Thursday 15 March 2012

New Poll reveals Scots oppose Same Sex 'Marriage'

Scottish papers are carrying adverts from the 'Scotland for Marriage' campaign providing details of recent polling on same sex 'marriage':

Since gay and lesbian couples already have the same rights as married
couples available to them under civil partnership, they should not be allowed to redefine marriage for everyone else

AGREE = 53%; DISAGREE = 36%

It is possible to be tolerant of the rights of others and protective of
traditional marriage at the same time

AGREE = 85%; DISAGREE = 9%
Although death or divorce may prevent it I believe that the ideal
situation for a child is to be raised by a married mother and father

AGREE = 69%; DISAGREE = 29%
Someone who defends traditional marriage is discriminating against gays
and lesbians

AGREE = 21%; DISAGREE = 71%

Full details of poll here. Advert here

This suggests a significant switch from the (much trumpeted) Scottish Social Attitudes Survey result in 2010 which showed strong support for same sex 'marriage':

Please tick one box for each statement below to show how much you agree or disagree with it.
Gay or lesbian couples should have the right to marry one another if they want to.

Agree/Agree strongly 61% Disagree/Disagree strongly 19%

So what's going on here? I suspect a number of explanations for the change:

1) People are beginning to realize that the opposition to same sex 'marriage' has nothing to do with homophobia and everything to do with a principled disagreement on the role of marriage in society and particularly on its role in the procreation and education of children.

2) The SSA survey was conducted face to face (although the actual same sex 'marriage' question was self completed). The awareness of how opposition to same sex 'marriage' is commonly regarded as equivalent to homophobia will have undoubtedly prompted a more 'acceptable' response.

3) The wording of the SSA survey might lead people to think that their view of civil partnerships was being examined since they are commonly referred to as 'marriage'. (And we already know that the majority of Scots are in favour of this (55% for, 26% against) (poll here).)

All this on the back of the recent UK poll that shows 70% in favour and only 22% against the following:

Marriage should continue to be defined as a life-long exclusive commitment between a man and a woman.

All encouraging signs that reason is beginning to prevail. However, let's just have that picture again of Scottish politicians keeping on open mind during the consultation period:

The leaders of the Labour Party, Conservatives, Liberals and Greens in Scotland keeping their minds open on the same sex ‘marriage’ consultation whilst signing a pledge to introduce it at a reception held in the Scottish Parliament. (Article here.)

On a related issue, although Austen Ivereigh gets a lot of stick in the Catholic blogosphere, I thought he did extremely well on the Moral Maze programme on Radio 4 last night (14 March) in presenting the case against same sex 'marriage'. (Programme available here.) 

No comments:

Post a Comment