As part of Ipsos-Mori’s Global Advisory Panel this month they focused on Same Sex Marriage and asked their people all around the globe various questions on it and if I’m going to be honest here folks – the results are rather disappointing and in some respects are just flat out worrying. We’ll start with the good news and that is those Scandinavians are pretty awesome but seriously Japan? I thought Japan was a forward thinking country but clearly I was wrong.
Here is the slide about whether people think they should be allowed to marry – and then in turn whether they should be allowed some form of legal recognition but not to marry:
As you can see only 55% of those asked fully backed SSM in the UK with a further 26% comfortable with legal recognition but not in the form of marriage. This to me is a disappointingly low number and doesn’t really resonate with my thoughts on the issue. However look at some other countries with Japan only just seeing 51% of people agreeing that SSM or legal recognition should be in place meaning that 49% of people do not agree with this basic premise.
However those numbers pale into insignificance based on the next slide. This one the statement they have to agree or disagree with is ‘Same-sex marriage is or could be harmful to society’
As you can see here there are three nations – Hungary, South Korea and Poland where 40% or more of people believe SSM will actually be harmful to society. Like for reals. Here in the UK 24% of people think that Same Sex Marriage will actually be harmful to society. I just can’t comprehend such a viewpoint. I know I’m liberal but do one in four people really believe that giving people of the same gender the opportunity to marry really impacts on society as a whole? Seems like codswallop to me.
The next slide I have for you is asking whether couples of the same sex should have the same rights to adopt children as heterosexual couple do:
Here we see overall only 59% of people believe children can be brought up as successfully in a same sex household instead of one with traditional mum’s and dad’s. Overall that is a disturbing figure and here in the UK we are just above that at 65%. For me it is pretty simple – the most important thing is to be in a loving household whether that is a heterosexual couple, a gay couple of either men or women or a single parent family where there is plenty of love and care to go around. That is the key question and not the sexuality of the parents but 35% of people disagree in this country. Look at Poland though. I must say the Poles have disappointed me thoroughly throughout this PPT on my screen.
Next up are same-sex couples as likely as other parents to successfully raise children?
28% of people in the UK believe that they can’t. Why? Honestly why? I just don’t get it and in what isn’t a surprise Poland once more props up this list.
The last slide I’m going to show you is the breakdown of people wh replied to the initial question about SSM:
More women are supportive of SSM (77% to 69%) and the younger you are then the more supportive you are. Also those who earn the most and are most educated are clearly more supportive. The last thing is the more you use Social Media then the more you are likely to back SSM. Is this because on social media we are all exposed to more people and from a larger variety of backgrounds than we are in everyday life or is this just a coincidence based on more young people using social media compared to the older generation?
All I know is these numbers overall shows a disappointing view of humanity. I know there are people who are deeply religious and that in part goes to show why Italy has an interesting set of results here. Also respondents from South Korea and Japan are so far ahead of every other country in saying they personally do not know anyone who is gay or identifies themselves as such and that goes a long way to explaining some of their responses.
To bring this back to the UK though. I know plenty of backbench MPs have been saying they have been receiving 100s of letters and e-mails from constituents saying they disagree with it and these results show maybe they weren’t lying. Maybe a large percentage of Brits are still not ready to move forward – and nearly one in five of them believe that same sex couples should not have any legal recognition. That to be frank is a wholly dispiriting view of our society and I think a good place to end.
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