An annual survey of more than 3,000 people in Britain has found that views on gay people are slowly becoming more liberal.

The British Social Attitudes report found that a third of people still view homosexuality as “always or mostly wrong.”

In 1987 the figure was 75%.

40% still think that a gay male couple are inferior parents compared with a heterosexual couple.

70% approve of (straight) sex before marriage and more than two thirds think there is little difference socially between co-habiting and married couples.

When it comes to racism, the hardcore of prejudice remains largely unchanged.

In the first British Social Attitudes survey in 1984, 34% confessed to some prejudice towards other races. Today that figure is 30%.

“The heterosexual couple is no longer central as a social norm,” Simon Duncan, a co-author of the report, told Reuters.

“But views are more traditional when it comes to bringing up children. When they are involved, alternative family arrangements are seen as less acceptable.”

The British Social Attitudes is published by the National Centre for Social Research.