The Women’s Initiative Support Group (WISG) has published a new, large-scale research – from Prejudice to Equality, which is similar to the 2016 Survey on Public Awareness, Awareness and Attitudes Towards LGBTQI Community and Their Equal Rights. It includes information on changing public attitudes.
According to a new study based on a survey of different ethnic groups, public attitudes are changing for the better.
The number of people who think that LGBTQ people should be banned from freedom of assembly and expression is reduced by 25% to 53%, while 27.1% think that such a restriction is unacceptable. At the same time, the number of people who consider talking about LGBTQ equality issues as propaganda has decreased by 20.6%.
In addition, 38.6% of respondents believe that the state does not respond appropriately to crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI), while 30.7% believe that the state responds appropriately. The public attitude towards the actions of the activists is still sharply negative, however, the improvement in this direction is also obvious and the negative attitude has been reduced by 20% to 56.8%. At the same time, the number of people who believe that if society does not loudly state that heterosexuality is the only correct form of relationship, the number of homosexuals will increase by 25.4%.
Gender researcher Ekaterine Agdgomelashvili said at the presentation that the study included questions about the most ingrained issues in society, including adoption and marriage. She said there had been an increase in the number of people who said they had difficulty answering a number of questions or refused to answer at all, possibly due to “a change in attitude towards openly expressing homophobic attitudes.”
28% of respondents do not consider homosexuality a disease, 23.2% considers it, and 33.8% find it difficult to answer or avoid it. Also, the number of people who believe that “there has always been and always is a negative attitude towards homosexuals” has decreased by 17.6% to 60.8%.
Opinions about gay/lesbian adoption and same-sex parenting were distributed as follows: 36.6% of respondents did not share the view that a child raised in a homosexual family would necessarily be homosexual; 15.2% had a neutral position, 31.2% agree with the provision; For gay and lesbian couples, the number of opponents of adoption decreased by 14%, while the number of supporters increased by 15%;
The percentage of opponents of gay marriage decreased by 15.4% to 74.6%, while the share of supporters increased by 5.6%.
Marriage-related questions included a widespread public belief that EU membership would legalise gay marriage. 73.5% of respondents do not consider legalising gay marriage as a precondition for joining the EU, which is 7.3% more than in 2016.
It should be noted that the number of people wishing to have closer relations with the EU has increased by 8% to 53%. At the same time, 77.7% of respondents want a closer or similar relationship with the EU, which is 21% more than in 2016. 76.3% of respondents want a closer (49.9%) or similar (26.4%) relationship with the US, which is 25.9% more than in 2016.
The attitude towards relations with Russia is almost unchanged, although the number of people wanting closer relations is reduced by 11% to 27.1%.
According to a 2016 study, there was no clear link between attitudes towards LGBTQ people and foreign policy, and according to 2021 data, this trend has also changed.
The study was prepared by the Women’s Initiative Support Group in the framework of the UN Joint Program on Gender Equality in Georgia, implemented by the United Nations Women, the United Nations Development Program and the United Nations Population Fund with the support of the Government of Sweden.