Homophobia seen rising in European countries without gay marriage

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08/20/2019

Homophobia has risen in European countries that do not legally recognize same-sex relationships, while acceptance of gay and lesbian people has jumped in states where they can marry, research released on Wednesday showed. Most European countries saw a rise in acceptance of same-sex relationships between 2002 and 2016, according to Hungarian researchers who analyzed results from the European Social Survey, carried out every two years. However, Russia, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine all saw acceptance of gay and lesbian people decrease over the 14-year period. “I think it is very important that we can unlearn prejudice,” said Judit Takacs, a researcher at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and one of the study’s authors. “It’s a very serious message that you can learn to be … open minded, and you can learn to be intolerant,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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