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EU nations “sharply divided” over gay marriage

PinkNews Staff Writer December 18, 2006

Attitudes towards gay marriage are sharply divided depending on where in Europe you live, and survey has found.

A EU funded Eurobarometer poll, which asks 30,000 people around Europe on a range of issues twice a year, found that European nations are split on whether gays should be allowed to marry.

Attitudes also differ hugely depending on geographical location – with northern Europe coming out in support of gay rights but eastern European countries still against equality.

The Dutch are the biggest supporter of gay rights, with 82% backing same-sex marriage whereas less than 20 % supported the idea in several eastern and southern countries.

Support is highest in northern European nations. Behind the Dutch, 71 percent of Swedes, 69 percent of Danes and 62 percent of Belgians back gay marraige. In contrast, only 11 percent of Romanians, 12 percent of Latvians and 14 percent of Cypriots agree.

Overall, 44 percent of citizens in the 25-nation EU believe homosexual marriage should be allowed throughout the bloc, according to the poll.

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