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Global Acceptance of Homosexuality: MAP


A new study from Pew Research surveys the public on whether society should accept homosexuality:

The survey of publics in 39 countries finds broad acceptance of homosexuality in North America, the European Union, and much of Latin America, but equally widespread rejection in predominantly Muslim nations and in Africa, as well as in parts of Asia and in Russia. Opinion about the acceptability of homosexuality is divided in Israel, Poland and Bolivia.

Attitudes about homosexuality have been fairly stable in recent years, except in South Korea, the United States and Canada, where the percentage saying homosexuality should be accepted by society has grown by at least ten percentage points since 2007.

The survey also finds that acceptance of homosexuality is particularly widespread in countries where religion is less central in people’s lives. These are also among the richest countries in the world. In contrast, in poorer countries with high levels of religiosity, few believe homosexuality should be accepted by society.

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  1. Interesting that Bolivia and Venezuela are more liberal than Israel on this issue.

    Posted by: Kyle | Jun 5, 2013 11:05:58 AM

  2. Interesting that Bolivia and Venezuela are more liberal than Israel on this issue.

    Posted by: Kyle | Jun 5, 2013 11:05:59 AM

  3. LOL...Mexico beats out the USA.

    Japan 54? Israel 40?

    And China is not a religious society at all, something like 50%+ of Chinese consider themselves Atheist. Yet it rates 21. Notice even the advanced Asian societies rank very low. But interestingly, the Philippines, which is very religious, ranks 73.

    With exception of a few Latin American countries, the nations where Catholicism is dominant rank very high in gay acceptance. The nations where Orthodox dominates rank low. The nations that have a powerful evangelical presence [like the USA in our southern states] rank low.

    African countries rank by far the lowest. And again, Asian societies regardless of how advanced they are, also rank low.

    Israel ranks low. Did this include Arab Israelis? Even if it didn't, it would still rank low. Israel saw a huge influx of Russians and Eastern Europeans that has transformed their society over the past 20 odd years. Maybe this Eastern European influence is a big part of the reason Israel ranks low.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jun 5, 2013 11:18:47 AM

  4. Not surprising to me, really. Israel is one of those "tolerant" type countries, where they allow LGBT people to live within society but they are clearly not recognized as equal citizens. What is interesting is that in the US, the Jewish community is one of the most clear cut accepting groups.

    Speaking of the US, we're only a few points ahead of Greece and Japan and equal to Brazil and Mexico, two countries that have some of the worst hate crime rates against LGBT citizens. And even in those countries, there is marriage equality, which we don't see in the USA, so we really can't be considered as accepting a nation as those countries. Not a good look, no offense to those nations, but there's no reason we shouldn't be where Canada is but we're not even close.

    Things are improving but this map shows us how far behind the US is to a large portion of the world. Of course, the Middle East, a majority of Asia and Eastern Europe as well as parts of South America, are simply brutal and not getting any better. Such a shame. For as bad as things often are in the States, we're definitely lucky.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Jun 5, 2013 11:20:20 AM

  5. Should add:

    ALL the Arab and Muslim dominated societies rank extremely low. Pretty much all of the continent of Africa, both north Africa and sub Saharan Africa, rank the lowest in the world bar none; with the exception of Israel, which still compared to other advanced nations, ranks unusually low.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jun 5, 2013 11:23:39 AM

  6. And how could I forget African countries, wow. So much of the world is still incredibly homophobic and getting even worse. Sometimes we don't recognize that as we live in more privileged circumstances. We may be behind Mexico and other countries one wouldn't expect but at least we aren't living under active threat of being taken from our own homes and beaten and murdered, sanctioned by governments.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Jun 5, 2013 11:23:43 AM

  7. Malaysia fares better than Indonesia? Now that is completely whack man

    Posted by: darkorient | Jun 5, 2013 11:33:47 AM

  8. This removes all doubt that Western secular values are superior.

    Posted by: Queer Supremacist | Jun 5, 2013 11:37:42 AM

  9. When those who note Israel's low ranking should consider they are surrounded by Arab Countries, some of which has public beheadings for consenting straight couples and hangings of teen age homosexuals in public squares. Israel also has publically funded gay friendly ads from their Official Tourism Office... Howmany Arab countris have that? Keep in mind that Israeli Orthodoc Judaism are extreme and yet powerful. As a Jew, I am proud to see that Israeli Government allow Gay Pride Parades, and several Gay Community Centers that allow Arab youth to take part in their programs.

