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Asia Minute: Australia's Same Sex Marriage Debate

Asia Minute: Australia's Same Sex Marriage Debate

Australian rugby star Israel Folau‏ says he does not support gay marriage.

But, she added, "For some people at least who wish to change, the study shows there is no harm".

It comes after significant public concern earlier this week that their vote in the same-sex marriage survey may not be a secret.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has come out in support for the "yes" campaign at an event in Sydney on September 10.

Australia has introduced laws aimed at preventing hate speech during a national debate on legalising same-sex marriage.

All Australian citizens are legally required to participate in referendums with the country now readying itself for a non-binding vote on whether same-sex marriage should be legalised.

The legislation was introduced because the survey is not covered by the usual safeguards governing elections in Australia.

Folau refuses to back Wallabies' support for gay marriage

But two past conservative prime ministers, Tony Abbott, who remains a government lawmaker, and John Howard, both oppose the change.

Political scientist Shaun Ratcliff said there was a clear national-wide statistical trend towards larger population centres being more supportive of the marriage equality cause.

Dan Nolan reposted an image that has been circulating online of a vote form ticked "no" being illuminated through an envelope with a torch to his Twitter on Wednesday.

Between May 2016 and July 2016, Vote Compass asked 770,394 Australians a similar question to the marriage equality survey - whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement: "Marriage should only be between a man and a woman".

Mayman called on church leaders who are part of the "no" campaign to distance themselves from Shelton's claims.

"I'm confident in the judgment of the Australian people", he said.

Folau's views polarised the Twittersphere, including a stack of responses that criticised him over his stance after he became one of the first high-profile sportspeople to publicly voice his opposition against same-sex marriage.

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