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Exclusive: If you were alive for partial decriminalisation, you’re likely still anti-gay rights

Josh Jackman July 26, 2017

Those born before homosexuality was partially decriminalised are still mostly intolerant of gay men, new research has revealed.

The YouGov poll for PinkNews revealed a deep age divide in British attitudes.

Respondents were broadly in favour of gay men becoming parents, gay sex being seen as natural and primary school kids being taught about gay relationships.

But though the law change and subsequent advances have had a significant impact on the opinions of most, the oldest in our society still go against the tide of support for gay rights.

An overwhelming majority 18 to 24-year-olds agreed that gay sex was natural, approved of gay men becoming parents and thought primary school kids should learn about gay relationships.

In contrast, the majority of over-65s stood against gay rights, making it clear that they were opposed to all of these positions.

The gap between the youngest respondents and the oldest was chasmic, twice reaching 45 percentage points.

70 percent of youngsters saw gay sex as natural, compared to just 25 percent of those 65 and over.

And the oldest participants in the poll stood firmly against gay men being able to become parents, with 32 percent supporting it, as opposed to 77 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds.

Most of those in the 25-49 age bracket agreed with their younger counterparts on all counts, though less emphatically.

But this was followed by a huge drop-off in support for the rights of gay men.

None of the questions asked to 50 to 64-year-olds produced a majority either way.

Each time, around one in five people answered with “Don’t know” – higher than any other age group.

More 50 to 64-year-old respondents thought gay sex was natural and agreed with gay men becoming parents than not, though the margin on gay sex was just four points.

However, they resisted the idea of gay relationships being taught in primary schools, by 48 percent to 35 percent.

The research was commissioned for the 50th anniversary of partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales.

More: 50 year anniversary since partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, 50th anniversary, decriminalisation, polling, UK, YouGov

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