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Survey shows 70% support for same-sex marriages in Northern Ireland

By David Young

Published 29/06/2016

Same-sex marriage has overwhelming support in Northern Ireland, a pressure group has said after the release of a new survey. File image
Same-sex marriage has overwhelming support in Northern Ireland, a pressure group has said after the release of a new survey. File image
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Same-sex marriage has overwhelming support in Northern Ireland, a pressure group has said after the release of a new survey.

Love Equality spokesman John O'Doherty welcomed the poll by Ipsos MORI that found 70% of people here backed gay marriage.

"This poll demonstrates that not only is there overwhelming support for marriage equality in Northern Ireland, but that support is only increasing over time," he said.

"It is clear that the people of Northern Ireland agree with us that marriage equality is one of the defining civil rights issues of our time and that it should immediately be made law.

"Those who continue to prevent marriage equality in Northern Ireland are not going to succeed. All they are doing before its inevitable introduction are merely enacting an injustice against their own citizens and worsening Northern Ireland's already abysmal reputation regarding LGBT rights."

The research found that 70% of people polled agreed with the statement that "homosexual couples should be allowed to marry each other".

That marks a slight rise on the 2015 figure of 68%.

A total of 22% of those polled disagreed, compared to 27% in 2015, while 8% were in the 'don't know' category compared to 6% last year.

However, more than three-quarters (77%) of females polled agree that homosexual couples should be permitted to marry, while fewer males (63%) think the same way.

Age also affected attitudes. More than four in five (85%) of 16-34 year olds agree with the principle of same-sex marriage while those aged 65 and over are less sure (47%).

Meanwhile, four in five (80%) respondents from a Catholic community background agreed that homosexual couples should be allowed to marry, compared to 60% of those from a Protestant upbringing.

Support for same-sex marriage also varied between supporters of various political parties, with the Alliance Party reaching 83% and Sinn Fein 80%.

Three-quarters (76%) of SDLP supporters agreed that same sex couples should be allowed to marry, while among UUP and DUP supporters the percentages were 62% and 50% respectively.

Ipsos MORI polled a representative sample of 1,029 people aged 16+ in Northern Ireland.

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