Those are a few conclusions of an EU wide survey regarding LGBTI-acceptance. Sweden and the Netherlands came out as the frontrunners: in these countries respectively 98% and 97% of the population believe gay, lesbians and bisexuals should have equal rights. In the UK, 9 out of 10 of the respondents shared this opinion. This places the United Kingdom among the four highest scoring nations.
When it comes to public displays of affection between people of the same sex, the percentage drops drastically however. 67% of the Brits say they would feel comfortable when they see two men being intimate (kissing, holding hands etc.) and 70% said the same in regard to two women. However, one fifth of the population would feel “totally uncomfortable” in the presence of same-sex affection. In countries such as Bulgaria, Latvia and Hungary, a majority of the respondents would rather not see same-sex couples being affectionate.
In general, Europe seems to feel less uncomfortable than four years ago: the percentage of people who feel comfortable towards same-sex affection has increased with more than ten percent. In 2015, 38% of the respondents said they would feel comfortable seeing two men being intimate. Now, 49% shared this opinion. The countries where acceptance has increased the most are Germany, Luxembourg and Slovakia. The UK has also shown one of the biggest increases when it comes to comfortability regarding same-sex couples. Only the Hungarians expressed feeling less comfortable compared to the previously conducted survey four years ago.
Trans en intersex people
The survey also looked into the acceptance of trans and intersex people. 68% of the Brits would feel comfortable with their child being in a relationship with a trans person. This is the highest score in all of Europe. Also when it comes to intersex individuals, the UK is leading (with 69%) when it comes accepting their children’s potential intersex partner. A majority of the Europeans however, would not feel comfortable with their children being in a relationship with either a trans or an intersex individual. On the other hand, in most European countries, a majority thinks it is important to include information about diversity in terms of being intersex or transgender in school curriculums. A majority of Europeans agree that trans people should be able to change their gender in their passport.
The survey shows a positive trend: slowly, Europe is becoming more and more in favour of equal rights for the gay community: 76% of the Europeans believe homo- and bisexuals should have the same rights. Four years ago, this was 71%.