70% against redefining marriage, poll shows

The Government’s plan to redefine marriage in order to open it to same-sex couples could face serious opposition from the general public, according to a poll commissioned by Catholic Voices which is published today, a week before the Government begins its official consultation on the matter.

Seven out of 10 British people believe that marriage should continue to be defined as a lifelong union between a man and a woman, and more than eight out 10 think children have the best chance in life when raised by their biological parents, the ComRes online survey of more than 2,000 people found. The poll also found that people think the state should promote marriage, and that most people support the idea of civil partnerships.

“The results show that most people support the idea of civil partnerships for gay people while being firm that marriage should remain between a man and a woman,” said Austen Ivereigh, Catholic Voices coordinator. “The survey also shows that most people understand marriage to be a conjugal institution, which benefits children above all.”

The poll results, which can be read at the ComRes site, come at the beginning of a concerted attempt by the Catholic Church to mobilise opinion against the move. Last week, bishops urged people to sign the Campaign for Marriage petition. This weekend a letter signed by Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster and Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark, is to be read in all churches in England and Wales.

The poll is published today together with a Catholic Voices briefing paper which sets out the common-good case against same-sex marriage. ‘In defence of conjugality: the common-good case against same-sex marriage’ spells out the meaning of marriage, the reasons that it is promoted  by the state, and the impact of dethroning that ideal.

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