for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality

Scotland less homophobic - but more work to be done

Stonewall Scotland welcomes figures released today which show Scotland is less homophobic than ever before - and most people think more should be done to tackle prejudice.

The number of people who think same sex relationships are always or mostly wrong has dropped 11% since 2002 to just 30%.

There has been an 8% drop in the number of people who think people of the same sex should not have the right to marry, to 21%, and a 7% drop in the number who think gay and lesbian people are not suitable to be primary school teachers, to 21%.

And 65% of people think Scotland should do everything it can to tackle all kinds of prejudice.

But the numbers also show pockets of real prejudice, especially against transsexual people.

Half (50%) of people questioned would be unhappy if a relative formed a long term relationship with a transsexual person.

And a third (33%) would be unhappy if a relative formed a long term relationship with someone of the same sex.

Calum Irving, director of Stonewall Scotland, said: "Many of these figures show massive improvements in attitudes towards lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Scotland. However, scratch beneath the surface and you still see huge levels of discrimination, especially against transsexual people.

"Scotland is improving all the time in its attitudes towards lesbian and gay people. But the survey clearly shows a real need for political leadership to tackle the most hardened prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Scotland."

Notes to editors:
1. Stonewall Scotland, the lobbying group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, was formed in 2000.
2. The figures form part of the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey conducted for the Scottish Government and were announced this morning.
3. Transgender is an inclusive, umbrella term used to describe the diversity of gender identity and expression. The term can be used to describe all people who do not conform to common ideas of gender roles, including transsexuals.
4. Transsexual people are usually distinguished from other transgender people by their strong desire to live completely and permanently as the gender opposite to that which they were originally labelled. A person may undergo hormone or surgical treatment, or live in their new name and gender without such treatment.

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