Only Half of Gay People in UK See Marriage as 'Personally Important'

A poll conducted in England seeking to see where the homosexual community stands on the government's proposal to change alter the law on marriage to include same-sex couples, reveals that only half of gays and lesbians view marriage as "personally important."

Polling and research company ComRes conducted the poll, and claims that this is the "first detailed study of gay peoples' attitudes to the government's plans to redefine marriage." Among the significant findings, it was determined that 26 percent of homosexual respondents believe there is no need to redefine marriage since civil partnerships already give same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual ones.

However, most gay people, 77 percent, also disagree that marriage should be only between a man and a woman, and 72 percent said that the real point of marriage was the love between two people, rather than raising children.

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Despite that belief, only 50 percent of gay and lesbian respondents thought it was important to "extend marriage to same-sex couples," and only 27 percent said that such a change would prompt them to marry their same-sex partner.

"This survey explodes the myth that this is an issue of human rights, equality and discrimination. Gay people do not regard same-sex marriage as a priority, and show no more enthusiasm for it than for civil partnerships," said Dr. Austen Ivereigh, director of Catholic Voices, who helped with the survey.

"This new poll shows that the proposal to redefine marriage divides gay people as well as everyone else. Perhaps now we can move beyond caricatures and have a debate about the real issue – which is that the current definition of marriage in law has good reasons and important benefits," he added, The Telegraph reported.

The ComRes poll first asked respondents to self-identify according to their sexual orientation, and found that 5 percent, or 541 of respondents, were gay, lesbian or bisexual.A total of 10,139 people participated in the poll. The data, which was collected from April 27 to May 20, is said to be representative of the wider British population.

Church leaders in England, both from the Anglican and Catholic communities have spoken out against the government's plans and have warned against tampering with the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.

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