Most people in Britain want to keep the current definition of marriage unchanged, according to a new survey.
The survey showed that seven out of ten people agree that marriage should remain a “life-long exclusive commitment between a man and a woman”.
It also revealed that 84 per cent of respondents agreed that “children have the best chance in life if raised by their own mother and father in a stable, committed relationship”.
The ComRes poll was commissioned by Catholic Voices. It showed that 59 per cent support the recognition of same-sex unions through the civil partnerships scheme which already grants couples all the legal rights of marriage.
Austen Ivereigh, co-ordinator of Catholic Voices, said the 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.”
The online survey, which was conducted last month, was based on the responses of 2,004 adults.
The results come as the Westminster Government prepares to launch a consultation asking how, not whether, marriage should be redefined.
A petition seeking to protect the current definition of marriage attracted more than 100,000 signatures in its first two weeks. It is being run by the Coalition for Marriage.
Earlier this week it emerged that five million Roman Catholics in England and Wales will be urged to take a stand against the Government’s plans.
Archbishop Vincent Nichols has prepared a pastoral letter to be read to 2,500 churches in England and Wales on Sunday.
Last month homosexual celebrity Christopher Biggins said he was happy with civil partnerships but does not want to redefine marriage because “we can’t just get rid of everything.”