Queering the Family: Attitudes towards Lesbian and Gay Relationships and Families in Northern Ireland

Nicola Carr, Siobhan McAlister, Gail Neill

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


The Northern Ireland Life andTimes (NILT) Survey has asked questions on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues since 1998. To date survey data have focused primarily on issues relating to prejudice, discrimination and tolerance. In 2012 a range of questions focussing more specifically on LGBT1 issues was included. This collected information on knowledge and perceptions of the LGBT population; personal prejudice; attitudes on equality issues; the visibility of LGBT people and family-related issues.
This update provides an overview of some of the information emerging from this data. It discusses attitudes towards same-sex relations and notable changes over time. Given recent political debate the primary focus of this paper is on attitudes relating to ‘queer’ marriage, family and parenting. We use the term ‘queer’ here to refer to ‘the diverse family structures formed by those with non-normative gender behaviours or sexual orientations’ (Bernstein and Reimann, 2001: 3). As previous updates have noted, there have been significant legislative and policy changes in this area (Jarman, 2010) and this continues with ongoing discussions regarding the development of a Sexual Orientation Strategy for Northern Ireland (Gray et al, 2013).
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBelfast
PublisherAccess Research Knowledge
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Feb 2014


  • Queer; Families; Lesbian; Gay; Attitudes; Northern Ireland


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