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Australian Support of Marriage Equality Drops After Antigay Campaigning

Straight Lives Matter

Homophobic ads -- and demonstrations like a Straight Lives Matter rally -- have been undermining support for same-sex marriage.

Support for same-sex marriage has fallen in Australia.

A new poll from The Guardian ahead of the nation's vote on the issue shows that 55 percent of Australians are for same-sex marriage -- a 4-percentage-point drop from its former high of 59 percent.

Meanwhile, opposition to same-sex marriage has increased from 31 percent to 34 percent.

The shift in public occurred after an aggressive round of antigay campaigning, including posters that liken gay people to child molesters and bizarre advertisements that promote false claims -- like that marriage equality will lead to schools offering "mandatory" gay sex education as well as cross-dressing.

That's not to mention the flood of misinformation-spreading robocalls from Ted Cruz's pollster, homophobic screeds from tennis champion Margaret Court, and a Straight Lives Matter demonstration planned by a far-right group at a memorial site honoring gay victims of the Holocaust.

"They want marriage because they want to destroy it," said Court, now a Pentecostal minister. "There will be no Mother's Day, there will be no Father's Day, there will be no Easter, there will be no Christmas."

The bright side? In the survey, participants who favor same-sex marriage indicated they are more committed to voting (71 percent) than those who oppose it (60 percent).

Regardless, the voluntary mail-in ballot, due by November 7, is nonbinding. Australia's Parliament may take the results into consideration, but the people's vote will not determine the fate of same-sex marriage Down Under.

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