Report: More Countries Supporting Gays And Lesbians

According to a new study conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, more countries all over the world are becoming more accepting of gays and lesbians. The AFP reports on some of the findings:

Support "Approval of homosexuality increased in 27 countries and decreased in only four: Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Latvia and Russia, the study noted. The growth in approval ratings was stronger than the decline. The study rated the top five most tolerant countries regarding homosexuality as the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, and Belgium, according to the survey. The bottom half of the list consisted of seven ex-socialist states, East Asian nations, Latin American countries and Cyprus, South Africa, and Turkey. In Russia, 59 percent of the population felt that homosexual behavior was wrong in 1991 compared with 64 percent in 2008, the study showed."

The increase in the intolernat attitudes toward gays and lesbians in Russia should't be all that surprising considering the violent events that took place yesterday.


  1. Max says

    “The bottom half of the list consisted of seven ex-socialist states…”

    What? Didn’t we have a representative from Pravda in here the other day telling us the (former) Soviets weren’t homophobic thugs?

    Socialists are not liberals.

  2. Francis says

    This is a good stat, at the same time, it really does reflect the differences in quality of life in a Netherlands, Denmark or Sweden in comparison to Eastern Euro countries, East Asia, the Caribbean, Africa. Still so much of the world is dangerously institutionally homophobic but it’s nice to know, for the most part, things are starting to get better.

  3. TampaZeke says

    The most surprising and disappointing thing about this survey is the fact that the Czech Republic, the LEAST religious country in the world, and a generally progressive country is becoming more homophobic.

  4. Bill Perdue says

    Our brothers and sisters in the former USSR and Warsaw Pact countries have incredible courage.

    I’m glad that leaders with the stature of Thayer and Thatchell and others were able to attend the fifth, if memory serves, Gay Pride march banned by the city administration. Given the intransigence of the city bureaucrats and the violence of the neo-fascists it’s time be build an international defense campaign with demonstrations, petitions and by soliciting endorsements for free speech and getting LGBT groups, national and international, to demand recognition by the Russian government or our right to demonstrate and organize.

    It’s clear from Thatchell’s remarks that the Militsiya were cooperating with the neo-fascists. “We witnessed a high level of fraternisation and collusion between neo-Nazis and the Moscow police. I saw neo-Nazis leave and re-enter police buses parked on Tverskaya Street by City Hall. Our suspicion is that many of the neo-Nazis were actually plainclothes police officers, who did to us what their uniformed colleagues dared not do in front of the world’s media. Either that, or the police were actively facilitating the right-wing extremists with transport to the protest.”

    The courage and combativeness of our Russian brothers and sisters are shining examples for other sectors of Russian society anxious to break the shackles of a society still largely ruled by Stalinists who, irrespective of their pretenses, have always been a right wing party. It’s a wonder that the USSR survived as long as it did because the regime they instituted after defeating and murdering the Bolsheviks was corrupt and inept beyond belief.

    The difference between pre and post Stalinist Russia is that corruption, neo-fascist thuggery, racism and bigotry are now practiced by capitalists instead of bureaucrats.

    A note for Max – American liberals and Russian Stalinists are not part of the left, they’re rightists or right centrists. Stalinists are not socialists.

  5. Jean says

    My country, Switzerland??? High quality of life maybe – but legal protection? Regarding the legal situation ILGA just rated it one of the worst places in Western(!) Europe…

  6. candideinnc says

    East European countries–Czech Republic, Russia and Hungary especially–are beneficiaries of American tourism. The same with the Caribbean countries. Gay people should take those countries off there list of places to visit. Prague was beautiful when I visited 12 or 13 years ago. I won’t go back, given its homophobia. (Incidentally, to the writer above, socialism is irrelevant to the discussion. The Scandinavian countries mentioned here are democratic socialist republics and the most liberal countries in the world.)

  7. Robert says

    Jean, I tend to agree with that. I was surprised to see Switzerland in the top 5 too. Both Switzerland and Denmark of course do not have marriage equality yet while the other three do. I was surprised to not see Sweden in the top 5, another country with marriage equality. I suspect this study is deeply flawed.

  8. ratbastard says

    The ‘Ex’ socialist states? Comparing polls from 1991 [right after the ‘socialist’ collapse? Try COMMUNIST] WITH now? Things in Russia and Eastern Europe were so much better, and more gay friendly PC, when they were communist totalitarian dictatorships, errrr….socialist? What we see today in Russia and Eastern Europe is the LEGACY of anywhere from 75 – 45 years of ‘socialism’, or rather communism. It will take a while before they fully recover from the damage it caused in the psychology of the people.

