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Exhibit “A”
Reverend Doctor Brent Hawkes Testimony
© 2003, Parners

This exhibit consisted of a reprint from Environics Research Group Web site. The original may be seen here:

Most Canadians Favour Gay Marriage
Approval of Homosexuality Continues to Increase

Most Canadians feel that gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to marry and the proportion of Canadians expressing approval of homosexuality has continued its sharp upward trend over the past five years, according to a new national poll.

Attitudes Toward Homosexuality

The new survey was conducted by Environics Research between April 5 and 24, 2001, and is based on a sample of 2,035 adult Canadians. A poll of this size has a margin of error of 2.2 percent, 19 times out of 20.

The survey shows that over half of Canadians (55%) either strongly (29%) or somewhat (26%) support allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. Four in ten Canadians (41%) strongly (30%) or somewhat (11%) oppose this. Four percent have no opinion.

Support for gay marriage is strongest among women, younger people, those with higher annual household incomes and those with post-secondary educations. Opposition is concentrated among those over the age of 60 and those with less than a high school education. Support is also stronger in Quebec (69%), and in British Columbia (60%). Support is weakest in Saskatchewan and Alberta (43% each). In Ontario, support is just below the national average at 50 percent.

The survey also found that the proportion of Canadians who express approval of homosexuality has doubled over the last five years. Currently, 44 percent strongly (21%) or somewhat (23%) approve of homosexuality. This represents a ten point increase from the 34 percent approval level recorded in 1999 and an even more significant 22 point increase from the 22 percent approval level recorded in 1996.

Just over a third of Canadians (37%) either strongly (24%) or somewhat (13%) disapprove of homosexuality. This represents a slight three point increase since 1999, but an 11 point drop from the 48 percent disapproval recorded by Environics in March of 1996. Another 16 percent of Canadians (down 13 points since 1999) volunteer that they neither approve nor disapprove of homosexuality.

Approval is highest among women, younger people, those with higher incomes and those with post-secondary educations, as well as among Quebecers. Disapproval of homosexuality is highest among men, those over the age of 60, those with low levels of education and residents of Saskatchewan and Alberta. It is also notable that well over half of supporters of the Canadian Alliance (58%) disapprove of homosexuality — a far higher proportion than that found among supporters of any of the other four federal parties (Progressive Conservative: 41% disapprove; Liberal: 34% disapprove; NDP: 32% disapprove; Bloc Québécois: 9% disapprove).

For more information please contact:

Derek Leebosh
Senior Associate
Environics Research

Question wording was as follows:

  1. Currently, gay and lesbian couples have the same treatment under Canadian federal law as common-law heterosexual couples. Would you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry?
  2. Do you personally strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove or strongly disapprove of homosexuality?

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