Gays Still Aren't Too Popular Worldwide, New Study Finds

Gays Still Aren't Too Popular Worldwide, New Study Finds
Source: AP
Source: AP

A survey holds some sad news for young people looking to come out about bring gay to their parents: There's a high chance they won't be happy to hear about it.

68% of people worldwide would be upset if their child told them they had fallen in love with someone of the same sex, according to a report Tuesday from the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.

The survey gathered responses from 96,331 people in 53 countries. Respondents weighed in on same-sex marriage, which only 32% favored. While majorities would be upset with a gay child and don't advocate same-sex marriage, 67% of respondents believed LGBTQ people still deserve the same human rights everyone else receives — how generous! ILGA did not define what "human rights" means for the purposes of the report. 

But individual attitudes are not all LGBTQ people have to fear. A second ILGA report released Tuesday finds that the number of countries that criminalize same-sex sexual behavior remains high. 

According to the report, 74 states in the United Nations — 39% of its total membership — have laws criminalizing same-sex sexual acts. Of those states, 34 are in Africa, 23 are in Asia, 11 are in the Americas and seven are in Oceania. Thirteen states impose the death penalty as punishment for same-sex acts. 

Some countries also have unequal consent laws that punish same-sex sex acts. For example, opposite-sex consensual sex partners in Chile can have sex once they're 14, while same-sex consensual sex partners under 18 can be slapped with a charge of rape or statutory rape. This Draconian law may archaic, but Chile passed it in 2015. 

Not only is behavior punished, but countries like Russia — one of 17 countries the report names — have criminalized open expression and speech about non-heterosexual sexuality, which the Russian government considers "propaganda." Just this year, Russian officials arrested LGBT activists as they marched during a May Day parade. 

Though these data paint a less-than-ideal portrait for LGBTQ people worldwide, a glimmer of hope remains. Just over a third of respondents to the global attitudes survey indicated that their opinion of LGBTQ people became more favorable in the past five years. The number one reason, according to 24% of respondents, was because they knew someone who identified as LGBTQ. 

How ironic: Knowing someone who is LGBTQ people makes people more comfortable with it, but more than two-thirds of people would probably not create a good environment for their LGBTQ child to come out as who they are. 

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Mathew Rodriguez

Mathew Rodriguez is a Staff Writer at Mic. He is a queer Latino New Yorker who enjoys female rappers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Flannery O'Connor. He is a former editor at TheBody.com and he is working on a memoir.

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