The Irish referendum has encouraged Italian politicians to move ahead with plans for civil unions and there is a strong majority in support. However, only a narrow majority support full marriage, and a large majority oppose gay adoption. In Italy, Catholic Church influence has stalled civil unions progress up to now, but a new survey for La Stampa shows that even among Mass going Catholics, a two-thirds majority (67%) support civil unions.
Civil unions: Yes 67%; No 27%; no opinion 6%
Gay marriage: Yes 51%; No 37%; no opinion 6%
Gay adoption: Yes 24%; No 73%; no opinion 3%
Some extracts from the La Stampa report, freely translated:
Civil unions “yes”, same – sex marriage “maybe”, gay adoptions “no.”
What would happen if the Italians, like the Irish, were called to vote in a referendum on gay unions? The picture that emerges from a Piepoli survey for La Stampa suggests a moderate reform in our society: two Italians out of three (67%) believe we should just amend existing legislation – our country, without a law on the subject, is now isolated in Europe – but only one in two (51%) would like to follow countries like Ireland, Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Great Britain, Luxembourg and Finland, where same sex marriages are legal.
Italians prefer to follow the German-Austrian model, which prohibits marriages but allows civil unions (although Berlin now wants to step forward).
Age and sex
In general, looking at the responses of the Italian by gender, we see that women are more open than men on the issue. The same goes for the young: the proportion favorable to gay marriage and adoptions falls with increasing age.
Another decisive variable, is religious orientation. Needless to say, practicing Catholics are against adoption (only 17% in favor) and marriage (56% say no), but the majority of those who pray and go to Mass regularly (57%) would accept civil unions .