A global survey of attitudes to homosexuality in 39 countries has shown growing acceptance across the developed world but little progress in the developing world when it comes to acceptance of LGBT rights.
The biggest jump in acceptance was in South Korea where the number of people who thought ‘homosexuality should be accepted’ jumped from 18 percent in 2007 to 39 percent in 2013.
The US saw the next biggest gain, from 49 percent to 60 percent.
Next was Canada which jumped from 70 percent to 80 percent.
The country with the highest level of support was Spain, which had gone from 82 percent to 88 percent, and the next highest Germany on 87 percent (up 6 percent).
Other high scorers included Australia, with 79 percent support, the UK, with 76 percent support, Argentina with 74 percent support and the Czech Republic with 80 percent support.
The Philippines had the highest level of acceptance of any Asian nation surveyed at 73 percent.
Support in Poland, the only country in the EU where a majority did not think homosexuality was acceptable, fell from 45 percent to 42 percent.
The greatest drop in acceptance was in France where support dropped from 83 percent in 2007 to 77 percent in 2013.
As of 2013 a majority of Japanese now consider homosexuality acceptable, rising from 49 percent to 53 percent.
South Africa was the only country which had legalized same-sex marriage where a majority did not think homosexuality was acceptable with 61 percent saying it was unacceptable.
Support in Lebanon remained unchanged at 18 percent.
The lowest level of support was in Egypt and Jordan – with Egypt going from 1 percent accepting to 3 percent, while Jordan fell from 6 percent to 3 percent.
Other countries which recorded drops in support were the Palestinian Territories, Turkey, Russia and Ghana.
Support went from 3 percent to 4 percent in Uganda, and 3 percent to 8 percent in Kenya.
‘Publics in Africa and in predominantly Muslim countries remain among the least accepting of homosexuality,’ the survey’s authors found.
‘Overwhelming majorities in the predominantly Muslim countries surveyed also say homosexuality should be rejected.’
‘There is a strong relationship between a country’s religiosity and opinions about homosexuality. There is far less acceptance of homosexuality in countries where religion is central to people’s lives – measured by whether they consider religion to be very important, whether they believe it is necessary to believe in God in order to be moral, and whether they pray at least once a day.’
The survey’s authors found that the age of respondents in such countries had little effect on their view of homosexuality.
‘Across the predominantly Muslim countries surveyed, as well as in the six sub-Saharan countries, solid majorities across age groups share the view that homosexuality should be rejected by society,’ they wrote.