August 13, 2011

IconFigures show Scottish support for equal marriage

A major survey has revealed that almost two-thirds of the Scottish population believe that gay marriage should be legal.

61% of respondents in the 2010 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey agreed that “gay or lesbian couples should have the right to marry one another if they want to”. 19% of respondents said that they disagreed with the statement, whilst 18% neither agreed nor disagreed.

The figures represent a continuing shift in Scottish attitudes. 41% of respondents supported same-sex marriage in 2002, whilst 53% backed the idea in 2006.

“These results show that a Scottish government bill on equal marriage would have broad popular support,” said Tim Hopkins of the Equality Network. “The Scottish government should ensure that their consultation on marriage equality starts quickly, and should be prepared to move to legislation as the next step.”

The Scottish National Party has promised a consultation on same-sex marriage later this year. However, some party members have openly opposed the idea.

Trans people, travellers and ethnic minorities fared less well in the 2010 survey. 55% of respondents said that they would be unhappy if a member of their family formed a relationship with someone who cross-dresses in public. 37% said the same of gypsies and travellers, whilst 31% said that ethnic minority groups “take jobs away from Scots”.

The annual Scottish Social Attitudes Survey involves a representative sample of around 1500 participants.

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Ruth Pearce

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