Two thirds of Spaniards back gay marriage: poll

July 23, 2004

MADRID — Two thirds of Spaniards back moves to legalise same sex marriages, an opinion poll showed Thursday as the Socialist government in the traditionally Catholic country draws up legislation which would allow gay couples to wed.

The Centre for Sociological Investigations (CIS) showed 66.2 % of a random sample of 2,400 people said they felt gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to marry.

Just less than half the sample, 48.2 %, said they thought same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt children with 44.6 % opposed according to the poll conducted in June.

Three quarters of those poll said where children were concerned the overriding factor was the good of the individual child regardless of its guardian's sexual orientation.

Overall, 42.9 % of the poll sample said they believed they were" very tolerant" towards homosexuality, although 40.9 % disagreed.

Since his March election Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has placed the issue near the top of a liberal social agenda.

Although Spanish bishops have spoken out against Zapatero's plans on gay marriages, the CIS poll showed the Catholic Church is steadily losing influence.

According to 88 % of the sample, gays should not be subject to any kind of legal discrimination, although that fell to 79 % when they were asked if homosexuality was as respectable as heterosexuality.

Whereas Spain is nominally 95 % Catholic only 79.1 % of the poll sample defined themselves as such and 48 % said they almost never go to mass.

During the 1939-1975 military dictatorship of General Francisco Franco from 1939-1975 homosexuality was officially banned. – Sapa-AFP

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Spain's Catholic Church campaigns against gay marriage [22/07/2004]



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