There is extensive evidence that the US is moving to embrace full equality for lesbian and gay couples, and that Catholics are more supportive than the population at large. American Evangelicals though, remain (mostly) hostile. There has not been nearly as much polling for the UK, but a new survey shows even more support than in the US – including from 61% of all Christians.
61% of Christians back equal rights for gay couples
Results of a poll released today say 61% of people in the UK who identify as Christian back fully equal rights for gay couples.
The 2011 Ipsos MORI study explored the “beliefs, knowledge and attitudes” of people who identified as Christian after the nationwide census last year.
74% of respondents said as Christians they thought religion should not have a special influence on public life.
The survey was conducted on behalf of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.
Six in ten respondents, 61%, agreed that gays should have the same rights in all aspects of their lives as straight people.
Only 29% said they disapproved of sexual relationships between gays. Nearly half said they did not actively disapprove.
– full report at PinkNews.co.uk.
A word of caution here, is that the survey was sponsored by the explicitly secularist Richard Dawkins Foundation, which is using the results to demonstrate that the UK is a secular society, and not a “Christian country”. It does not appear to have released the full questionnaire or tables. The only results currently available are those selected for inclusion in the press release by the Foundation. In particular, the description “Christian” appears to be used for those who describe themselves as such – many of whom do not actively practice their religion.
There is no reason to disregard the main thrust of the finding though, which is in agreement with what previous research is available. British opinion is firmly on the side of LGBT inclusion – and that includes those who think of themselves Christian.
“Public acceptance of same-sex marriage has grown at an accelerating pace, with approval jumping by nine percentage points in the past two years and the nation now evenly divided on the issue, according to a new Pew Research Center survey released Thursday.
The poll, conducted in late September and early October, showed 46% of Americans surveyed support legalizing same-sex marriage and 44% are opposed. The survey among 2,410 adults has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.
A majority of (New Zealnd) voters support changing the law to allow gay couples to adopt children, according to the latest Herald-DigiPoll survey.
Labour and the Greens have pushed the rights of gay people as an election issue, but the National Party has sidelined them as not a priority.
Adoption in New Zealand is governed by the Adoption Act 1955, and Labour and the Greens say the law needs of an update.
More than half – 54.3 per cent – of the poll respondents said the law should be changed to allow gay couples to adopt children, 38 per cent disagreed, and 7.7 per cent did not know or refused to answer.
Green MP Kevin Hague
Green MP Kevin Hague, who has started a cross-party group to find political consensus on gay issues, said the result was pleasing.
“It’s great to see that most New Zealanders now support this, and I’m confident that once it’s in place, that majority will increase even more.
“What should be at the centre of adoption laws is putting the interests of the child first. To do that you’ve got to have all the options on the table.”
“A new statewide poll by the University of Washington Center for Survey Research found most voters would support a state gay marriage law if it’s approved by the Legislature.
Of voters surveyed, 55 percent indicated they would uphold a Legislature-approved same-sex marriage law if it were challenged by referendum. The poll found 38 percent would oppose the law and 7 percent were undecided.
However, additional questions in the poll found that 44 percent of voters surveyed said gays and lesbians should have the same legal right as straight couples to marry; and 22 percent said they should have the same legal rights as married couples, but it should not be called marriage.
State Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, and Rep. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, have said they’re considering a push for gay marriage in the next regular session in January. Both men have worked on gay rights issues for years and have been building incrementally toward gay marriage.
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