A survey of farming households has revealed that 45% of respondents think the country is ready for a gay taoiseach.
The poll, carried out by Irish Examiner/Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA), showed that 20% of respondents strongly agreed that the country is ready for a gay taoiseach, with 36% strongly disagreeing.
Support for the idea of a gay taoiseach is most pronounced among tillage farmers, at 63%, and among those aged 34 and under, at 60% reports the Irish Examiner.
More men (46%) than women (43%) believe Ireland is ready for a gay leader, and of those attending Mass on a weekly basis, 34% strongly disagree with the statement that the country is ready for a gay taoiseach, as opposed to 22% of all farmers surveyed.
The increasingly liberal attitudes of young farmers shouldn’t come as a shock, ICMSA president John Comer told the Irish Examiner.
“Farmers are a part of Irish society, not apart from Irish society, and we undergo precisely the same changes and shifts in attitudes that the wider population does,” Mr Comer said.
“Personally, I don’t think that anyone’s sexuality defines them in the sense that it’s the beginning and end of who they are. So I don’t think that we’re talking about ‘a gay taoiseach’ so much as we’re talking about ‘a taoiseach who happens to be gay’.
“There is as well in this finding the fact that the politician implicitly referred to is regarded as honest and forthright in the way he dealt with his aspect of his life and was widely praised for the way he referenced it — rightly so, in my opinion.”
Fine Gael remains the most popular party among respondents, making future leadership favourite Leo Varadkar a potentially popular candidate for taoiseach among farming communities.
The poll, of 569 farm-dwelling adults in the Republic of Ireland, was designed to provide a “robust and accurate snapshot of the attitudes, beliefs and opinions of the farming community about a range of issues, both farming and social.”
Full findings are available here.
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