Overwhelming support for same-sex marriage among Irish public sends clear message to Government to legislate immediately

15 Sep 2010

Wednesday, 15th September 2010: Marriage Equality reiterate it's calls on the Irish Government to legislate for civil marriage for same-sex couples following today's Irish Times / Behaviour Attitudes poll which reveals that 67% of the Irish public believe that gay couples should be allowed to marry. Furthermore, 60% of people do not believe that civil partnership would undermine the institution of marriage.

Moninne Griffith, Director, Marriage Equality said, "This poll is a vitally important piece of research which clearly shows that not only is support for marriage equality for same-sex couples at an all time high, but it has grown in a few short years when compared even to the 2008 Lansdowne Market Research poll, when support was at 61%. The Irish public are keenly aware that the current exclusion of lesbian and gay couples from civil marriage is deeply unfair and doesn't make any sense in today's Ireland."

She continued, "In terms of social attitudes, Ireland is an unrecognisable country from 20 years ago. The fact that 91% said that they wouldn't think less of a person if they were lesbian or gay clearly demonstrates this fact. Put simply, being gay or lesbian isn't such a big taboo, and neither is the subject of gay and lesbian couples getting married. The Irish people are clearly ready for it, so the question must be asked, why do the Irish Government persist in denying the human right to marry?"

Ms Griffith concluded, "That only 46% of the people supported gay adoption indicates to us that Irish people are still uncomfortable with the idea of same-sex couples parenting. Many people in Ireland won't know a gay or lesbian parent, and this makes them unsure about their parenting skills, and about the outcome for the child. However the reality is that there are gay and lesbian mums and dads raising children in happy, loving homes all over Ireland. Last week, Marriage Equality released a report on a workshop called Voices of Children. This workshop was conducted among the adult children of lesbian parents and reflected 40 years of international research which shows that being raised in a lesbian or gay household has no negative outcomes for children. Put simply, there are no differences from being raised by two mums, two dads, or a mother and a father "

Marriage Equality is an organisation working for equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. Further information, including previous research, is available from www.marriagequality.ie.