Seventy-one percent of Britons approve of their government’s plans to legalise same-sex marriage, according to a new report by Stonewall.
The results echo those of the TVNZ/Colmar Brunton poll released in New Zealand last week, which found that 63 percent of Kiwis think same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.
Stonewall’s 2012 Living Together report, released today by the GLBT equality organisation, surveyed 2074 adults in England, Scotland and Wales between 25 November and 5 December 2011.
It revealed that more than 80 percent of respondents aged between 18 and 50 supported same-sex marriage, as did three in five people of faith.
This support comes despite vocal opposition from many faith leaders, including the Church of England, which today said allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil marriages would “dilute the meaning of marriage for everyone”.
“Recently we’ve heard senior clerics distressingly compare marriage for gay people to polygamy, bestiality and child abuse. This polling holes below the waterline the suggestion that they speak for the majority of Britain’s faith communities and vindicates years of campaigning by Stonewall to change public attitudes,” Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill says.
However, the report also found that in the past five years, nearly two and a half million people have witnessed verbal homophobic bullying at work and 800,000 people in the workplace have witnessed physical homophobic bullying.
Two thirds of those aged 18 to 29 had witnessed homophobic bullying at school.
“Although the research contains good news, it’s also clear there’s a lot of work to be done before 21st century Britain is truly tolerant. We’ll not rest until every single lesbian, gay or bisexual young person grows up in a country where they’re afforded exactly the same dignity and respect as their heterosexual counterparts,” Summerskill says.
The poll also revealed that 83 percent of Britons would have no objection if the first child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – the heir to the throne of England – was gay, lesbian or bisexual.