Text last updated 27 January 2018

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How accepted are gay people by the rest of society?

The latest research into how well gay people are accepted around the world was published in 2017.

The Pew Centre of Washington DC surveyed 40,117 respondents in 40 countries worldwide for their opinions on a range of topics including their acceptance of homosexuality. They were asked “Do you personally believe that homosexuality is morally acceptable, morally unacceptable, or is it not a moral issue?”

In the UK, 17 per cent of people (or one in six people) think homosexuality is ‘morally unacceptable’, 36 per cent say it’s morally acceptable, and the majority (43 per cent) say ‘it’s not a moral issue’.

The Czech Republic have the highest proportion of those saying homosexuality is morally acceptable – with 56 per cent of those questioned saying it is.

Canada and France are joint top for not thinking sexuality is a moral issue, with exactly half of the participants in each country asked saying it’s ‘not a moral issue’.

Unsurprisingly, we were least accepted in Africa. 98 per cent of those in Ghana, 95 per cent of those in Egypt and Jordan said we were ‘unacceptable’.

In the UK, Pink News commissioned YouGov to poll 1,609 adults, which found that 42 per cent believe that gay sex is not natural, 48 per cent, believe that primary school children should not be taught about gay relationships in school, and 36 per cent disapprove of gay men becoming parents via surrogacy, adoption, or other methods.

It came as no surprise to find that there were different views among different generations. 78 per cent of people aged 18-24 believe that gay sex is natural while 69 per cent of people aged 65 and above believe that gay sex is unnatural.

The survey also measured differences on the political divide among the sample. 59 per cent of Brexit supporters believed gay sex is unnatural, compared to just 25 per cent of Remain voters, and 68 per cent of Brexit voters believe children should not be taught about gay relationships in primary school, compared to 29 per cent of Remain voters.

Gallup have noted a continuing shift in their US poll results on the subject of gay and lesbian rights. In 1997, only 27% thought that gay marriage should be allowed. By 2017, that figure was 67%. But by January 2018, polling for GLAAD found a general weakening of approval for GLBT people.

More information will be added to this page when available.

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Live Science, 23 August 2016: Why aren’t gay people accepted everywhere?
Indy 100, 27 May 2017: Homophobia mapped
Pink News, 26 July 2017: 50 years after decriminalisation, over 40% of Brits believe gay sex is unnatural
Gallup: Gay and lesbian rights
Washington Post, 25 January 2018: In three years LGBT Americans have gone from triumph to backlash
Washington Post, 5 February 2018: I thought gay rights were safe. Now I know I was wrong.