24 votes

Views of homosexuality around the world - The global divide persists, but a survey of 34 countries shows increasing acceptance in most of them over the past two decades

23 comments

  1. [13]
    ohyran
    (edited )
    Link
    I'm a gay dude from Sweden and acceptance of homosexuality is palpable in society. Even the "usual suspects" of extreme right wing parties, insane conservative groups etc are suddenly breaking the...

    I'm a gay dude from Sweden and acceptance of homosexuality is palpable in society.

    Even the "usual suspects" of extreme right wing parties, insane conservative groups etc are suddenly breaking the international trend when it comes to the "LGB" bit of the LGBT abbreviation (we have A LOT of work still to do for transgendered [EDIT: the term "transgender" instead of "transgendered" is the correct one, as mentioned below by Emmanuelle but keeping it here with this edit so others reading it can be informed of this too (thank you Emmanuelle!)] people) by avoiding any dog whistling, any attacks etc on all things LGBT.

    Older people are often just as supportive as younger - but they lack the coded language to sound like they are some times. Same with working class people who often don't have the academically coded langauge set, but the opinions and support. Its a personal pet peeve when people get angry about it and go on long twitter rants about being called the wrong word without never bothering to check if this was done out of pure ignorance or malice.

    Also any time when I can shout my love for the former archbishop of the Swedish church: KG Hammar, I will. That guy made the shift back in the day by being an unwavering supporter for LGBTQ rights. Without him our numbers would never have been as high, and equal marriage rights would have lagged way behind.

    12 votes
    1. [9]
      Turtle
      Link Parent
      Is the church that influential nowadays? I was under the impression that the Nordic countries were particularly secular compared to the rest of Europe.

      Is the church that influential nowadays? I was under the impression that the Nordic countries were particularly secular compared to the rest of Europe.

      4 votes
      1. [4]
        Sand
        Link Parent
        Maybe. More than half the population are members of the Church of Sweden.

        Maybe. More than half the population are members of the Church of Sweden.

        7 votes
        1. [3]
          cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          IIRC from talking to one of my Swedish friends about this, that number is likely rather inflated due to the fact that the church used to automatically consider you a member so long as your parents...

          IIRC from talking to one of my Swedish friends about this, that number is likely rather inflated due to the fact that the church used to automatically consider you a member so long as your parents were, and even though that changed at some point in the 90s, they still consider you a new member as soon as you have been baptized in the church (or any affiliated church), which is also still something the vast majority of people don't actually decide for themselves since its usually their parents who made that choice for them. And the only way to leave the church is to explicitly reach out to tell them you want to cancel your membership, which a lot of people (my friend included) just cant be bothered to do, despite not attending and not being a believer. Is that correct or was I misinformed?

          4 votes
          1. ohyran
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Yup correct - I was born outside of the church which is odd considering my age (both my parents had already left it). A lot of friends are still members and my husband is still a member simply...

            Yup correct - I was born outside of the church which is odd considering my age (both my parents had already left it). A lot of friends are still members and my husband is still a member simply because he thinks the church tax isn't something to go to all that trouble over and tbh its supporting a pretty good organization in his view.

            A lot of friends are still members because of that support of the church, even if they don't in any way believe in God.

            3 votes
          2. Sand
            Link Parent
            Sounds about right, but if I were to guess, many people still culturally identify with the church, even if they aren't believers.

            Sounds about right, but if I were to guess, many people still culturally identify with the church, even if they aren't believers.

            2 votes
      2. [4]
        ohyran
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        The church is a pretty wide organization but during KG Hammar and after, its political leanings are a huge part of it. A very clear humanist ideology and for many priests and bishops also...

        The church is a pretty wide organization but during KG Hammar and after, its political leanings are a huge part of it. A very clear humanist ideology and for many priests and bishops also liberty-theology (don't know the correct term in English [EDIT: its liberal-christianity in English]), a south american theological stand point which is focused more on real world justice, liberty and equality than the saving of the soul.

        So a lot of organizations from left to right have christian-subgroups in them.

        Also relevant is that the theological stand points of the church are fairly loose. The Bible is inspired by god, never written by god (which isn't a unique stand point), the true nature of god is unfathomable, and "god is good" seems to be the core of it.

