Most adults in developed countries support gay marriage or some kind of legal recognition for same-sex couples, according to an Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.
Of the 12,484 adults questioned in the survey, 52 percent of people favour full marriage equality for gays and 21 percent support legal recognition but not marriage. “What we see is that in every one of the 16 countries we surveyed, there is a majority in favour of allowing same sex couples to have some sort of legal recognition,” observed Nicolas Boson, a senior vice president at Ipsos. “In nine out of 16 countries we see an outright majority in favour of full marriage equality.”
Sweden, Norway, Spain, Belgium, Canada and France – all countries where same-sex marriage is legal – showed majority support for full equality for same sex couples, as did most Germans, Britons and Australians. However, in Argentina, which also recognises gay marriage, only 48 percent of people favoured marriage equality for gay couples.
Almost 60 percent of adults polled believed gay couples should have the same adoption rights as heterosexuals and 64 percent thought same-sex couples were equally likely to raise children successfully. It would seem that this is not a view shared by Russia, where homophobia has, historically, proved prevalent. The Russian parliament is currently deliberating a law which would eventually forbid homosexual couples and single people from adopting Russian children, even if their own countries have legalised same-sex marriage.
The impact of social media and religion
Within the 16 nations polled, social media and religion were shown to impact upon attitudes toward gay marriage and equal rights for same-sex couples. According to the survey, people who are active on social media are more likely to support same-sex couples. In contrast, only 27 percent of people who align to a religion were likely to express support for a legal status for same-sex couples. “Poland has the most opposition to adoption to same-sex couples and it is probably one of the most religious countries in the survey,” said Boyon.
Although only 14 percent of the adults questioned in the poll objected to same-sex marriage or any type of legal recognition, opposition was notably highest in Hungary, South Korea, Poland and Japan, with 37 percent of those questioned saying they were unsure about how they felt. In Japan just 5 percent of people said they knew someone who was lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) and in South Korea the number dropped to 3 percent. “It is likely there is still a stigma attached to the issue in those countries,” said Boyon.
The US is the next country due to rule on same-sex marriage, with the Supreme Court set to announce their decision later this month.