PORTUGUESE SOCIETY is among the most conservative and intolerant in the European Union when it comes to issues such as gay marriages and adoption by gay couples.
According to the latest research by Eurobarometer in 25 European Union countries, the vast majority of Portuguese are against adoption by gay couples.
When asked if they thought that gay couples should be allowed to adopt children only 19 per cent thought they should – well below the European average of 32 per cent.
In Holland (69 per cent), Sweden (51 per cent) and Denmark (44 per cent) the figures were much higher.
In Spain, 43 per cent of those asked thought that gay couples should be able to marry and adopt children. Portugal was among the countries in Europe, such as Poland (seven per cent), Malta (seven per cent), and Lithuania (eight per cent), who thought that more equality for gays was a bad idea.
“The main reason for these results is the lack of political investment put into equality and same sex campaigns” says anthropologist Miguel Vale de Almeida.
“We are dealing with a question that has to do with equal rights and the state has an obligation to guarantee this equality,” he added.
According to the expert, “the government shouldn’t just listen to public opinion in such matters, it has a duty to educate and lead it through decisive political action,” he said.
But, Father Peter Stilwell wasn’t at all surprised with the results in Portugal. “These are issues that are at the very heart of children’s rights and show that in Portugal the idea of the family unit as a strong social entity is still very strong and rigid, it is natural that people would be against it.”
Marriage between people of the same sex is also rejected overall by the Portuguese. Although on average 44 per cent of Europeans are in agreement with gay marriages, in Portugal those figures drop down to 29 per cent unlike Holland (82 per cent), Sweden (71 per cent) and Denmark (69 per cent).
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