        The wikipedia article of it is pretty extensive https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Sweden

        EDIT: the fact that the main seat of the Church is Uppsala, which was also the main hub for the Odinist cult, is fun to me :)
        Since we where reeeeaaaally late in getting Christianity here, missing in practice things like feudalism, the choice of having it there seems kinda sly.

        2 votes
        1. [3]
          cfabbro
          Link Parent
          Awesome. I can honestly see why many people still support and remain members of the Church even if they are non-believers.

          The Church of Sweden is known today for its liberal position in theological issues, particularly the question of homosexuality. When Eva Brunne was consecrated as Bishop of Stockholm in 2009, she became the first openly lesbian bishop in the world.

          Since 1960, women have been ordained as priests, and since 1994, men who oppose collaboration with women priests have not been allowed ordination. A proposal to perform same-sex weddings was approved on October 22, 2009 by 176 of 249 voting members of the Church of Sweden Synod.

          Awesome. I can honestly see why many people still support and remain members of the Church even if they are non-believers.

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            ohyran
            Link Parent
            Well its a cultural thing I guess ... plus religion is fiddly. Religion is fiddly, anecdote: I tried to explain to some French friends my granddads position on it for example - and the whole...

            Well its a cultural thing I guess ... plus religion is fiddly.

            Religion is fiddly, anecdote:
            I tried to explain to some French friends my granddads position on it for example - and the whole "atheist who believes in God" bit was just insane to them. I mean it is pretty bonkers - my granddad had a beef with god who he thought was acting like a dick, since God is omnipotent etc the only way to hurt god and ONLY god is to be a non-believer by choice. So he thoroughly believed in god but called himself an atheist refused religious services etc (world war 2 had been pretty rough for him) .

            Now my granddads position was weird but they where more angry at my granddad for misusing the word "atheism". Since religion is a very strict and defined thing in France, and in Sweden waaaaaay more wishy-washy and "come as you like" terms like "atheist" are important and sources for conflict (here its just "huh ok who cares?").
            So from a Swedish perspective the church, belief and non-belief is way more intermingled.

            2 votes
            1. cfabbro
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              Heh, your granddad's "atheist out of spite" is surprisingly not a unique case, and I have actually encountered it a few times before. And TBH, it actually makes more sense to me for someone who...

              Heh, your granddad's "atheist out of spite" is surprisingly not a unique case, and I have actually encountered it a few times before. And TBH, it actually makes more sense to me for someone who does believe in God as portrayed in the Bible to do that than be devoted. Stephen Fry explained why that is the case far more eloquently than I ever could: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-suvkwNYSQo

              The weird part of your story to me is not your grandad's position, but the people you met who got angry at him calling himself an atheist. I just don't see the point of being angry at someone who calls themselves an atheist who is only doing it out of spite, since it's just a meaningless label after all... and I say that as an "atheist" myself. Although in my case, I actually don't and simply can't believe in God. I tried very hard to be a believer for a long time, largely because my parents and most of my family are, and I even came damn close to going into Catholic seminary school after highschool until I finally broke down and admitted to myself that I didn't and actually couldn't believe in God no matter how much I/others tried to convince myself/me there was one. IMO there is simply no evidence whatsoever for a God, let alone the Christian one in particular, and I say that despite reading the rationale of many, many authors who claim there is (e.g. Letters From A Skeptic, The Case for Christ, etc.). And without evidence, even the tiniest shred, I just can't seem to force myself to believe in something. I honestly wish I could simply have faith and be a believer, since it would probably make life a hell of a lot easier, but unfortunately I just can't seem to manage to do that. :(

              /oversharing rant :P

              2 votes
    2. [3]
      emmanuelle
      Link Parent
      btw, “transgendered people” is pretty offensive. prefer “transgender people”

      btw, “transgendered people” is pretty offensive. prefer “transgender people”

      3 votes
      1. ohyran
        Link Parent
        Sorry and thank you for correcting me! Will remember.

        Sorry and thank you for correcting me! Will remember.

        5 votes
  2. [5]
    Gaywallet
    Link
    It's really stark to see how perception has shifted over time in the United States. I could tell just from how society seemed to treat queers, but to think when I grew up it was nearly 50/50 and...

