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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 2 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 18
Spain most accepting country for Gays Pew Research says
Section One
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Spain most accepting country for Gays Pew Research says

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Spain is the most accepting country for Gays, according to a survey by Pew Research Center, and the French say that pretty much any conduct is OK with them.

The Pew Global Views on Morality poll asked people in 40 countries what they thought about extramarital affairs, gambling, homosexuality, abortion, premarital sex, alcohol use, divorce, and contraception. For each issue, respondents were asked to choose between 'Unacceptable,' 'Acceptable,' or 'Not a moral issue.'

Fifty-five percent of Spanish respondents described homosexuality as 'morally acceptable,' while 38% said it was 'not a moral issue.' Only 6% of Spaniards said that homosexuality was 'morally unacceptable.'

In the United States, 23% found being Gay morally acceptable, while 35% said it was not a moral issue - perhaps reflecting the idea that people do not 'choose' to be Gay. Thirty-seven percent of Americans said homosexuality was morally unacceptable, however.

At the other end of the scale were a number of African and Asian countries where more than 90% of respondents said homosexuality was morally wrong - Ghana (98%), Jordan (95%), Egypt (95%), the Palestinian territories (94%), Indonesia (93%), Uganda (93%), and Tunisia (92%).

In Russia, where Vladimir Putin's government has embarked on an anti-Gay campaign, 72% of the respondents said homosexuality was unacceptable.

The most liberal attitudes in general were in France, where at least 40% of respondents found all eight subjects not to be moral issues at all. France was followed in liberalism by Spain, the Czech Republic, Japan, and Germany.

Americans were most liberal on the issues of contraceptives and alcohol use. Fifty-two percent of Americans found the use of contraceptives to be acceptable and 7% unacceptable, although this was somewhat more conservative than global attitudes as a whole. Thirty-two percent found alcohol use to be acceptable, as opposed to 16% who said it was unacceptable.

The most conservative countries, where respondents found all of the eight issues unacceptable were the Palestinian territories, Pakistan, Ghana, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

The conservative countries differed on which of the issues their residents found particularly heinous, however. Palestinians were appalled by extra-martial affairs (94%); Pakistanis by gambling (95%) and alcohol use (94%); Ghanaians by homosexuality (98%); Filipinos by abortion (93%); and Indonesians by premarital sex (97%).

Among Pew's general conclusions:

o 'Extramarital affairs widely seen as morally unacceptable.'

o 'People see using contraceptives as a morally acceptable practice.'

o 'People in countries surveyed are more split on premarital sex and alcohol usage.'

o 'Americans see extramarital affairs as unacceptable, but are more accepting on other issues.'

o 'U.S. Republicans are more likely to view many of these issues as unacceptable.'

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