Bermuda still opposes same-sex marriage
Bermuda remains marginally against same-sex marriage, according to a poll commissioned by The Royal Gazette.
Forty-eight per cent of registered voters oppose the idea, with 44 per cent in favour and 8 per cent undecided, the Global Research survey found this month.
It means the gap has narrowed slightly, from eight percentage points to four, since the no campaign led 49-41 last June.
The poll was carried out between May 15 and 19, a few days after Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons ruled in favour of Winston Godwin and Greg DeRoche’s bid to marry on the island.
The couple finally married in Toronto anyway on May 20, saying that their legal battle had been about forcing overdue change.
Bermuda’s historical division over same-sex issues has come to the fore in recent years, with the Human Rights Act amended in 2013 to protect people from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.
That was followed by campaigns from Rainbow Alliance and Preserve Marriage, for and against same-sex marriage respectively, in the run-up to a referendum last June. In July 2010, a Mindmaps poll found 27 per cent of registered voters in favour of same-sex marriage, with 51 per cent against and 22 per cent undecided.
In October 2015, a Global Research poll found the score 48-44 in favour of the yes campaign, but by March 2016 the no campaign was leading 48-45. That lead stretched to 49-41 three months later.
At last June’s referendum, 69 per cent of those who voted were against same-sex marriage and 31 per cent in favour. That translated to 32 per cent of the electorate against and 15 per cent in favour but, with a turnout of 47 per cent, the referendum was deemed unanswered.
A breakdown of this month’s poll shows whites and the younger generation are most in favour of same-sex marriage.
Among whites, 74 per cent were in favour, with 16 per cent against; among blacks, 24 per cent were in favour, with 68 per cent against.
Among the 18 to 34 age group, 55 per cent were in favour, with 29 per cent against; among the over 65 age group, 37 per cent were in favour and 59 per cent against.
The telephone poll of 400 people has a margin of error of +/- 5 per cent.
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