Research suggests that four out of five British adults would accept an invitation to a same-sex wedding.
Legislation allowing gay couples to marry comes into force on Saturday, with a BBC survey showing that 68% agreed with gay marriage, whilst 26% oppose it.
The gay, lesbian and bisexual rights charity, Stonewall, was delighted with the results of the survey, and commented that people’s attitudes were “incredibly positive”.
A spokesman for Stonewall said it was important to highlight the fact that four out of five people would accept an invitation to a gay wedding.
Father Edmund Montgomery, a Catholic priest in Greater Manchester, said: “As the Church, we love those seeking a same-sex union… In our modern culture it is increasingly difficult to have an open debate without being labelled as bigoted or intolerant.”
A number of more enlightened churches, including the Quakers, Metropolitan Community Church and the Unitarians have led the way in supporting and encouraging same sex marriages, with other churches such as the Catholics and Anglicans now feeling the effects of painful internal divisions about an issue that arouses passionate and often divisive opinions.
The survey also revealed that a 29% of men said they would not attend a gay wedding compared with 16% of women who said that they would not attend. The research also found that younger people were more likely to support same-sex marriage, with 80% of 18 to 34-year-olds backing it, compared with 44% of over-65s. Of those over-65s polled, women were more likely to support gay marriage than men, with 75% of women for it compared with 61% of men in favour. Experts predict that support for gay marriage will increase as the older population decreases.
Reflecting upon the survey, a Stonewall spokesperson commented that, “Same-sex couples are living in committed, loving relationships and people have realised that the sky has not fallen in.”
He went on to say that, “This is a landmark moment and for the first time ever, someone young growing up knowing they are gay can have the exact same avenues open to them, [and know] that their relationship will be valued the same way their parents’ was.”
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