Most back legal recognition for gay couples:
The lesson is clear - legislate for gay marriage now.More than eight out of 10 people believe same-sex couples should be given some form of legal recognition, according to a Lansdowne Market Research poll conducted last month.
However, the opinion is more evenly split on the issue of gay marriage, with just over half - 51 per cent - expressing support for such a move and 53 per cent agreeing that excluding gay couples from marriage is unfair.
Support levels for greater legal recognition for gay couples were highest among the poorer sections of the community and lower among the higher- earning respondents.
The poll, commissioned by the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (Glen), indicates less support for allowing same-sex couples to adopt children - 39 per cent support such a move.
Almost two-thirds of respondents - 64 per cent - said an election candidate's position on gay marriage would not have an effect on their voting intentions while 16 per cent said a candidate who supported gay marriage would be more likely to receive their first preference vote.