Charlotte: Support for the LGBTQ community has generally increased in the U.S. and abroad in recent years, including with landmark Supreme Court decisions five years ago and last week legalizing same-sex marriage and barring LGBTQ employment discrimination. Still, some parts of the world are more accepting than others, as detailed in a report released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.
The report is based on a 2019 survey that asked over 38,000 people in 34 countries whether they thought homosexuality should be accepted by society. In the U.S., the percentage of respondents accepting of homosexuality rose to 72% in 2019 from 60% in an earlier survey in 2013. Rates had jumped more than 20 points in India and 16 in Turkey, but support remains low: 37% and 25%, respectively. In 2018, India’s high court decriminalized homosexuality.
Countries in the Americas and Western Europe were more accepting of homosexuality than countries in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and parts of Southeast Asia, according to the report, titled “The Global Divide on Homosexuality Persists.”
In Lebanon, for instance, 85% of respondents said homosexuality should not be accepted, while 72% in Tunisia said that. The median rate of acceptance of homosexuality in Central and Eastern Europe was 46%.
“Those differences across regions, which can also be an indicator of economic development, are really interesting findings that have remained steady, even as there have been changes on overall levels of acceptance,” said Jacob Poushter, one of the report authors and associate director for Pew Research Center’s global attitudes research.
Researchers found that attitudes toward homosexuality were strongly correlated with a country’s wealth. People in wealthier countries were generally more accepting of homosexuality than people in poorer, less developed countries.
Political ideology and education also correlated with acceptance of homosexuality, with left-leaning and more educated people being more supportive of societal acceptance.
Even as acceptance has generally risen, legal protections remain elusive. Same-sex marriage is legal in only 29 countries, according to a report released by the Human Rights Campaign on Wednesday. Although the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that employers may not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, LGBTQ people still are not protected by federal law from discrimination in public areas like restaurants, grocery stores and doctors’ offices, said HRC spokesperson Sarah McBride.
“Despite the historic victories in the Supreme Court in 2015 and earlier this month,” she said, “we still have a lot of work until LGBTQ people in every corner of this country are treated with dignity and fairness in their daily lives.”- Bloomberg