independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Strong support for same-sex marriage in poll

Man placing ring on another man's finger
Almost two thirds of Irish people do not believe that those who oppose same sex marriage rights are homophobic, a new poll has revealed. (Stock photo)

Almost two thirds of Irish people do not believe that those who oppose same sex marriage rights are homophobic, a new poll has revealed.

And three quarters would support the introduction of same sex marriage if a vote on the issue was held tomorrow.

The Cabinet has committed to hold a referendum on same sex marriage before the summer of 2015.

While support for same sex marriage remains unchanged in the past three months, there are drastic differences in attitudes to homophobia in Ireland.

When asked what way they would vote if a referendum on same sex marriage was held tomorrow, 76pc of respondents to the Red C poll said that they would vote in favour of changing the constitution to recognise same sex marriage rights.

Just 19pc of those surveyed said they would vote against same sex marriage and 5% of those asked remained undecided.

However, the group was almost evenly split when asked if they had reservations when it came to same sex marriage, despite believing that gay people should have equal rights.

Almost half (49pc) agreed that they had reservations, finely balanced against 51pc who did not have reservations about the matter.

Meanwhile 59pc of people disagreed that those who oppose same sex marriage rights are homophobic

Some 80pc of respondents agrede with the statement that “People in same sex relationships should be able to have the same rights as traditional families.”

When queried on whether they had reservations about gay couples adopting children, 41pc agreed that they had “some reservations” with 51pc stating that they had no such issues.

More than 1,500 couples have secured civil partnerships in Ireland since they were introduced in 2010.

The constitutional convention voted in April 2013 to recommend a change in the Constitution to allow for same-sex couples to have a full civil marriage and not just civil partnerships.

The latest poll was commissioned by RTE ‘Prime Time’ and ‘The Sunday Business Post’. It was carried out among a random sample of over 1,000 adults between February 17-19, 2014.

Joanna Kiernan

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