Same-Sex Marriage: What Asians Think?

Same-sex marriage is a dynamic legal and social issue resonating across South, Southeast, and East Asia, with a median of 49% of adults expressing at least some level of support for legalizing same-sex marriage, while 43% opposing it.

DIVERGENT PERSPECTIVES ACROSS ASIA

According to a comprehensive survey spanning 12 locations in Asia by the PEW Research Centre, Japan stands out with nearly seven-in-ten adults (68%) supporting legal recognition for same-sex marriage, despite not having implemented such laws. Vietnam follows closely with 65% in favour, along with positive sentiments in Hong Kong (58%) and Cambodia (57%). However, Thailand’s landscape is nuanced, with six-in-ten in favour and a third opposed.

In India, where recent legal developments took centre stage, 53% support same-sex marriage, while 43% oppose it. Singapore lacks a clear majority, with 45% in favour and 51% opposed, despite amendments to prevent legal challenges. In Taiwan, where same-sex marriage is legal, opinions are evenly split, showcasing the diversity of perspectives even in places with progressive legislation.

MAJORITIES AND OPPOSITION

However, in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka, majorities oppose same-sex marriage, with staggering figures like 92% in Indonesia strongly opposing it. South Korea also leans towards opposition, with 56% against and 41% in favour, despite recent legislative proposals.

RELIGIOUS DYNAMICS

Religious affiliations play a role in shaping opinions. The religiously unaffiliated, notably in Japan, tend to be more supportive, with 73% favouring it. On the other hand, Christians and Muslims are often less likely to support it, as seen in Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia, where support among these groups is comparatively lower.

GENERATIONAL AND GENDER TRENDS

Age and gender dynamics significantly influence attitudes. Younger adults across Asia, notably in Taiwan, exhibit higher support for such marriages. In contrast, gender differences are evident, with women generally being more supportive than men in places like South Korea and Cambodia.

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