Seven out of 10 British people believe that marriage should continue to be defined as a lifelong union of a man and a woman, and more than eight out of 10 believe that children have the best chance in life if raised by their biological parents.
The results, revealed by a ComRes online poll of more than 2,000 people, arrive on the eve of the Government consulting on opening marriage to same-sex couples.
The consultation is due to be published on Thursday next week.
The survey, commissioned by Catholic Voices, a group created to put the Church’s case in the media, also shows majority support for civil partnerships.
In a briefing paper published to accompany the results, In Defence of Conjugality, Catholic Voices argues that the redefining marriage will impact negatively on future generations.
Austen Ivereigh, coordinator of Catholic Voices, said: “Our poll shows that the Government has no mandate to alter an institution which lies at the foundation of our society. British people believe that gay relationships should be recognised by the state through civil partnerships. But they are clear that marriage is a unique institution which needs to be promoted because of the benefits to children of being raised by a mother and a father. These results are a clear warning to Government that it is at odds with the public on this issue.”