A SIGNIFICANT number of people support gay marriage and the same legal rights for same-sex partners as de facto heterosexual couples, an opinion poll to be released today has found.
The poll, for the online campaign organisation GetUp!, is believed to be the first poll to record majority support for gay marriage in Australia.
"Australians don't want their gay friends and family to feel like second-class citizens," the executive director of GetUp!, Brett Solomon, said.
"Why is it that when Australians favour equal rights for same-sex couples by more than a 3-to-1 margin, neither major party will give it to them?"
Seventy-one per cent of those polled said legal rights in heterosexual or same-sex relationships should be the same.
Mr Solomon said it was no longer the case that "granting rights to same-sex couples was political suicide. Instead, it is now electoral necessity."