Most Swedes favor legalising gay marriage: poll

March 01, 2004

STOCKHOLM — While gays in Sweden have been accorded the same rights as married couples through "registered partnerships," 61 % of Swedes say gays should be allowed to formally tie the knot, a poll said Monday.

Only 30 % of 1,011 Swedes polled opposed legalizing gay marriage, while 8 % were undecided, according to the Gallup survey conducted between February 23 and 27 and published in the daily Svenska Dagbladet.

Women appeared to have a much more liberal outlook than men, with 67 % of the females polled in favor of legalizing the practice compared to 54 % of their male counterparts.

The poll also revealed that younger Swedes were more liberal on the question than older people.

Sweden has since 1995 permitted "registered partnerships" between same-sex couples, giving gays the same rights as heterosexual spouses.

But while many Swedes already refer to gay civil union ceremonies as weddings, and although some ministers have conducted same-sex marriage ceremonies, the Swedish church as a whole does not condone the practice.

Gay marriage, likely to become a hot issue in this year's US presidential election, generally stirs little emotion in Europe although few countries have accepted it. – Sapa-AFP

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Most European countries recognise same-sex marriages [31/07/2003]



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