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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 14 - Volume 42 Issue 46
New study finds global increase of acceptance of Gay and Lesbian communities worldwide Seattle's LGBT Square Dancing Club to offer FREE Square Dancing Evening in Seattle
Section One
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New study finds global increase of acceptance of Gay and Lesbian communities worldwide Seattle's LGBT Square Dancing Club to offer FREE Square Dancing Evening in Seattle

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Public attitudes towards Gay rights across time and countries has improved. A new Williams Institute study finds that residents in 90% of all surveyed countries have become more accepting of homosexuality over the past 20 years.

The study examines the responses to 2000 survey questions asked in hundreds of surveys since 1981. Each included questions about attitudes regarding Lesbians and Gay men in 10 to 52 countries.

'Available research on global public acceptance of Lesbians and Gay men is limited,' said Andrew Park, Director of International Programs at the Williams Institute. 'This study shows a clear trend toward increasing acceptance across the globe.'

Key findings include: o Women are on average more than one and a half times more likely to be accepting of Lesbian and Gay people than men.

o In 98% of the countries, those under 30 are more likely to say that same-gender sex is not wrong at all, compared to those aged 65 and older. The average gap in supportiveness between these age groups is 23.4%. The study indicates that people remain supportive as they grow older.

o In Latin America, acceptance of homosexuality ranges from a high of 34% in Uruguay to a low of 2% in Ecuador. On the legal recognition for marriages for same-sex couples, Uruguay has the highest level of support at 57% while Guatemala has the lowest level of support at 12%.

o In Africa, acceptance of homosexuality ranges from a high of 38% in South Africa to a low of 2% in Ghana. However, most countries in Africa are ranked in the bottom third of all countries in the world in their level of acceptance of Lesbian and Gay people.

o 91% of European countries have become more accepting over the past 20 years. The most accepting are those in Northern Europe while those in Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States have the lowest levels of acceptance. The level of acceptance across all surveyed countries has increased an average of 0.9 percentage points per year.

o Countries in Northwestern Europe are the most accepting, followed by the following clusters of countries: Australia/Canada/New Zealand/United States, Southern European countries, Latin American countries, former Soviet Union/Eastern & Central Europe, Asian countries, African countries, and majority Muslim countries.

The study, 'Public Attitudes toward Homosexuality and Gay Rights across Time and Countries,' is authored by Tom W. Smith, NORC at the University of Chicago; Jaesok Son, NORC at the University of Chicago; and Jibum Kim, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul Korea. To read the complete study, visit williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu

The Williams Institute is dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. A national think tank at UCLA Law, the Williams Institute produces high-quality research with real-world relevance and disseminates it to judges, legislators, policymakers, media and the public.

Courtesy of The Williams Institute

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