Discrimination is growing in Northern Ireland, an Equality Commission report revealed today (13 June).
The study showed that prejudice against people from different backgrounds has grown in the last six years.
According to the study, 27% said they would not want to have a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender person living next door. Up from just 14% in 2005,
And it revealed that 42% of respondents said they would feel unconfortable about having a gay person as an in-law, against 29% of six years ago.
The study was conducted last September and more than 1,000 members of the public were interviewed face-to-face in Northern Ireland to compile it.
But it’s not just the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population who face trouble. It also showed greater discrimination against the traveller community and disabled people.
John O’Doherty, director of the Rainbow Project, Northern Ireland’s main LGBT association, told Gay Star News: ‘This report provides some startling information about attitudes towards LGBT people.
‘Not only do negative attitudes still exist, they are on the increase. What this report clearly shows is that not enough is being done to address the negative perceptions.
‘While ministers continue to refuse to introduce legislation to allow same sex couples to adopt children or get married, no consideration is given to the impact this has on attitudes towards our community.
‘If government continues to treat LGBT people as second class citizens, there is the risk that this is how LGBT people will be viewed by the general public.’
According to O’Doherty responsibility for taking action now rests with politicians.
He concluded: ‘The Sexual Orientation Strategy and Action Plan must be developed as a priority.
‘And our political parties must support the move to have the Strategy for Cohesion, Sharing and Integration inclusive of issues relating to LGBT people.’