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Catholic World News

Australians back same-sex marriage in national poll

November 15, 2017

The Australian people have given their support to legal acceptance of same-sex marriage, with 61.6% calling for the move in a nationwide poll.

Although the poll results are not binding, more than 12 million people—over half the nation’s entire population—participated, and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that the results were a clear indication of the popular will. “It is our job now to get on with it and get this done,” he said.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney, who had been forthright in opposing the measure, said that hew as “deeply disappointed” with the result, which was likely to “further deconstruct marriage and family in Australia.” Archbishop Dennis Hart, the president of the Australian bishops’ conference, struck a somewhat more conciliatory tone, saying: “A change in civil law does not change the Catholic understanding of the nature of marriage.”

The Australian bishops are now likely to press legislators for “conscience-clause” protections and assurances that religious bodies will not be required to participate in same-sex ceremonies.

 
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