Two thirds of Australian Catholics say gay marriage should be legal, despite church leaders demanding they vote no.
Catholics were the most likely people of faith to indicate they would vote yes in the upcoming postal vote, along with non-Christian religions, a new poll found.
The poll commissioned by the Equity Campaign found 66 per cent of the 1,000 respondents planned to vote yes, including 58 per cent of religious people.
Two thirds of Australian Catholics say gay marriage should be legal in new poll
This was despite church leaders like Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart (pictured) demanding they vote no in the plebiscite
Anglicans and Uniting Church were more reticent with 59 per cent in favour, while 79 per cent of those with no religion signalled their support, according to Fairfax.
Marriage equality advocates plan to use the results, by Jim Reed of Newgate Research, to convince Australia’s five million Catholics to vote yes.
They will have to overcome recent directives from church leadership to vote no, and threats against LGBTI members if they got married themselves.
Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart wrote a lengthy and impassioned letter to followers on Thursday urging them to voice their concerns.
Anglicans and Uniting Church were more reticent with 59 per cent in favour, while 79 per cent of those with no religion signalled their support
The poll commissioned by the Equity Campaign found 66 per cent of the 1,000 respondents planned to vote yes, including 58 per cent of religious people
‘Marriage is a natural institution established by God to be a permanent union between one man and one woman, intended towards the formation of a family in which children are born and nurtured,’ he wrote.
A week ago the 76-year-old threatened to sack Catholic employees including teachers, nurses and church workers who entered a same sex marriage.
‘I would be very emphatic that our schools, our parishes exist to teach a Catholic view of marriage. Any words or actions which work contrary to that would be viewed very seriously,’ he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
‘Our teachers, our parish employees are expected totally to uphold the Catholic faith and what we believe about marriage. People have to see in words and in example that our teaching of marriage is underlined.’
Marriage equality advocates plan to use the results to convince Australia’s five million Catholics to vote yes
A week ago Archbishop Hart, who preaches from St Patrick’s Cathedral (pictured), threatened to sack Catholic employees who entered a same sex marriage
Archbishop Hart also earlier this month declared he’d rather go to jail than report child sexual abuse revealed to him on confession.
The new poll was conducted online and asked respondents if they would vote yes or no if they were to cast a ballot in the plebiscite.
Mr Reed said the margin or error in each religious category was eight per cent, and the overall margin of error was three per cent.
A 2014 poll by his former company Crosby/Textor also found two thirds of Catholics would vote yes with 72 per cent in support overall.
A Newspoll last week also found 63 per cent of Australians planned to vote yes.