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State of the Nation: Living Together 2012

Scottish attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people

Changes in legislation are not enough on their own. Attitudes need to continue to get better as well... we want LGBT people in this country to be more visible and be proud of who they are. Alex Salmond, First Minister, ‘It Gets Better’ video message, 11 October 2011

The creation of the Scottish Parliament over a decade ago provided an opportunity for us to shape a country built on tolerance and fairness, at ease with difference. Since then it has delivered some notable legislative protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Scots, including strong hate crime legislation, the introduction of civil partnerships and adoption laws. Our research shows that the majority of Scots support what has been done to secure equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and that they strongly support going further still.

The research also shows the scale of the challenge we continue to face; three in five people say there is public prejudice against LGBT people in Scotland today and six in ten people in Scotland aged 18 to 29 say there was homophobic bullying in their school. We may pride ourselves in being a welcoming nation but at Stonewall Scotland we suspect that the experience of many LGBT Scots is very different. Thankfully, Scots believe this sort of behaviour is not good enough and it is right to tackle prejudice wherever it is found.

  • Download the full report here 

Summary and Key Findings

  • Three in five (62 per cent) people say there is public prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Scotland today.
  • More than four in five (83 per cent) people believe it is right to tackle prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people where they say it exists.
  • Two thirds (65 per cent) support the Scottish Government's proposals to extend civil and religious marriage to same-sex couples.
  • Fifty eight per cent of Scots aged 18 to 29 say there was homophobic bullying in their school.
  • Almost four in five (78 per cent) of people of faith believe that it's right to tackle prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
  • Three quarters (76 per cent) of people think the media still rely heavily on cliched stereotypes of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
  • More than four in five (85 per cent) people would be 'very comfortable', 'comfortable' or 'neutral' if the first child - and heir to the throne - of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge grew up to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
  • Seven in ten (71 per cent) people believe Scotland has a moral and social responsibility to challenge human rights abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people abroad.
  • Almost two thirds (61 per cent) of people believe Scotland has a responsibility to protect people who some to the UK fleeing persecution in their home countries because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
  • Six in ten (60 per cent) people think that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are most likely to conceal their sexual orientation or gender identity in sport.
  • Almost seven in ten (68 per cent) people now believe that lesbian, gay and bisexual people should be open about their sexual orientation, no matter what.

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