More than one in four people (28.5%) believe that those in same-sex relationships should be ‘charged as criminals’, according to a new survey of over 100,000 people across 77 countries and territories around the world.
Unsurprisingly, the 2017 ILGA-RIWI Global Attitudes Survey showed that there were major differences in views towards sexual and gender minorities in different regions.
45% of respondents in the 15 African countries surveyed agreed that people who engage in same-sex relationships should be charged as criminals, by far the highest percentage around the world.
Elsewhere, 36% of of respondents from the Middle East agreed with that sentiment, compared to 15% of respondents from Australia and New Zealand, and 19% from North America, South America, and Western Europe.
In the UK, one in six (17%) people said they believe that same-sex couples should be charged.
“It is worrying that these attitudes towards criminalisation hover around the 20% mark in many developed countries,” said Aengus Carroll, lead survey researcher and co-author of the report.
The survey found that when respondents know someone belonging to a sexual or gender minority, their attitudes tend to be “markedly more expansive or inclusive” than when people don’t know someone.
While 55% agreed that equal rights and protections should be applied to LGB people, and 59% said the same for trans people, that figure rose to 73% among people who knew someone from either
Elsewhere in the survey, 48% of respondents around the world said they could respect their religion while being accepting of people in same-sex relationships, compared to 30% who felt the two were incompatible.