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(12/25/07) -

Canadians Review What is Morally Acceptable

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many adults in Canada have no problem allowing specific social behaviours, according to a poll by Angus Reid Strategies. More than 80 per cent of respondents think contraception, divorce, and sexual relations between an unmarried man and woman are morally acceptable.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many adults in Canada have no problem allowing specific social behaviours, according to a poll by Angus Reid Strategies. More than 80 per cent of respondents think contraception, divorce, and sexual relations between an unmarried man and woman are morally acceptable.

In addition, more than 60 per cent of respondents express no moral qualms with having a baby outside of marriage, medical research using stem cells obtained from human embryos, doctor-assisted suicide, abortion, and gambling. 59 per cent of respondents think sexual relations between two people of the same sex are morally acceptable, and 51 per cent feel the same way about buying and wearing clothing made of animal fur.

Canadians are almost evenly split on two issues: the death penalty and medical testing on animals. More than half of respondents believe pornography, prostitution, cloning animals, suicide, and using illegal drugs are morally wrong, while more than three-in-four feel the same way about married people having an affair, cloning humans, polygamy, and paedophilia.

In 1967, Canadian justice minister Pierre Trudeau presented a bill to partially liberalize abortion. On the same bill, Trudeau urged for the legalization of homosexuality and contraception, saying, "The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation." The bill was signed into law in 1969, when Trudeau was prime minister.

In January 1988, Canada’s Supreme Court ruled—on an appeal filed by pro abortion-advocate Henry Morgentaler—that Canada’s abortion law was unconstitutional. Abortion is now legal in Canada with no limitation on when to perform it.

In July 1976, the House of Commons passed Bill C-84, which abolished the death penalty in the country. In July 2005, Canada legalized same-sex marriage.

In June 2004, the Canadian federal election campaign was dominated by a controversy over child pornography after an e-mail news release by the Conservative party—which was later re-worded—seemed to suggest that Liberal leader and then prime minister Paul Martin supported child pornography. Tory leader Stephen Harper said Martin’s record on the issue speaks of "failure to develop effective legislation that combats child pornography, and failure to pass even his own bills on the matter."

Polling Data

Regardless of whether or not you think each of the following issues should be legal, please indicate whether you personally believe they are morally acceptable or morally wrong.

 

Acceptable

Wrong

Contraception

93%

3%

Divorce

83%

12%

Sexual relations between an unmarried man and woman

81%

15%

Having a baby outside of marriage

77%

17%

Medical research using stem cells obtained from human embryos

64%

21%

Doctor-assisted suicide

62%

25%

Abortion

61%

27%

Gambling

61%

28%

Sexual relations between two people of the same sex

59%

33%

Buying and wearing clothing made of animal fur

51%

36%

The death penalty

47%

41%

Medical testing on animals

40%

47%

Pornography

38%

54%

Prostitution

36%

55%

Cloning animals

29%

56%

Suicide

25%

62%

Using illegal drugs

20%

68%

Married men and/or women having an affair

17%

76%

Cloning humans

11%

78%

Polygamy, when one husband has more than one wife at the same time

10%

84%

Paedophilia

1%

91%

Source: Angus Reid Strategies
Methodology: Online interviews with 1,004 Canadian adults, conducted on Oct. 11 and Oct. 12, 2007. Margin of error is 3.1 per cent.

 

Complete Poll (PDF)