New survey finds high level of acceptance of same-sex marriage North and South

RTÉ and BBC Northern Ireland link up in cross-Border poll of more than 2,000 adults

A woman cycles past a marriage equality mural in the Liberties area of Dublin last May. In the Republic, 67% of respondents were  comfortable with a close member of their family marrying someone of the same sex.  Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

A woman cycles past a marriage equality mural in the Liberties area of Dublin last May. In the Republic, 67% of respondents were comfortable with a close member of their family marrying someone of the same sex. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

 

A clear majority of people on both sides of the Border accept the principle of same-sex marriage, according to a new survey. The survey for BBC Northern Ireland and RTÉ found that 64 per cent of respondents in the North were either very or fairly comfortable with a close member of their family marrying someone of the same sex. This compares with 67 per cent in the Republic.

The full results of the survey will be revealed tonight at 10.35pm during a link-up on the Prime Time and Nolan Live shows to discuss a range of economic, constitutional and social issues.

The survey of 1,029 adults in the South and 1,012 in the North, by Behaviour & Attitudes, also found 23 per cent of respondents in Northern Ireland were either very or fairly uncomfortable with the idea of a close family member marrying someone of the same sex compared with 21 per cent in the South.

The survey comes in the wake of Monday’s vote in the Northern Assembly when by a majority of one (53 to 52) a motion was carried to legislate for gay marriage. However the DUP used an Assembly mechanism to block the implementation of the motion.

When asked if respondents were comfortable with a close family member marrying someone of a different religion or different religious background, 84 per cent of Northern Ireland people said they were very or fairly comfortable, compared with 79 per cent answering the same in the Republic.

One in 10 respondents from the South was either very or fairly uncomfortable with this compared with 6 per cent in Northern Ireland. The results also revealed that 86 per cent of respondents in Northern Ireland are either very or fairly comfortable with a close family member marrying someone of a different skin colour to their own, compared to 83 per cent of respondents in the Republic. Of those surveyed in the South, 8 per cent were either very or fairly uncomfortable with this idea compared to 5 per cent in the North.