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Social attitudes survey finds far greater acceptance of homosexuality

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  1. A statistical vox pop that doesn’t fully represent the true picture as our country swings violently towards the right, rather than being liberal.

    Yes, it is easier to admit to being Gay and with great thanks to Labour, but there is a violent underbelly of less respectful young people growing up in Britain who are more than happy to let you know what they think of you and worse still make sure you get there message.

  2. Vincent Poffley 26 Jan 2010, 11:58am

    Yes, it might be better than it used to be in the early 80s, but 36%? A whole third of the country thinks I am “wrong”? That is worrying news indeed. If I was asked to guess I’d have thought it somewhere closer to 5%. Where to all these hordes of homophobes live? More importantly, what can we do about them?

  3. Ah yes Peter. The stats have improved because Labour has been in power, whilst it was terrible with the Tories. Like either of them had anything to do with it.

    Swings like this are a general trend and you will find the chances are that this trend is proportional worldwide, irrespective of the political leanings of it’s government at the time.

    However, if you want to ask why this country is financially screwed, you can look no further than Blair, Brown and Bush.

  4. Tim Hopkins 26 Jan 2010, 12:26pm

    Which party is in power certainly can make a huge difference, as those of us who’ve been campaigning for LGBT equality for 20 years know. The big question for many of course is have the Tories really changed?

    Here is the Tories’ own blog, claiming credit for the defeat of parts of the Equality Bill that would have improved LGBT equality, in the Lords last night.

  5. Brian Burton 26 Jan 2010, 12:36pm

    There has always been a lot of anti-Gay feeling, and people who tend to shrug and say If that’s their life so what? Some will say OOOAAHH! them Queer people are everywhere and a great number will treat Gays as fellow humans. As for me, most of my dearest friends are Streight…..Years ago as I can recall, you could be picked up by a handsom streight Guy. After he had his rocks off, as he pulled his pants on, he would sink into a tyrade of abuse at you for being what you are…. All part iof Life’s rich what?

  6. I think there’s still an assumption that LGBT people somehow don’t count for as much as other people. No-one would ask “Is being black always wrong?” because, apart from the offensiveness of that question, it would be a pointless, stupid one. Yet religion (largely) has subtly insinuated that such an opinion about LGBT people is OK. That’s why they like to insist that it’s a ‘lifestyle’. Once people realised that it’s who you are and not a choice, they’d see this for what it is – pure bigotry.

  7. Gay activist Paul Mitchell 26 Jan 2010, 1:34pm

    What were the attitutes toward homosexuality when surveys were conducted back in 1967 – when the Sexual Offences Act 1967 passed??????

  8. Gay activist Paul Mitchell 26 Jan 2010, 1:40pm

    Then in 1994 when the gay male AOC was lowered to 18. There was a recommendation to lower the gay male AOC to 18 way back in 1978 – but it never happened (not with the Tories in power at that time anyway).

    Until 2000 the AOC was unequal and the “a third person in the House” private defence clause was abolished. Since 2001 the age of consent is 16 for all, regardless and all references to “buggery”, “sodomy”, “homosexual rape”, “indecent paractices between males” and “gross indenceny” was all finally abolished and repealed from the statute books.

  9. Gay activist Paul Mitchell 26 Jan 2010, 1:46pm

    In 1967 the private defence clause called the “a third person in the House” – means that two gay men could not legally have sex in a bedroom if;

    1) There was another person present in the whole House.
    2) There was a third person in the bedroom and;
    3) There was parting, noise or other desterbances coming from that House while males performing gross indencency.

  10. with the exception of Iris Robinson, Anne Widdicombe and the high ups in the RC and Cof E!!!!!

  11. 26 Jan 2010, 2:17pm

    hard to bel;ieve it was illegal up tp 12 years ago. Things are looking up for us now.

  12. John(Derbyshire) 26 Jan 2010, 2:26pm

    If you read the survey in detail-you would see that the acceptance of gay people increased steadily only UNTIL 2006!! Those not accepting us started to increase after this date- from 30 to 36%. So actually our general acceptance level is currently falling. When the conservatives win the next election I fully accept the figures of non-acceptance to continue rising.

