How People Support Same Sex Marriage

Discover how the participation of LGBTI+ persons in political and electoral processes can enhance human rights and build stronger democracies, as detailed in a new UNDP publication.

Sweden has the highest percentage of supporters of the same sex marriage with 92 percent favouring, while Nigeria, with two per cent backing has the lowest supporting group.      

In a new analysis from PEW Research centre, the authors said that United States, where the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationally in 2015, 63% of adults support it and 34% oppose it.


People in Western Europe stand out as staunch supporters of same-sex marriage. At least eight-in-ten adults support it in Sweden (92%), the Netherlands (89%), Spain (87%), France (82%) and Germany (80%). 

In Italy, 74% of adults favour same-sex marriage rights, though it is not legal there.Around three-quarters (73%) of adults in the United Kingdom also support same-sex marriage. The analysis also points out that just 41% of adults in Poland and 31% in Hungary support same-sex marriage.


In North America, around eight-in-ten Canadians (79%) support same-sex marriage, as do 63% in both the U.S. and Mexico. Same-sex marriage is legal in all three countries.

In South America, 67% of Argentinians and 52% of Brazilians support the right of gay and lesbian people to marry. Both countries have also legalized the practice.


Around three-quarters of adults in Australia and Japan favour legal same-sex marriage (75% and 74%, respectively). In India, 53% of adults say same-sex marriage should be legal, while 43% oppose it. Among South Koreans, 40% favor legal same-sex marriage and 59% oppose it.

Indonesians are highly opposed to same-sex marriage legalization. Roughly nine-in-ten in Indonesia oppose allowing gays and lesbians to marry, including 88% who say they strongly oppose it. Just 5% of Indonesians support same-sex marriage.


South Africa remains the only country in Africa where same-sex marriage is legal, having codified it in 2006. Nevertheless, 58% of South Africans oppose the practice.

Nigerians and Kenyans are the least supportive of same-sex marriage rights. In Nigeria, where homosexuality is illegal, only 2% adults say they support the right of gays and lesbians to marry. And in Kenya, just 9% favor it.

In the Middle East, Israelis are opposed to making same-sex marriage legal, with 56% opposed.


Adults under 40 are more likely than their older counterparts to favorsame sex marriage. The age gap is greatest in Poland, where about six-in-ten of those under 40 express support for same-sex marriage, compared with three-in-ten among those 40 and older.


The authors note that women are more likely than men to say they support allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally. In Australia, 83% of women favor it, compared with 67% of men.


People with more formal education are more likely than those with less education to support allowing gays and lesbians to marry. The analysis said that people with incomes over the national average are much more likely to support same-sex marriage than those with incomes below the country median.


Support for legal same-sex marriage tends to be lower in countries where more people say religion is somewhat or very important in their lives. Support is higher in countries where fewer people consider religion important.

In Nigeria, 99% of adults say religion is at least somewhat important in their lives but only 2% favor legal same-sex marriage. In Sweden, just 20% of adults consider religion important to them and 92% favor allowing gay and lesbian people to wed.

Similarly, people who are not affiliated with a religion are much more likely to say they support same-sex marriage. In Australia, 89% of religiously unaffiliated adults say they favor same-sex marriage, compared with 64% of adults with a religious affiliation.


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