    It's really stark to see how perception has shifted over time in the United States. I could tell just from how society seemed to treat queers, but to think when I grew up it was nearly 50/50 and has shifted drastically to closer to 75/25... it's crazy and also really nice to see.

    It's also crazy to see what the difference political ideology can have. A 31 point difference between the right and centrists in the US. That's insane. The shift of younger generations to being more tolerant is really stark to see in some countries that are or have rapidly industrialized.

    This provides a lot of concrete data to questions I've had about the effect of religion, political ideology, age, and other factors on homosexual acceptance. Thank you so much for this article!

    8 votes
    1. [4]
      kfwyre
      Link Parent
      Yeah, for all the faults of the US, we've made incredibly rapid progress on LGBT acceptance. I've talked here about the difficulties of growing up gay in a place that was far below the 50/50...

      Yeah, for all the faults of the US, we've made incredibly rapid progress on LGBT acceptance. I've talked here about the difficulties of growing up gay in a place that was far below the 50/50 support split of the time. As difficult as that was, I still consider myself lucky because I've been able to see stunning change over the course of my life -- and I'm not even that old!

      We've still got a ways to go, especially in acceptance for all the other letters of our alphabet that aren't L and G, but things are so much better here than they used to be. Seeing this article put that further into perspective for me. How lucky I am to be able to live openly and be affirmed for who I am. That's not something I ever want to take for granted.

      8 votes
      1. Gaywallet
        Link Parent
        Yeah it took a lot longer for me to be more comfortable with my nontraditional gender than it did for my sexuality, and that's another thing that I see rapidly changing in society. Seeing these...

        things are so much better here than they used to be.

        Yeah it took a lot longer for me to be more comfortable with my nontraditional gender than it did for my sexuality, and that's another thing that I see rapidly changing in society. Seeing these numbers and how rapid the shift has become has me really hopeful for the future.

        6 votes
      2. [2]
        Akir
        Link Parent
        I think the reason why we managed to have such a turnaround is that we focused on visibility a lot more than most other countries do. From the protests of ACT-UP that humanized us, to National...

        I think the reason why we managed to have such a turnaround is that we focused on visibility a lot more than most other countries do. From the protests of ACT-UP that humanized us, to National Coming Out Day that let people know we were their neighbors, to the GLAAD Media awards promoting our stories. Society changes because of radical compassion - people gaining empathy for people who are different than themselves. And this is exactly why you see things like the Russian "gay propaganda" laws - they know how powerful radical compassion is and they want to stop it from ever happening in the first place.

        6 votes
        1. kfwyre
          Link Parent
          Very well said. Contact and exposure yield empathy, and empathy changes hearts and minds.

          Very well said. Contact and exposure yield empathy, and empathy changes hearts and minds.

          4 votes
  3. rish
    Link
    India has shown significant improvements after 2014, thanks to the present government. Decriminalization of homosexuality and abolishment of Section 370 that nullified decriminalization in Jammu...

    India has shown significant improvements after 2014, thanks to the present government. Decriminalization of homosexuality and abolishment of Section 370 that nullified decriminalization in Jammu and Kashmir state are two most important steps that earlier governments were not ready to take.
    At present Supreme Court is hearing a petition for legalizing same sex marriages. While homosexual couples can marry in Hindu traditional way even now other religions don't allow same sex marriage, which this law will allow.

    6 votes
  4. [3]
    kfwyre
    Link
    The article's highlighting a positive which I'm very happy to see, but man do those low numbers in the first map hit like a gut punch. Nigeria, Tunisia, and Indonesia all only have single-digit...

    The article's highlighting a positive which I'm very happy to see, but man do those low numbers in the first map hit like a gut punch. Nigeria, Tunisia, and Indonesia all only have single-digit support percentages, and there are undoubtedly others like them for which they don't have data. Things are improving, yes, but we've still got such a long way to go.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Seeing the 14% in Russia and Ukraine did my heart in too. And TBH even the 47% in Poland and 49% in Hungary as well, since despite those relatively high support numbers, both countries have taken...

      Seeing the 14% in Russia and Ukraine did my heart in too. And TBH even the 47% in Poland and 49% in Hungary as well, since despite those relatively high support numbers, both countries have taken a serious turn for the worse in terms of their treatment of and legal protections for LGBTQ+ people in recent years. :(

      8 votes