Call it progress…kinda.
A worldwide study conducted by the Ilga-Riwi global attitudes survey has found that about one quarter of the world’s population believes homosexual behavior should be considered a criminal offense under law. The survey, conducted over 77 territories and countries, also found that attitudes toward gay, transgender, or gender-fluid vary wildly by geographical region.
For example, just 19% respondents in the United States, Western Europe, Canada and South America agreed that consenting adults in same-sex relationships should receive criminal charges. That number dropped to just 15% in New Zealand and Australia.
Predictably, the regions most opposed to homosexual behavior included the Middle East and Africa. In the 15 African countries surveyed, 45% agreed with treating queer people as criminals. 36% in the Middle East agreed.
Perhaps most troubling though for advocates of LGBT rights, even in countries which decriminalized homosexual acts years ago, significant minorities still favored criminalizing queer behavior. 18% of respondents in the United States favored criminalization, while 17% in the UK agreed.
Still, the study found another important trend: people who know out queer individuals have a much higher opposition to criminalizing gay behavior. A whopping 73% of respondents who knew a queer person favored full equality under the law.