Malcolm Turnbull insists the vast majority of Australians have dealt with the same-sex marriage survey civilly and respectfully - including Tony Abbott.
The prime minister acknowledges that a "tiny percentage" have behaved poorly but says it's part of a democracy and giving people a say.
"There are people that say mean things and do mean things and do illegal things but we still have elections," he told Ten's The Project on last night.
"This survey doesn't have a precedent, it's new, but it is democratic and the vast majority of Australians have embraced it with enthusiasm."
Mr Turnbull said he didn't agree with Mr Abbott's push to ban American rapper Macklemore from singing a gay anthem at Sunday's NRL grand final.
Such a view was inconsistent with the liberal approach to free speech but nevertheless, was expressed "civilly" by Mr Abbott.
"There have been a few ugly incidents in the debate about legalising same-sex marriage but the vast majority of people - 99.999 per cent - have dealt with this issue respectfully and civilly as Australians do."
Mr Abbott's latest intervention was echoed by North Queensland MP Bob Katter, who accused the NRL of using the decider to "promote their sexual proclivities".
"That is an insult and an offence to every single follower of rugby league in this country," he told ABC's 7.30 program last night.
Attorney-General George Brandis labelled Mr Abbott's stance "bizarre", while Macklemore himself said he was going to "go harder" amid the furore.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said he doesn't regret choosing the rapper, labelling it one of the bravest decisions the league has made for pre-match entertainment.