  13. Mumbo Jumbo 26 Jan 2010, 3:03pm

    Comment #2 by Vincent Poffley

    “Where to all these hordes of homophobes live?”

    At a guess:

    The Daily Mail website;
    The Daily Telegraph website;
    The Conservative benches in Parliament;
    Religion; and

  14. Pete & Michael 26 Jan 2010, 3:44pm

    Well, it goes to show what party we shall be voting for, every vote will count in the next General Election! A vote to the right will mean the repeal of many of our new found freedoms, so it said yesterday in the Equality Debate by a Conservative in the House of Lords.

  15. 26 Jan 2010, 3:47pm

    Two cheers! And maybe only one!

    Look: it says here, at the end of the article: “Only 14 per cent disapproved of unmarried couples living together and 27 per cent frowned on divorce if a child was under 12 years of age. Thirty-eight per cent disapproved of working mothers.”

    This is a sobering reminder that England is not actually as tolerant as we imagine.

    Over a tenth of people don’t think it’s arrogant of them to take the “moral high ground” over whether people who live together should marry. Over a quarter think that there is no reason for divorcing if one of the children is under 12 – that’s a very low level of empathy for people who, if they are considering divorce, are already under terrible stress. And who are the people who “disapprove of working mothers”?

    Over a third of people don’t think parents have a life of their own, or should live in poverty. What kind of an intolerant society of Mrs. Grundies and Gladys Glumlys have we got that presumes to take a view on delicate personal matters such as this? Whose business is it anyway?

  16. If only this acceptance was also part of the Tory party, the Tory Lords and the Church! But after last nights vote in the Lords, as Mr Cashman said, ‘there are still bastions of intolerance!’ The tory ‘attitude’ towards us, if ( and please don’t let them back into power)they form the next government, will be a stand still agenda at best for the gay community. We just can’t let that happen, there is more to do on equality and attitute changes, and a Tory government/lords, won’t help that along!

  17. Except for the missing graphs this is pretty much a cut and paste job from the BBC website

    And i always thought Kelvin Mckenzie was a t**ser but i appear to have been proven wrong =]

  18. Brian Burton 26 Jan 2010, 5:04pm

    Gay Actavist Paul Mitchell,
    By 1967 the Gay commuity was sweatting over Homosexuality being made leagl as I was. I lived through that terrible era when homoseuality was regaurded as a criminal offence. I witnessed Lord Montague, Michael Pitt-Rivers and Peter wildblood sentenced to imprisonment, although, the year before that they hanged Ruth Ellis for shooting her lover dead. But, we have come a long way since 1967 when Gays were given their first break. After that, it was a question of demanding more Gay right and attempting to get people to understand that we were not perverts as we had been refered to prior to 1967.

  19. BEARFEILE.COM 26 Jan 2010, 5:48pm

    That feeling that we are still perverts is still held by the church which is frankly a bit rich coming from an organisation that abused kids

  20. Attitudes have improved, except it would appear, for members of the house of lords and the tories (seeing as they claim to be gay-friendly yet are boasting about helping to strike down the equality bill amendments).

  21. Simon Murphy 26 Jan 2010, 8:19pm

    What do these figures actually mean though.

    Does this survey show the age profiles of the respondents?

    I can imagine that people who were adults before 1967 would be from a generation where homosexuality was not only criminal but also almost universally despised.

    I would hope that the gay rights movement and the far greater visibility of gay people would mean that people who reached adulthood after the 1960’s would be far more accepting.

    Look at the House of Lords. Homophobia is still rampant in that undemocratic institution. And coincidentally (or not) the age profile in the House of Lords is much older than in the House of Commons.

  22. The Grinch 26 Jan 2010, 8:50pm

    I decided to carry out my own survey among my co-workers, neighbours and family. 98% of them found me totally intolerable and a complete gay tw*t, so on balance this is a great result.

