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Poll on Gay Marriage

Published:11 December 2012
Fieldwork:8 - 10 December 2012
Keywords:Gay couples, Gay marrriage, Homosexuality, Lesbian, Same-sex marriage
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Around three quarters (73%) of British adults think gay people should be allowed to get married to each other while a quarter (24%) do not want to allow gay marriage according to a new Ipsos MORI poll for Freedom to Marry.

The most popular choice is to allow gay marriage but not to require religious organisations to provide wedding ceremonies (45%). This is the most popular choice for most demographic groups (such as age, class, party support, region)

Generally older people are more likely to be against gay marriage while young people are more in favour:

  • 15% of 18-34s are opposed to gay marriage while 38% of 65+ do
  • 82% of 18-34s are in favour, compared to 59% of those aged 65+

Conservative supporters are more likely than Labour or Liberal Democrats to say gay people should have civil partnerships only (25%, 13%, 13% respectively) and are less likely to support forcing religious organisations to conduct ceremonies (18% Conservatives, 26% Labour supporters, 37% Lib Dems)

However, allowing gay marriage and not forcing religious organisations to conduct ceremonies is the most popular option among Conservatives as it is for Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters (46%, 53%, 48% respectively).

Tom Mludzinski, Deputy Head of Political Research at Ipsos MORI said:

“Our new poll shows that most Britons support gay marriage, though the most popular option is to allow religious organisations the freedom to opt-out of conducting ceremonies. What is particularly clear is the generational divide, with the young and middle aged far more pro-gay marriage than older generations.”

Technical note

Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,023 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 8th to 10th December 2012. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population. Where percentages do not sum to 100 this may be due to computer rounding, the exclusion of “don’t know” categories, or multiple answers.

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Gideon Skinner
Gideon Skinner

Head of Political Research

Tom Mludzinski
Tom Mludzinski

Former Deputy Head of Political Research