>Czech attitudes on ‘family values’
>As a quick read through public opinion data reported bythe Czech Sociological Institute shows the attitudes of Czechs on social issues make up a fascinating patchwork. The picture is more complicated than the conventional stereotype of a liberal nation marred only by ingrained intolerance towards the Roma minority. Despite polarisation on the issue and fall in support since 2003, a large majority of Czechs are in favour of registered partnership for same-sex couples with alarge minority (42%) even supporting gay marriage, making them the most liberal nation on such issues in the Visegrad group. Surprisingly, the Poles are the next most liberal, with the Hungarians and Slovaks most conservative, probably reflecting a mixture of Catholic piety and the higher profile of conservative-nationalist parties on the right, although as the polls suggest there is a liberal Poland kicking against Catholic values. Probably, as in Ireland during 1970s and 80s, they will gradually be kicked into touch, Czechs show similarly liberal attitudes on abortion (a large majority are pro-choice) and the right of single women to fertility treatment – Christians (and on the whole this means Catholics) making up a large part of the more conservative minority view in both cases.
On drugs, however, the majority is less permissive favouring criminal prosecution for those using marijuana or growing it for personal consumption and attitudes to immigration and the position of migrants (small in number by WE standards, but growing – largely from Slovakia Ukraine and the FSU). In 2005 64% opposing a liberal migration policy and 69% agreeing that the Czech Republic does not need migrants. 59% thought that migrants should adapt to Czech customs as much as possible and 35% that they should partly do so. Only 4% thought migrants should live according to their own customs. During my own time in the CR, despite learning the language, trying to remember to say good morning to every person I passed on the landing of my block of flats and getting into the habit of taking my shoes off when I came home, I think failed by the standards of the majority ……
CVVM (2002). ‘Problematika drog očima věřejnosti‘, 17 April, online at http://www.soc.cas.cz/ (accessed 15 April 2006).
CVVM (2003). ‘Jak jsme tolerantní’ Press release no. ov40602, 24 March
CVVM (2004). ‘Sňatek – podminka pro umělé oplodnění?’, Press release no. ov40602, 2 June.
CVVM (2005a). ‘Názory na přistěhovalectví‘, Press release no. ov50321, 21 March.
CVVM (2005b).’ Názory věřejnosti na interupce a uzákonění registrovaného partnerství‘ Press release no ov50429
CVVM (2005c). ‘Češi jsou vůči sňatkům a registrovanému partnerství homosexuálů vstřicnější než Poláci, Mad´aři a Slováci‘, Press release no. ov51128, 24 November