Media Release 26 February 2013
A poll of New Zealanders has found that only 47% now believe that Parliament should change the definition of marriage, and 43% believe that civil unions are sufficient for same sex couples. The poll also found strong support for laws protecting celebrants, churches and schools if the law is still pushed through. Almost half of NZ’ers believe there should be a Referendum on the issue.
In the poll of 1,000 people undertaken by Curia Market Research this month, respondents were asked “In 2004, Parliament legislated to allow same sex couples to register a civil union, amending over 150 pieces of legislation to give legal rights and recognition to same-sex couples. Do you think Parliament should change the definition of marriage to allow same-sex couples to marry, or do you think civil unions are sufficient for same sex couples?”
Only 47% said that Parliament should change the definition of marriage to allow same-sex couples to marry and 43% said they believed civil unions were sufficient for same sex couples.
49% of respondents said that any changes to the Marriage Act should be subject to a binding referendum, with 41% opposed. Labour supporters were most in favour of a Referendum.
“It is significant that as the debate on redefining marriage has continued, the support for Labour MP Louisa Wall’s bill has steadily dropped. We have got past the slogans of ‘marriage equality’ and ‘discrimination’ and the debate is now centered around the real purpose and role of marriage and the fact that there is actually no discrimination in the law currently,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ, and the Protect Marriage campaign.
The poll also found strong support for protecting those who disagree with same-sex ‘marriage’ if it is redefined:
- 80% of respondents think marriage celebrants should not be forced to perform same-sex weddings if they go against their personal convictions.
- 73% of respondents believe churches and other places of faith should not be required to allow same-sex marriages in their buildings.
- 55% of respondents believe faith-based schools should not be required to teach that same-sex marriage is equal to traditional marriage of a man and a woman, with 33% saying they should.
- 53% oppose and 37% support requiring individual teachers in state schools to teach same-sex marriage is equal to traditional marriage if it goes against their personal beliefs.
Regarding adoption by same-sex couples, respondents were asked “Should families where there is both a mum and a dad have priority for the adoption of babies and children?”, 52% of respondents said that families with both a mum and a dad should have priority for adoptions, with 38% saying they shouldn’t. There was a significant difference by gender with women split almost equally and men strongly in favour of priority for families with a mum and dad. National voters were most in favour of giving priority to heterosexual couples (60%).
“Despite the Select Committee arrogantly riding rough-shod over the overwhelming number of submissions in an attempt to ram this bill through and get it off the political agenda, this latest poll shows that the politicians simply do not have the mandate to change such a major cultural and social institution,” says Mr McCoskrie. “The politicians need to pause, and take a breath.” The poll was carried out during February and has a margin of error of 3.2%.