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Record Support for Same-Sex Marriage in Scotland

On the day that Scotland’s historic equal marriage legislation comes into effect a new study by ScotCen Social Research 68 percent supportreveals that public support for same-sex marriage in Scotland is at a record high and opposition at a record low.

The 2014 Scottish Social Attitudes survey published today has revealed that 68% of people in Scotland now agree that same-sex couples should have the right to marry while 17% remain opposed – a majority of four to one.

The Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, considered one of the most robust studies of public opinion in Scotland, has shown a dramatic rise in support for same-sex marriage and steady decline in opposition since the survey was started in 1999. Previous surveys revealed 61% support and 19% opposition in 2010, 53% support and 21% opposition in 2006, and 41% support and 29% opposition in 2002.

You can read the full ScotCen Social Research breakdown at: www.equality-network.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/141216_SSA-_Same-Sex-Marriage-Brief.pdf

Today’s results are in line with previous opinion polls in Scotland undertaken by every major pollster. A poll conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Equality Network in June 2012 showed 64% of Scots were in favour of same-sex marriage and 26% opposed. Separate polls conducted over the past four years by Populus, YouGov, and Angus Reid have all shown similar levels of support.

A breakdown of the latest Scottish Social Attitudes survey also reveals that support is highest among young people (83% of 18-24 year olds), though support among over 65s, traditionally the least supportive age group, has also been steadily rising over the past 12 years, from just 17% support in 2002 to 44% today, with 32% of that age group opposed.

The study also showed that women (72%) are more likely to support same-sex marriage than men (63%), though a majority of both genders remain supportive. Similarly, while support is highest among people with no religious belief (81%) a majority of those affiliated with Scotland’s major Christian denominations also support same-sex marriage including 59% of Church of Scotland members and 60% of Catholics.

In addition to strong public support same-sex marriage also received overwhelming support in the Scottish Parliament with 105 MSPs voting in favour of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 and just 18 voting against, the third strongest majority to date for any same-sex marriage legislation in the world.

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