While the Hungarian parliament passed new laws this week legalising same-sex civil partnerships, an opinion poll for a national newspaper found little support for the measure among the voters.

The Nepszabadsag survey found that only 12 percent of Hungarians think same-sex relationships are completely normal.

60 percent condemn homosexuality and 30 percent disapprove of gay people.

The new law will apply to both heterosexual and gay and lesbian couples, and there is widespread support for civil partners having the same rights as married couples – 71 percent of respondents agreed in the poll by research firm Masmi.

Government statistics show that there were an estimated 349,000 unmarried couples in Hungary in 2005, 12.2 per cent of all families, compared to 62,000 in 1970, 2.1 per cent of all families.

Hungary’s opposition conservative parties refused to back the new law, which they regard as a “hidden attempt” to legalise

gay marriage.

The Hungarian gay and lesbian associations have welcomed new law as a milestone while acknowledging it does not grant full equality.