Far-ranging survey on changing views in Ireland addresses gay marriage and adoption, gay relatives, voting for gay politicans
A newspaper survey on attitudes about homosexuality and gay rights reveals dramatic changes in Ireland, according to the Irish Examiner.
“In stark contrast with the deeply homophobic atmosphere of relatively recent times, it is clear that public opinion is undergoing major transformation,” the newspaper reported. “Tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality are key features of the national survey, showing that times are changing in a positive manner.”
The far-ranging poll examined popular views on questions such as gay marriage and adoption, wherether homosexuality is right or wrong, how people would react to having a gay relative and whether or not they would vote for a gay politican.
“Overall the responses reflect a ground shift of attitudes with a society where, in the past, young people have literally been driven to sucide because they were afraid of coming out of the closet for fear of being harassed and bullied by their peers,” the newspaper editorialized.
Only 16 percent of the people surveyed said they believed homosexuality was wrong. Men were twice as likely as women to hold that view.
Opinion was more sharply divided on the issue of gay marriage or civil unions, with 51 percent in favor. Women were more likely to favor the option of gay marriages and unions.
Older age groups were more likely to oppose gay rights.
About half said gay men and lesbians should have the right to adopt while 36 percent said they opposed it.
About half of the people surveyed said they would have no problem with a relative being gay, and 67 percent said they would vote for a gay politican.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, February 24, 2006.