SUPPORTERS: Gay rights activists protest in favour of same-sex marriage in Sydney last September.
SUPPORTERS: Gay rights activists protest in favour of same-sex marriage in Sydney last September. RICHARD Milnesnew Zulaaap

Nats seats prefer parliament vote to gay marriage plebiscite

VOTERS in three key National party-held seats have rejected a proposed plebiscite on marriage equality, opting for a vote in federal parliament.

A poll commissioned by Australian Marriage Equality asked 1200 voters in Capricornia (Queensland), New England (NSW) and Gippsland (Victoria) their views on the issue.

It found 57% opposed a plebiscite - or non-binding national vote - and 28% supported the proposal.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has proposed a plebiscite, backing the original proposal by former PM Tony Abbott, to prevent what could be a divisive vote in parliament.

AME director Rodney Croome said the organisation's poll showed regional and rural Australians wanted money spent on "essential services like hospitals", not wasted on a "pointless opinion poll".

Mr Croome said it was time for Mr Turnbull - a stated supporter of marriage equality - to allow a free vote for Liberal MPs in Canberra.



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