    Posted by: Jerry Pritikin the bleacher Preacher | Jun 5, 2013 11:39:03 AM

  10. Very interesting. As for Israel: about 20% there are the Muslim minority (could be a majority in less than 50 years), well over 1/3 of the remaining Jews are orthodox. Those groups are growing faster than the liberals...don't expect Israel's 40% to "get better".
    Nice to see the Philippines ranked higher than I would have expected. Also interesting that the Czech Republic is so different from Poland. I knew they would be somewhat different, but not that much. The Czech might be nominally Slavic, but it seems they are more culturally influenced by Germany. Russia is even worse than I thought it would be.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Jun 5, 2013 11:45:35 AM

  11. As for China, well, remember it's all about preserving the family line there, versus the government's one-child policy. (Which was probably a good idea for that country, at the time...though not for the reasons they thought. Yes, I will second guess the entire Chinese government!) My impression is many Chinese wouldn't have a problem with _you_ being gay, but they would have serious problems with their own children being gay.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Jun 5, 2013 11:53:14 AM

  12. I don't trust this, though I usually trust Pew. I got hit on more in Egypt and Turkey than I do in SF, and they're both in the single digits. (And yes, I'm well aware that homo activity is often hidden, but these were explicit and not prostitutes.) There are so many variables at play here---did they poll in urban or rural areas, how many people were polled, how educated were they, what questions were asked, were those being polled from the same tribes/castes/races as the pollsters, and so on.

    There are other methodological and coverage issues, but that's enough from me.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jun 5, 2013 11:57:07 AM

  13. I wonder how this data was collected. Did the Pew Center translate the questions themselves or did they contract with the local surveying firms? (B/c based on how the main Russian survey center - Levada - works in the area of LGBT issues, these numbers would leave me suspicious.) I skimmed the link - and maybe I just missed it - but I didn't catch exactly how they worked.

    Posted by: Victor | Jun 5, 2013 12:05:16 PM

  14. @Queer Supremacist
    Yeah, but those values need to be lived. It doesn't help if you live in a de facto theocracy like the US.

    Posted by: Steve | Jun 5, 2013 12:06:13 PM

  15. Thankfully, as recent gay marriage referendums proved, the US is NOT a defacto theocracy. Though parts of it may be quasi-theocracies. (Utah)

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Jun 5, 2013 12:26:59 PM

  16. @Steve:

    Do you seriously believe the US, for all its gross mistakes, is anywhere near as bad as any of the real theocracies? If it were, we wouldn't be having this discussion in the first place.

    Posted by: Queer Supremacist | Jun 5, 2013 12:33:59 PM

  17. Steve, you really need to turn the computer off and explore the world. You have Zero idea of reality.

    Posted by: Mike in nyc | Jun 5, 2013 12:48:16 PM

  18. Fear is a great motivator and I'm not so sure that a public poll would reveal what people really feel, especially in a country with a history of socialism/communism, where people may still remember when you really weren't supposed to think freely and still fear the repercussions. I think poll numbers can be skewed due to distrust of the government and what the government might really be looking for. Here in the US we sometimes forget what it's like NOT to speak your mind, but your programmed rhetoric.

    Posted by: Hey Darlin' | Jun 5, 2013 12:56:00 PM

  19. @Paul R, homosexuality is very prevalent in Muslim culture though they often deny it even exists. It's a result of the very low status of women who are controlled first by their family (father and brothers) and then by their husband. The family's "honor" rests partly on their virginity until marriage, which makes premarital heterosexual sex for men hard to find. So they turn to men and/or boys for that, all while denying vehemently that it goes on because it doesn't fit their religious world view.

    That mindset has it that it's OK to have sex with men but having a gay identity is strictly forbidden and violently repressed. You shouldn't mistake ease of getting laid in an Arab country for anything even bordering on acceptance of gays.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jun 5, 2013 1:23:54 PM

  20. EchtKultig, the Czech Republic has a majority Atheist population while Poland has a heavily Catholic population. So, it is not surprising that the Czech Republic is more loving and pro-human rights than Poland.
    Dark, Indonesia is more than 80% Muslim while Malaysia is only 55% Muslim (with important Buddhist, Hindu, and Protestant minorities). So, it makes sense that Indonesia is more anti-equality than Malaysia.

    Posted by: DB | Jun 5, 2013 2:06:45 PM

  21. Did anyone notice that Scandinavia CANNOT be right in this graphic! I call shenanigans.

    Posted by: Marc B. | Jun 5, 2013 2:07:53 PM

  22. The fact that people are surprised about Mexico having the same attitude as the US (1% higher but I guess that's within the margin of error) shows how little many people know about contemporary Mexican culture.

    Posted by: Fiveht | Jun 5, 2013 2:09:27 PM

  23. @Steve,

    The U.S. for all it's flaws IS NOT a theocracy, de facto or otehrwise. It's a pretty rigidly secular state. This doesn't mean you can't mention 'God', put up Christmas decorations [or at least you should be able to, even on public property IMHO, and I'm Agnostic], etc. But there is no established, official state religion and the church and state are strictly separated.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jun 5, 2013 2:11:03 PM

  24. @Fiveht,

    I was having a little fun poking fun at the U.S. I'm aware of modern Mexican society,culture, politics, economics.

    @Marc B.,

    You'll notice all the Scandinavian countries, Republic of Ireland, some Eastern Euro countries, and some South American countries like Uruguay [an advanced country] were left out.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jun 5, 2013 2:15:19 PM

  25. What happened to New Zealand? I'd expect their score to be right up there near the top.

    Posted by: steve | Jun 5, 2013 2:18:51 PM

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