A greater number of countries have
become more accepting of gay men and lesbians over the last two
decades, a new study concludes.
The report titled Cross-national
Differences in Attitudes towards Homosexuality was compiled by
the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago and
released by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. (View
the full report.)
“Overwhelmingly, societies have
become more accepting of homosexual behavior,” the researchers
wrote. “Moreover, the growth in approval was stronger than the
Researchers found that support for gay
men and lesbians has increased in 27 out of 31 countries and
decreased in four former socialist countries, including Cyprus, the
Czech Republic, Latvia and Russia.
Using data up to 2008, researchers
ranked the Netherlands the country most accepting of gay men and
lesbians, followed by Denmark, Norway, Switzerland and Belgium.
Acceptance is greatest in the
Netherlands, where only 14 percent believe sexual relations between
two adults of the same sex is “always wrong” or “almost always
wrong.” That's four points less than in 1991. Not surprisingly,
Netherlands was the first country to legalize gay marriage in 2001.
In contrast, a large majority (76%) of
Russians say being gay is wrong, up four points from 1991.
Sentiment in the United States falls
somewhere in the middle. Fifty-eight percent of Americans say
homosexuality is “always” or “almost always” wrong, down from
72 percent in 1991.