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What Thinking Australians Are Thinking

Same-sex marriage advocates opposing a plebiscite probably have good reason to fear putting the issue to the public. They are probably experiencing a dawning suspicion that their confidently held beliefs are the subject of what psychologists call the false consensus effect.

This posits that groups of individuals with shared and mutually reinforcing views can sometimes become convinced, wrongly, that the wider community shares those views.

Helped by substantial funding for activist groups and relentless professionally directed promotion, SSM certainly gives the appearance of having garnered wide support. But it is the very size and extent of the promotion, and because the issue has never been properly debated, that the extent of genuine support in the wider community remains in doubt. For the same reasons, opinion polls are likely to be distorted and unreliable.

Influenced as they must be by these factors, 150 people in Canberra are highly unlikely to know the collective mind of the nation on such a fundamental social issue. The plebiscite is therefore essential.

Philip Temple, Larrakeyah, NT

It makes sense that new Senator Derryn Hinch would be opposed to spending lots of money on a same-sex marriage plebiscite. Having had five marriages, I imagine he thinks he knows everything there is to know about the institution.
Martin Fitzgerald, Pennant Hills, NSW

NSW Premier Mike Baird falls down the stairs in the family home and investigators conclude that gravity was a factor. A man wielding a knife kills a female associate, grievously wounds a male who intervenes, and butchers a dog, while shouting “Allahu akbar”, and authorities contend that it may not have been an act of Islamic terrorism.
John McHarg, Maylands, WA

A woman throws a banana at a sporting event, is immediately denounced, prima facie, as a racist. A man commits murder and mayhem while shouting “Allahu akbar”, and the official response is to deny that this could possibly have anything to do with Islam or Islamic extremism.
David Norrish, St Kilda, Vic

Would Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane encourage me to take action under the Racial Discrimination Act because as a white, heterosexual, God worshipping male, I am continually offended by the leftist media and LGBTI community?
Ron Reichwald, Frankston, Vic

In December 2013, Senator Nick Xenophon demanded that Qantas boss Alan Joyce be sacked. This week Joyce unveiled the airline’s record profit. Will the senator now do the right thing and say sorry?
I. C. Cameron, Northbridge, WA

My vote is for Alan Joyce as business leader of the year. He has returned Qantas to being a company of which all Australians can be proud. What an emphatic response to politicians such as Nick Xenophon and Doug Cameron who just two years ago were calling for Joyce’s blood. If they had their wishes it is unlikely there would be a Qantas today.
John King, Birchgrove, NSW

How can a university have an area off limits to non-indigenous students? Isn’t that racial discrimination? Isn’t it offensive, humiliating, insulting to others on grounds of race and ethnicity?
John Partridge, Manly, NSW

The Safe Schools program is getting interesting. According to Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, critics of the program are bigots who should “be ashamed of themselves in terms of their views”. So, the petition to the NSW parliament would suggest that the Chinese and Indian communities are riven with bigots. So how do we settle a dispute between a minority group of shameful bigots and a minority group of shameless bullies?
David Meredith, Singleton, NSW