Poll: Irish voters support same-sex marriage

DUBLIN, Ireland, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Only about one in five Irish voters oppose legalizing same-sex marriage in the Republic of Ireland, a poll released Friday indicated.

The poll, done for the public broadcaster RTE and the Sunday Business Post, found that 76 percent of respondents support same-sex marriage, 19 percent are opposed and 5 percent undecided, the Guardian reported.


The Fine Gael-Labor governing coalition has proposed a referendum on the issue, which appears likely to pass.

The Republic is one of the most Catholic countries in Europe with about 85 percent of the population brought up in the church. Contraceptives could not be sold legally until 1980, civil divorce was banned by the Constitution until 1996 and abortion remains illegal in most circumstances.

But surveys have found the Irish are becoming far more secular.

Graham Norton, an openly gay BBC talk-show host, grew up in a Protestant family in County Cork. He predicted voters would support same-sex marriage.

"When I go back now -- and I pretty much spend my entire summer near to where I grew up in Bandon -- it's such a different place. It takes pride in accepting all types of people," Norton said in an interview with Hot Press, an Irish magazine covering the music scene. "There's more than 40 shades of green."


The poll was conducted by the firm Red C.

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