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CV publishes first ever poll of gay attitudes to same-sex marriage
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NB Re sample size, margin of error, etc. -- see "background note" below.
The first ever professionally-conducted poll of gay people’s attitudes to same-sex marriage reveals that for more than 6 out of 10 gay people in the UK, ‘true equality’ in marriage means being able to marry in places of worship – something which the coalition government says its proposed legislation will not allow.
• More than a quarter (26%) believe there is no need to change the law on marriage because civil partnerships give the same rights, while fewer than half agree with Stonewall’s view that not allowing same-sex marriage worsens public attitudes to gay people.• Almost half believe “David Cameron is only trying to extend marriage to LGBT people to make his party look more compassionate rather than because of his convictions”, while only 19% disagree.• More than two-thirds (77%) of gay people disagree that marriage should be only between a man and a woman, and the same number (72%) believe “marriage is more about love between two people than it is about rearing children”.• But only half (50%) of the LGB population think it is important to extend marriage to same-sex couples, while just over one in four (27%) would marry their partner if the law allowed it – just one percentage point more than those not in a civil partnership who would seriously consider one.• A clear majority (61%) of gay people believe that “true equality” would mean same-sex couples could marry in religious, as well as civil, locations – and a third (35%) believe in forcing faith groups to perform same-sex weddings.
"Perhaps now we can have the debate we should have had all along: about whether this really is a good thing for society; whether there is a compelling public case for a radical redefinition of a foundational civil-society institution; whether the state has a mandate for this at all. The current definition of marriage in law is the fruit of prudence and has real benefits. Marriage as always understood sends society vital messages about the importance of children being raised by their natural parents. There is no mandate for this change – even among those who are supposed to benefit from it.”
“This poll confirms yet again that only a handful of people are pushing the Government to redefine marriage. Even amongst those within the gay community, there is no majority who thinks that this is a priority. The gay community’s skepticism about the PM’s motives echoes the views in the wider population. Former Labour Minister Ben Bradshaw was absolutely right when he described these plans as ‘pure politics’. The Government should ditch these proposals, which are profoundly undemocratic and have never been put before the British public."