Global survey finds homophobic views are still dominant

Two-thirds of adults would be upset if child was gay, and only a quarter would accept a trans child. Two-thirds of adults would be upset if their child told them that they were in love with someone of the same sex according to a new survey.

The survey was conducted by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) and included 96,000 people in 53 UN member states.

Results – released to mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) yesterday – showed that although regional differences in opinion exist, overall “deeply entrenched heteronormative concepts” dominate.

For example – just 28% of respondents globally said they would find it acceptable if a male child always dressed and expressed themselves as a girl.

A separate report – also released by the ILGA – looked at laws worldwide.

The report found that same-sex sexual acts can be punished with death penalty in 13 states, or parts of states (representing 6% of all UN states).

The threat of imprisonment exists in 75 countries and five entities.

In addition, many residents of these countries believe that being LGBT should be criminalised.

45% of respondents in Africa agreed “being LGBT should be considered a crime” along with 34% of respondents in Asia, 17% in Europe, 15% in the Americas and 14% in Oceania.

The ILGA also asked whether people felt that same-sex desire was a “western phenomenon”.

47% of respondents in Africa said yes, with 42% in Asia believing this was also true.

However, “western” countries also agreed with this statement – 24% in Europe, 21% in the Americas and 20% in Oceania.

Despite this, the ILGA says things are improving.

In 70 states, it is now prohibited to discriminate against an individual in employment on the basis of sexual orientation (38% of all UN states).

In 26 states, joint adoption is legal and in 40 states marriage is available to same-sex couples and those marriages have equal or almost equal legal standing as opposite-sex couples.

Last week, the UN issued a joint statement calling for countries to stop treating homosexuality as an illness.