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Majority of Europeans support gay marriage and adoption

Majority of Europeans support gay marriage and adoption

A poll shows a majority of people in several European countries believe gay couples should be allowed to get married and adopt children.

However, the YouGov survey found France was divided on the issue with a slim majority against allowing gay couples to adopt.

The findings come ahead of an expected rally this weekend in France against the Socialist government’s plans to legalize 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 favor of allowing gay couples to wed, while 41% are opposed and 12% say they don’t know.

In Britain, 55% support gay marriage, 32% are opposed and 13% don’t know.

Support for gay adoption is strongest in Sweden, at 65%, in contrast to only 38% of people in France who are in favor.

51% of the French public think gay 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.

However, the YouGov figures contrast with other polls which suggested significantly more people supported gay marriage and adoption in both the UK and France.

An ICM poll for the Guardian showed gay marriage is now supported by 62% of British voters with only 31% opposed.

While another recent poll claimed 65% of French people back gay marriage, and 53% agree with adoption by same-sex couples.

An opinion poll published on Tuesday (8 January) showed that two thirds of the French public (60%) support gay marriage, although most considered it a ‘secondary’ issue, with 46% in favor of medically assisted procreation.

President François Hollande has faced fierce opposition from religious groups and right-wing traditionalists over the country’s ‘Marriage for All’ bill.

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 stepping stone for the opposition since François Hollande’s election.

‘Public opinion tends to follow party lines, with 65% of Socialist Party supporters being in favor 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.’

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.