As the country celebrates 50 years since homosexuality was decriminalized, a new poll suggests Canadians may not be as progressive as they think.
According to a Research Co. poll released Thursday, 25 per cent of Canadians oppose same-sex marriage – with 15 per cent believing same-sex couples should form civil unions only, and 10 per cent wanting to do away with any kind of recognized legal union.
On the flip side, the poll, which surveyed 1,000 adults between July 15 and 17, said 64 per cent of respondents fully support same-sex marriage, while another 11 per cent were undecided.
“More than seven in 10 Canadians of European descent (71 per cent) approve of same-sex marriage,” said Research Co. president Mario Canseco in a news release. “But the proportion drops to 44 per cent among Canadians of East Asian descent and 42 per cent among Canadians of South Asian descent.”
The poll also suggests 45 per cent of Canadians believe people are born gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, gender diverse, queer or Two-Spirit, while 24 per cent believe a sexual orientation is chosen. Thirty-one per cent are unsure.
Gay rights’ advocates have also defended the sexual orientation and gender identity program in some Canadian schools, including those in B.C., from criticism by many Christian and conservative groups.
Roughly 60 per cent of Canadians support the programs, nicknamed SOGI, according to the poll. But 20 per cent oppose it, while the remaining 20 per cent is unsure. Most of the support came from female respondents, at 67 per cent, as well as the 18-to-34-year-old age group, at 64 per cent.
The findings come as communities across the country celebrate Pride with parades and other events – some for the first time.
The year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, when gay rights’ advocates clashed with police outside the Stonewall Inn in New York City.