Majority of Irish people in favour of gay marriage

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An Irish poll on social attitudes has suggested that most people agree with marriage equality and would not think less of a person for being gay or lesbian.

However, more than a third remain against gay couples adopting children and trans people changing their birth certificates.

The Irish Times /Behaviour Attitudes demographically-weighted survey of 1,006 people found that 67 per cent agreed with allowing gay couples to marry and 60 per cent agreed that the recently-passed civil partnerships legislation did not undermine heterosexual marriage.

Ninety-one per cent said they would not think less of a person who came out as lesbian and gay.

Support was slightly lower for gay couples adopting children, with only 46 per cent of respondents agreeing with this. Thirty-eight per cent said they should not be allowed to adopt, while 16 per cent said they were unsure.

A similar level of approval was found when respondents were asked whether transgender people should be allowed to change their birth certificates to reflect their new gender.

Forty-eight per cent said they should be allowed to do so, while 39 per cent said they should not and 13 per cent did not know.

Ireland is to introduce legislation to allow trans people to change their birth certificates after trans woman Lydia Foy won a 13-year legal battle over the issue in June.

Moninne Griffith, director of Ireland’s Marriage Equality group, said: “The Irish public are keenly aware that the current exclusion of lesbian and gay couples from civil marriage is deeply unfair and doesn’t make any sense in today’s Ireland.

“Put simply, being gay or lesbian isn’t such a big taboo, and neither is the subject of gay and lesbian couples getting married. The Irish people are clearly ready for it, so the question must be asked, why do the Irish government persist in denying the human right to marry?”

Ireland’s first civil partnerships are to take place in January, although gay rights groups have raised concerns that they do not enough recognition and support of children whose parents are gay.

The rights the law will give include protections and obligations across areas such as protection of the couple’s shared home, domestic violence, residential tenancies, succession, refugee law, pensions, taxation, social welfare and immigration.