Ireland’s ‘loud and proud’ public will vote on gay marriage in March
New research has found that the “strong and passionate support” of the public for same-sex marriage is now “largely a matter of public perception” and is “likely to play a key role in the referendum on same-gender marriage” in March.
Key points:In the UK, over the past three decades, only 38% of the population have supported same- gender marriage, while more than 80% have opposed it in the USSource: Irish Times surveyKey pointsThe poll of 1,200 people, conducted between March 7 and 8, found that 65% of respondents had a positive view of same- sex couples.
That’s up from just 43% in 2015.
However, only 30% of people thought that same- sexual relationships were “fairly equal” to opposite-sex ones.
The percentage of people who thought this was “very unlikely” was up from 23% in the last survey, conducted in 2016.
“These figures show that there are significant differences in views on same gender relationships and same-sexual relationships across different countries, which could affect the results of the referendum,” said the study’s lead researcher, Dr Paul Furlong.
“The key finding is that a majority of people in Ireland now think that same gender relations are fairly equal to the same relationships between men and women, and that same sex relationships are not ‘fairly’ equal to opposite sex relationships,” he added.
Furlong, who is a PhD candidate in Irish Politics at Trinity College Dublin, said that while the public was supportive of same sex couples in Ireland, “there is also a strong desire for same sex marriage to be legalised in Ireland.”
We think that public support for gay marriage is largely a matter and a result of public perceptions of the country and the importance of the issues of same gender marriage to the future of the republic,” he said.”
So we are expecting that support to be largely driven by social media activity and by perceptions of where the country stands in the debate.
“He added that while this support for same gender marriages is “broadly shared” across the Irish public, “people’s views vary widely on these issues”.
He said: “In Ireland, support for this issue is most strongly driven by support for equality in law and equality in personal freedoms.”
It is also shared by a range of groups in society.”
However, people’s views on the issue are not uniform across the country, and this is due to the complex nature of the issue.
Dr Furlow said that the survey showed that “the issue of gay rights is a deeply complex issue that affects people across all social classes, ethnicities and beliefs.””
This is also the case in the United Kingdom, where there is widespread support for equal marriage.”
Dr Furlow said that the survey showed that “the issue of gay rights is a deeply complex issue that affects people across all social classes, ethnicities and beliefs.”
And it is important that we understand that we need to look at the issues at the local level and the wider society to get a better sense of the overall public sentiment on the matter.
“He warned that the Irish Government should take the “best advice” it can from experts and consult with local authorities and stakeholders to “create a country where we all live in peace and harmony”.”
The Irish Government must take the advice of experts in the field of public opinion and ensure that public opinion is being informed by a wide range of perspectives, not just those with strong views about the issue,” he warned.
The poll found that over the last three decades the proportion of people with a positive opinion of same sexes and same sexual relationships has increased.
The percentage of those who said that same sexual relations are “fair” to men and “fairness” to women was up to 58% in 2014 and has remained at that level ever since.
The same percentage of the Irish population has also increased from 32% in 2016 to 41% in 2019.
The survey also showed that the majority of Irish people believe that same genders should be able to marry.”
This has been a deeply entrenched opinion in Ireland for many years,” said Dr Furlond.”
Over the past few years, the Government has been working hard to make this happen.
This survey shows that people’s opinion of the proposed legislation is a matter that is largely driven and shaped by the public and social media.
“While there is support for the proposed change, it is not universal.”
Dr Finn said that as a country we need more time to think about the legislation, which is “difficult to put into practice”.
“It may well be that the Government will be able achieve a majority in the Irish Parliament and make the proposed changes, but that is unlikely,” he stressed.
“There is a large amount of work to be done before we are in a position to actually implement the legislation.”