Israel Folau tweets his opposition to same-sex marriage

HENRY BROWNE  REUTERS 
 
   Israel Folau left and David Pocock are Wallabies teammates but on different sides of the marriage equality debate

Although Turnbull previously expressed support for the vote for same-sex marriage, it was the first time that he has campaigned publicly for the "yes" side.

A recent online NewsMail poll garnered 1301 votes with 67% in favour of same-sex marriage and 32% against changing the status quo.

The automated call purports to be a survey, which asks receivers a series of questions related to the nation's upcoming postal vote on marriage equality, including whether and how the respondent plans to vote.

And an emotional Shelley Argent - a same-sex marriage campaigner and a plaintiff in the other challenge - begged the LGBTI community to "please stand strong, because we will win this".

The prime minister, who had been an ardent advocate of taking a vote, is encouraging Australians to vote "yes" on same-sex marriage.

He said although these statistics are useful as a guide, they aren't able to provide a truly accurate picture of how the country will vote in a voluntary postal survey on same-sex marriage with differing motivations to be involved.

Folau refuses to back Wallabies' support for gay marriage
'Respect is king': Cheika

Same-sex voting cards have begun arriving in letterboxes around the country this week.

Critics of the government's approach have argued that the public should see how these rights would be protected in proposed legislation before they decide whether gay marriage should go ahead.

"It is precisely because parliament should reflect the will of the people that the people are entitled to know what, if anything, the government will do on protections before they vote", Mr Howard said.

Political scientist Shaun Ratcliff said there was a clear national-wide statistical trend towards larger population centres being more supportive of the marriage equality cause.

"The Business Council has long supported moves towards a fairer and more inclusive society, and I hope the tone of this debate reflects our values of tolerance and respect", Mr King wrote.

"We call on all leaders of the Church who are encouraging a "no" vote to publicly reject Mr Shelton's unsafe and damaging words".

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