EUROPEANS SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGE

A new EOS Gallup Europe poll has found that 57 percent of residents in the 15 nations of the European Union support same-sex marriage.

At present, only the Netherlands and Belgium have opened up ordinary marriage to same-sex couples. Six other EU nations have domesticpartnership lows that grant many, most or all rights of marriage to registered same-sex couples.

Support was drastically lower in 13 nations that are set to join the EU. Only 23 percent of people in those countries, many of which used to be communist, favor allowing gay couples to marry.

Pollsters also inquired about adoption. Forty-two percent of EU residents and 17 percent of residents of the accession nations support permitting gay couples to adopt children.

The poll found the highest levels of gay support among women, younger people, highly educated people, atheists, leftists and residents of nations that already extend some or all spousal rights to same-sex couples.

Denmark expressed the highest support for same-sex marriage (82%) followed by the Netherlands (80%), Luxembourg (71 %), Sweden (70%), Spain (68%), Belgium (67%), Norway (66%), Switzerland (65%), Germany (65%), France (58%), Finland (56%), the Czech Republic (50%), Austria (48%), the United Kingdom (47%), Italy (47%), Ireland (46%), Portugal (43%), Slovenia (40%), Hungary (37%), Estonia (35%), Slovakia (30%), Lithuania (26%), Malta (23%), Bulgaria (20%), latvia (19%), Poland (19%), Romania (17%), Greece (16%), Turkey (16%) and Cyprus (9%).

On the adoption question, the Netherlands came in first (64%) followed by Germany (57%), Spain (57%), Denmark (54%), Luxembourg (49%), Belgium (47%), Switzerland (47%), Sweden (42%), France (39%), Norway (37%), the United Kingdom (35%), the Czech Republic (35%), Ireland (34%), Hungary (34%), Austria (33%), Finland (30%), Slovenia (30%), Estonia