    Naturally, the basically the Nordic western European countries are the most tolerant. But isn’t it those pale northern Europeans the PC ‘progressives’ hate the most? Something about being too white, too undiverse, too boring, etc.

  9. ratbastard says

    I’m surprised Brazil isn’t on the most gay-friendly list. It’s constantly mentioned on this site and other gay sites. And all those ‘fun’ tropical and subtropical locations that are always being pushed on tourists gay and otherwise? You telling me they aren’t gay-friendly?

    There are basically a handful [literally] of locations in our world that get the Gay-Friendly, uber PC seal of approval: The Scandinavian Countries, The Netherlands, maybe Switzerland, Belgium. Small Northwestern European countries. I call them boutique nation states. But interestingly, most American ‘progressives’ would consider these countries too un-diverse, too white, too mehhh, the same way many consider northern New England states like Vermont, New Hampshire, which also BTW have the lowest crime rates in the U.S. and are very gay-friendly compared to most other states. But yeah, they are very ‘white’ and ‘boring’.

  10. Luke says

    @CandideinNC: Norway, Sweden and Denmark aren’t “democratic socialist republics” but democratic capitalist kingdoms with some socialist parties. In that respect, they are like the United States (except for the “kingdom” part). In Norway, the anti-communist Socialist Left Party is one of the three parties in the coalition government.

  11. botfly says

    It can happen in one of the least religious nations in the world (Czech Republic). Support is going down in Eastern Europe, so it is rather cliche to blame communism or religion, is it not? Perhaps it is because Eastern Europe is treated like a brothel for white flesh by the West, that is driving them to a more conservative direction.

    Yes, things are easier in Scandinavia, but they were not thrown off a cliff after the end of communism.

  12. massachewsits says

    Economics and human rights aren’t always in tandem. Israel was, and to some extent, is still socialist and has a better record on gay rights than the US does. It just depends on culture and what the government, democratic or not, decides to control.

  13. ratbastard says


    True, the collapse of communism in E. Europe created a boom for pornography [along with the advent of the internet], the ‘sex industry’, etc. Pretty white people [women and men, boys and girls] desperate for cash, on a large scale. Most places in the world where people like pornographers, pimps, go to exploit poor, desperate people don’t have a lot of pretty white people.

    *DISCLAIMER: The above post is tinged with sarcasm. Read between the lines before you start calling me racist and other ‘ists’.

  14. downtownla says

    It should also be noted that homophobia around the world takes on different forms. While East Asia may not be as advanced in terms of legal protections for LGBT, I don’t think it’s the same vitriol and potential for violence that exists in Eastern Europe or the Caribbean. It’s more of the Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell variety. I think in time, those countries will come around. (Are they including Thailand, Nepal and Cambodia in this? I think they are relatively better, as well.)

  15. BobN says

    What a thread!

    Governments which need to focus their citizens on something other than their own incompetence/greed/criminality seize on anti-minority hatred, often originating from religion, to deflect the people from how bad/corrupt the government is.

    Russia is sliding back into autocracy with the helpful collaboration of the Russian Orthodox Church. The new Czars will be self-made men (if you can call a former KGB director who scammed the “privatization” process self-made). Russia is and will remain an oligarchy and hatred of us helps preoccupy the people.

    There’s nothing so simultaneously amusing and appalling as watching Americans discuss politics in foreign countries.

  16. Steve says

    The homophobia in non-Islamic Asia stems mostly from the deep importance family has in those countries. Both the continuation of the own family and the image of it in the eyes of others.

    If those countries ever progress to the point where same-sex couples are seen a proper families and them having children is acceptable, much of the negative attitude will go away.

  17. ratbastard says


    There’s nothing more irritating than smug, condescending ‘I’m better than you’ posters like you.

    And aside from CandideinNC [and you], there are intelligent, thoughtful comments posted here.

  18. Jesse says

    No legal protection, but I believe Thailand is the most tolerant regarding homosexual. You are likely to get better jobs and have better chance at securing a job if you are a gay man these days !

  19. Jerry6 says

    Mmmmmm. Where does the USA stand in the ratings? The article is strangely silent on that.