On November 15, 2017 the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced the results of the voluntary postal survey on marriage equality. A resounding 61.6% of respondents voted YES to 38.4% voting NO from a pool of 12,727,920 eligible voters.
The main points to highlight from the survey were that the division of Melbourne and the division of Sydney recorded the highest proportion of YES votes – 83.7%. Conversely the division of Blaxland, in Western Sydney, recorded the highest proportion of NO votes – 73.9%.
The ABC surveyed politicians from all parties and parliamentary houses earlier this year about their voting intentions about support for Same Sex Marriage legislation. In light of the survey results, it’s interesting to compare the politicians' sentiment with that of their constituents. The map below shows the breakdown by electoral division across Australia. Click on a division to see the YES/NO split, the sitting member and their voting sentiment.
It’s now over to the Australian Parliament to fulfill the will of the people.
Source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Electoral Commission. © Commonwealth of Australia, 2017.
With the Federal Government mail out commencing on Tuesday 12th September, it’s timely that we explore some of the dimensions of this issue.
The map below shows where in the world it is legal for same-sex couples to marry, together with variations in public sentiment about the appropriateness of same-sex marriage. For example, in many countries throughout Asia and Africa it is still illegal for same-sex couples to marry, whilst in Europe, North America and parts of South America it is accepted practice. Public support of marriage equality is greatest in Europe and North America, and least in south-east Asia and India.
Click on a country on the map to see the relative sentiment towards same-sex marriage.
Source: Wikipedia user Kwamikagami. Retrieved 2017/09/08. Link.
There have been attempts in the past to legalise same-sex marriage in parts of Australia, notably in Tasmania in September 2010, which lasted one week before the then Federal Government overruled the legislation.
In fact, until the Marriage Act was changed by the Howard Government in 2004 by defining that marriage was an act between a man and a woman, same-sex marriage was not specifically outlawed in Australia. Note that the Marriage Act Amendment Bill in 2004 was passed with bipartisan support.
According to the 2016 Australian Census, there were 46,800 same-sex couples in Australia, a jump of over 13,000 since 2011.
A recent poll (September 5th, 2017) by the Essential Report saw that 59% of Australians support changing the law to allow same-sex couples to marry.
As we near the time to indicate our preferences regarding this issue, the raucous debate between same-sex marriage and religious freedom is becoming louder. It’s fascinating to compare the liveliness of this debate as it plays out on the social media platform of Twitter. The map below shows geo-located tweets regarding #MarriageEquality and #SSM (in blue) and #religiousfreedom (in red). Start tweeting to get shown on the map.
Equally fascinating is the trend between Google searches for ‘same-sex marriage’ (blue) and ‘religious freedom’ (red). Start searching to affect the data in the graph - updated live.
Another great data visualisation brought to you by Spatial Vision – if you want to know more about our data visualisation services please contact us at Spatialvision.com.au