A new opinion poll conducted in Taiwan has found broad support for LGBT equality, with a majority now saying they would support same-sex marriage.
The Social Change Survey, commissioned by a group of media companies, found 53% of the people polled wanted reform on the issue while only 37% were opposed.
This was compared to only 25% in 2003 when 55% were opposed.
Among respondents under 30 support was far higher, at 78%.
76% of those surveyed agreed that gays and lesbians should have equal rights, while 83% agreed that people should be free in choosing who they love.
Non religious Taiwanese, Buddhists and Taoists were more likely to be supportive of the idea of same-sex marriage, with 55% in support, while Taiwanese Christians were much more opposed, with only 1 in 4 saying they supported same-sex marriage.
66% of those surveyed disagreed with the statement ‘homosexuality is contrary to religious beliefs.’
61% said same-sex couples could be good parents in the same way that heterosexuals could be.
31% of those polled said they personally knew a gay or lesbian person.
The results were announced at an August 6 press conference by Taiwan’s Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR).
TAPCPR has been pushing the Taiwanese Government to legally recognize same-sex couples and has plans to hold a symbolic wedding banquet outside the Presidential Office Building on September 7.
The group hopes that as many as 1,000 people will take part in the banquet along Taipei’s Ketagalan Boulevard.
TAPCPR secretary general Chien Chih-chieh told The China Post they would also be proposing an amendment to Taiwan’s Civil Code in September that would give better protection to same-sex couples if passed.
‘Based on the result of this survey, the government should stop acting conservative and mistaking the opinions against same-sex marriage as representing most people,’ Chien said.
Earlier this month the Taiwanese Government announced it would not forcibly annul the marriage of a same-sex transgender couple who were legally an opposite sex couple at the time they were married in only the second decision of its kind.