A majority of people in several European countries believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to get married and adopt children, but in France the public is divided on same-sex marriage and a slim majority (51%) are against allowing gay couples to adopt. The findings came ahead of a rally this weekend by a coalition of religious groups, muslim organisations and some gay groups in Paris against the government’s plans to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption.
Support for same-sex marriage is highest in Denmark and Sweden, at 79%, and lowest in France where 47% are in favour of allowing gay couples to wed, while 41% are opposed and 12% say they don’t know. In Britain, 55% support same-sex marriage, 32% are opposed and 13% don’t know.
The findings come from the latest YouGov EuroTrack survey, a multi-country study tracking public opinion in the UK, Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway.
The poll also revealed that a majority of people in every country surveyed believe same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt children, but in France a slim majority are opposed. Support for gay adoption is strongest in Sweden, at 65%, in contrast to only 38% of people in France who are in favour. 51% of the French public think same-sex couples should not be allowed to adopt children, and 12% say they don’t know. In Britain, 53% of people believe gay couples should be permitted to adopt children, 31% are opposed and 16% don’t know.
Commenting on the results, Head of Political Research for YouGov France Suzanne Ter-Minassian, said:
“French public opinion is increasingly divided over the issue of gay marriage and adoption, as this issue has become a steppingstone for the opposition since François Hollande’s election. Public opinion tends to follow party lines, with 65% of Socialist Party supporters being in favour of same-sex adoption, versus 29% of UMP voters and only 11% for those who support the far right Front National. No doubt the enduring influence of the Catholic Church in France is also shaping the debate, but the results of our poll indicate that in the main this is a political issue.”