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Most in 16 developed nations support gay marriage, poll shows

Most in 16 developed nations support gay marriage, poll shows

A new poll of adults in 16 developed countries in Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific found that most are in favor of gay marriage (52%) and of gay couples adopting children (60%).

The survey of 12,484 adults by leading research company Ipsos for Reuters found that only 14% objected to gay marriage or any kind of legal recognition for gay couples.

A majority – 60% – said they thought gay couples should be allowed to adopt children and 64% said gay couples are just as likely as straight couples to raise children well.

The poll showed that even in countries where there are political obstacles to legalizing gay marriage – Australia and Germany – more than half of the people support full marriage rights for same-sex couples.

The only country which legally recognizes same-sex marriage where less than half of those polled said they are in favor was found to be Argentina, where 48% said they support gay marriage – but there is a 5% margin of error to the statistic.

In the US, where 12 states have legalized same-sex marriage, only 42% of those polled said they support it.

The least support for gay marriage came from countries in Eastern Europe and Asia – Hungary, Poland, South Korea and Japan.

‘What is common to Hungary, South Korea and Poland is that by and large they are the countries that have the lowest percentage of people who report having a relative, a colleague, or a friend who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender,’ said Nicolas Boyon, a senior vice president at Ipsos, to Reuters.

In Spain and Norway, where gay marriage was legalized in 2005 and 2009 respectively, 65% of those surveyed said they know someone who is LGBT, but in Japan the figure for that question was 5% and in South Korea it was 3%.

‘It is likely there is still a stigma attached to the issue in those countries,’ said Boyon.

The poll also found that people who are active on social media are more likely to support rights for gay couples than those who are not.