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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 20, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 21
Worldwide majority OK with Gay sex, new poll says
Section One
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Worldwide majority OK with Gay sex, new poll says

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

For the first time, a majority of the world's people think Gay sex should not be criminalized, according to a new poll released May 17 to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia.

The survey of 100,000 people in 75 countries is said to be the largest study of attitudes towards LGBT people ever conducted.

The poll conducted by RIWI Corp. and Logo found that 53% of the respondents believed that same-sex relations should not be criminalized. Only 25% said they should be a crime.

The last major study of global attitudes, conducted by Pew Research in 2013, found 41% in favor of legalizing same-sex relations.

'The picture we are gaining from this survey is the world is a less homophobic place than what we thought before,' Renato Sabbadini, the executive director at ILGA (the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association), told the British news service Gay Star News.

In the survey, large majorities in every part of the world agreed that human rights standards should apply to all regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Sixty-seven percent of all respondents agreed, with 62% in Africa, 63% in Asia, 69% in the Americas, 71% in Europe, and 73% in Oceania. Only 17% said that LGBT people should not have human rights protections.

According to Sabbadini, these favorable public attitudes are reflected in shifting legal standards.

'When you look at the number of the countries that criminalize same-sex activity, we're talking about 75 members of the UN,' he said. 'With over 193 countries in the world, it's only a minority of countries which persist in criminalizing same-sex sexual behavior.'

Not all the findings in the poll are good news, however. Some 68% of the respondents reported they would be upset if their child told them they were in love with someone in the same sex.

Sabbadini explained that although people don't want to criminalize Gay sex, they may still be homophobic and opposed to family members being Gay.

The new survey 'gives us hope,' he said, 'and at the same time, it clearly indicates there's a long way to go.'

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