A new survey has shed light on European attitudes to discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
The European Commission’s report also found that 46% of respondents across the European Union think gay people face discrimination, while 46% think they rarely or never do.
Similarly, 45% across the EU think transgender people face discrimination, and 42% disagree. It is the first time gender identity has been included in the survey.
However, a breakdown of the figures reveal large disparities between the 27 countries.
77% in Cyprus believe there is discrimination against LGB people, while only 16% believe transgender people are persecuted in Bulgaria.
The ‘Euro-barometer’ only measures perception of discrimination, and doesn’t establish factual levels of discrimination or violence faced by LGBT people in the EU.
Overall, no significant change was measured since 2009, despite some countries reporting less perceived discrimination, including Sweden, Romania, Latvia, and Poland, and more in Cyprus, Slovakia, Greece, Slovenia and Belgium.
Members of the European Parliament have welcomed these new results.
Sirpa PietikÃ¤inen, vice-president of the LGBT Intergroup, said: ‘I’m happy to see that citizens feel increasingly comfortable with LGBT persons overall, even mildly at 0.1% across the Union.’
‘Of course there are both positive and negative evolutions in individual membersStates, but in the long run I am convinced the European Union has a beneficial effect for the acceptance of LGBT people.’
In the first half of 2013, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights will publish results from its LGBT equality survey, featuring actual levels of discrimination in the EU and Croatia.