A major poll by Stonewall Scotland has revealed that the majority of the Scottish population support the introducing of equal same-sex marriage. A majority also believe that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people face prejudice in society.
A poll of 1,968 people conducted by YouGov for Stonewall Scotland has revealed that three in five people believe that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Scots face public prejudice in Scotland today with more than four in five of those saying it is right to tackle that prejudice.
The report entitled ‘Living Together Scotland 2012’ shows that two thirds of people support same-sex marriage with half of people of faith supporting the proposal. The YouGov poll also shows that in the last 5 years 162,000 Scots of working age have witnessed verbal homophobic or transphobic bullying in the workplace and 54,000 Scots of working age have witnessed physical homophobic or transphobic bullying in the workplace. Fifty eight per cent of people aged 18-29 say there was homophobic bullying in their school.
Colin Macfarlane, Director of Stonewall Scotland said: “we pride ourselves in being seen as a nation of tolerance and respect but this poll only highlights that for thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Scots the reality is very different. We only have to look at some of the deeply offensive comments made by senior clerics about gay people recently – likening loving same-sex relationships to polygamy and calling them grotesque- to see that prejudice still remains in some quarters.
“Thankfully, the research shows that the majority of Scots say this sort of behaviour is not good enough and they want to see it tackled. There is a long way to go before we can say 21st Century Scotland is truly tolerant but it is clear that people expect brave and bold leadership to transform Scotland into the kind of country we can be proud of and want to live in.”
The poll shows the growing support in Scotland for marriage equality, with previous polls showing similar figures of 61% (2010) and 64% (June 2012). In other words, a solid two thirds of Scots support same-sex marriage, with numbers indicating a steady increase.
The public consultation by the Scottish government on same-sex marriage closed in December with over 50,000 responses, making it by far the biggest consultation in the history of the Scottish Parliament. The results were originally due to be published in March, and then delayed to July.
On the 10th July, the Scottish Government will announce whether it will introduce equal marriage or not. It is widely expected to agree to equal marriage for same-sex couples including religious same-sex marriage.
Patrick Harvie MSP, Leader of the Scottish Green Party raised a point of order with the Scottish Government last Wednesday regarding the announcement to which the SNP administration responded by a firm committed to publish their annoucement on 10 of July.
Mr Harvie said: “Time after time, public support for equal marriage has been shown to be strong in Scotland. Those who want the law to keep treating same-sex couples as second class citizens are in the wrong, and in the minority. It’s time now to press ahead with this overdue change in the law.”