THE Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group has dismissed as flawed and irrelevant a survey that reveals same-sex marriage is one of the least important issues to Tasmanians.
The Save Marriage Coalition survey results, released yesterday, show that legalising same-sex marriage and changing abortion laws are the two least important issues out of 12.
Other issues included health and hospital services, employment, education, public safety and euthanasia.
More than 405 Tasmanians were selected randomly from the White Pages to be surveyed by Myriad Consulting last month, and they were asked via telephone to rank the issue on a scale of one to 10.
Health and hospital services scored the highest with 84.3 per cent of people ranking it as 8, 9 or 10. Changes to abortion law come in 12th with 27.7 per cent of people listing it as 8, 9, or 10.
Same-sex marriage came in 11th and changes to euthanasia laws came in ninth.
Save Marriage Coalition spokesman Guy Barnett said the results made the priorities of Tasmanians clear and the government should end ``the ongoing distraction'' of legalising same-sex marriage. ``We would ask the proponents of same-sex marriage to listen to the Tasmanian community and support the Tasmanian Parliament focus on what is important,'' he said.
However, Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesman Rodney Croome said the survey was flawed and biased.
He said his group would continue its campaign to bring back the same-sex marriage bill.
``It is irrelevant to compare the importance people give jobs, health and education to the importance they give marriage equality, because the former affect everyone while the latter only directly affects a minority of Tasmanians,'' Mr Croome said.
``The best way to get same-sex marriage off the political agenda is to pass it.''
Tasmanian polling company EMRS conducted a poll of 1000 Tasmanians last year and found 61 per cent of people believe same-sex couples should be able to marry.
Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne said it was important that the government responded to issues that mattered to people, and same-sex marriage and abortion laws were two of them.