outside the electorates,” he said, “with one saying he had had to discount at least 700 emails when they were found to be external to his electorate.

“People speaking in support of marriage have been continually demonised as homophobic and bigoted by the gay lobby and in a minority,” said Mr Wallace.

“But this should give everyone heart that whatever happens in the rest of this debate, that where people can silently put their view without fear of intimidation, there is very strong support for retaining marriage, especially given the numbers as high as 90 per cent of the electorate given by some MPs.

“This is not a matter of discrimination – it is about retaining a definition that is clearly very important to a great number of people,” said Mr Wallace.