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Survey finds rising support for gay marriage

The number of Finns who support gender neutral marriage has risen since last year, according to a new poll. The survey by pollster Taloustutkimus also shows an increase in support for adoption rights for same-sex couples.

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The Taloustutkimus poll shows that 65 percent of respondents supported gay marriage, up from 58 percent in a similar poll conducted six months ago. Image: Yle

The survey shows that 65 percent of Finns support changes to existing marriage laws that would allow same-sex couples to legally tie the knot. Out of a sample of just over 1,000 respondents, just 27 percent said they opposed gender neutral marriage, while eight percent did not share their opinions.

The poll was commissioned by the “I Do 2013” campaign, which also sponsored a citizen’s initiative on gay marriage. The survey was conducted in early March. The “I Do” campaign gathered the 50,000 signatures required to take it to Parliament in just one day roughly one year ago.

While the passage of gender neutral marriage laws would mean that same-sex couples could marry at local registration offices, it would not necessarily entitle them to religious wedding ceremonies.

According to the survey, younger respondents tended to be more supportive of gay marriage. For example 78 percent of 24 to 35-year-old respondents supported the change, while support for the measure dropped to 60 percent among the 50 to 64-year-old age group. The proposal also tended to have more support in the capital city area and in cities with populations larger than 50,000, although a clear majority also supported it in smaller cities and municipalities.

A similar poll conducted last September found that 58 percent of respondents supported the legislative change.

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