More than half of Japanese are opposed to same-sex marriage

News & Views Trends Trends & Culture - March 19th, 2014

A recent poll has found that nearly 75% of Japanese believe that sexual minorities are mistreated by society, but more than 50% of them stand in opposition to same-sex marriage.

The poll, which was conducted by the Nihon Yoron Chosa-kai group—its members include Kyodo News and 38 other news organizations—found that 74.6% of the 1,744 people surveyed believed that society was unfair in its treatment of members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender) community. A further 19.7% indicated that society was either “kind or somewhat kind” to sexual minorities, and 5.7% either gave no reply or said that they did not know.

While the majority of those polled did believe that society does treat the LGBT community unfairly, only 42.3% were in support (partial or complete) of same-sex marriage, in comparison to 52.4% who voiced their disapproval of same-sex marriage.

As would be expected, people in their 20s and 30s were more supportive of same-sex marriage (70% for, and 24.7% against) and the 60+ age bracket was staunchly against the idea (70.9% against, and 23.6% for). Overall, the majority of women interviewed were in favor of same-sex marriage, while men were against it.

Another surprising finding of the poll, which was taken at the beginning of March, was a generally conservative reaction towards heterosexual, unmarried couples raising a child together: 69% of those polled stood against the idea, although 60% voiced no disapproval about a man and a woman living together outside of wedlock.

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