  23. “The British Social Attitudes survey found that 36 per cent of the 4,486 adults surveyed in 2008 thought homosexuality was “always” or “mostly” wrong”

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Come and find out more about the 36% of UK people who think homosexuality is “always” or “mostly” wrong”. . . Come and join a group of us on face book committed to challanging homophobia in the Christian Institute, an organisation which has dedicated itself to deny the rights, diginity and freedom of LGBT people.

    Remember the Lillian Ladele “Islington Christian Registrar Case” . . . The Christian Institute funded the case which tried to allow Christians to discriminate against LGBT people at work.

    Any help would be gratefully appreciated

  24. theotherone 27 Jan 2010, 12:23am

    erm…I know tories voted for dodgy amendments last night but…a large number of Labour ones must have too.

    Most of the majority can be accounted for by the Bishops in the Lords and the number who voted against the amendment are less than the number of Labour peers therefore Labour peers voted against Gay Rights.

  25. theotherone 27 Jan 2010, 12:24am

    oh and:

    the gradual growing and following shrinkage of acceptance since 2006? I can testify to that – life’s getting impossible in this country if you’re Queer.

  26. There was a gay teacher on BBC children’s TV drama Grange Hill 17 years ago. You’d be hard pressed to see anything similar on BBC kids’ programmes these days.

  27. ‘Thirty-eight per cent disapproved of working mothers’ and ‘Fifty-eight per cent said it (cannabis) should remain illegal’…I’m perplexed. For one, financially it’s really difficult at this day and age to be a stay-at-home mom; For another, cannabis is better than tons of painkillers with much smaller side effects and is 100% natural unlike those chemical compounds!

  28. I don’t understand. Why must you have 100% approval? Why do you need it? Who else has 100% approval? Nobody – people are human, and quietly disapprove of many things – long hair, fat people, loud people, people who go out with few clothes on in the winter, people who like S&M etc etc, people who eat junk food, people with more money than them. You only know that it’s at this level because someone quietly asked them and they quietly expressed it. You yourselves are disapproving of other people’s attitude to sexuality, people who write the wrong kind of articles, people who are not comfortable with being gay, conservative voters etc etc. Tolerance is a two-way street. As long as nobody harms you by actually discriminating against you, then why does it matter if they don’t approve of your lifestyle? Are you so insecure that you need to be loved by everybody?
    Yes, I am straight – have had close friendships with many wonderful gay people over the years, but like a lot of people, I’m getting sick of the whining. Maybe the whining is what is causing people to disapprove just recently…
    By the way I would really like to know how life in Britain is becoming ‘impossible if you are Queer’. In what way, or is this just more baseless whining?

  29. so you weren’t whining lol? did you bring this view to your close gay friends? why don’t you have this chat with your gay friends instead since it would be more educational on so many levels?

    I suggest you look up hate crime rate against LGBT people via the Internet. It ain’t pretty nor petty.

  30. Stan James 27 Jan 2010, 7:13am

    When the intolerant churches die, and their buildings become museums about intolerance, then most of the problem will end.

    It is as simple as that. When you cut off their money, they will change or perishs

  31. Mihangel apYrs 27 Jan 2010, 8:50am


    see this from Hansard

    Equality Bill Baroness O’Cathain moved amendment 100, in Schedule 9, page 165, line 13, to leave out sub-paragraph (8). The Committee divided:
    Contents: 177
    Not Contents: 172
    Result: Government defeat
    Conservative 102
    Crossbench 45
    Labour 12
    Liberal Democrat 3
    Other 7
    Bishops 8
    Total: 177

    Not Contents
    Crossbench 25
    Labour 101
    Liberal Democrat 44
    Other 2
    Smith of Finsbury, L. Not Content
    Watson of Invergowrie, L. Not Content
    Total: 172

    the number of labour and LibDems were enough to swing it against us (*despite being a minority of the party).

    It does show that there are bigots even among our supportes

  32. Thank you for those figures, Mihangel.

  33. theotherone 27 Jan 2010, 10:20am

    alas, Mihangel, i no longer see Labour (promoting faith schools, creationism, the alpha course, having to be taken to Europe over Equality, framing legislation on workplace and school bullying to allow bigots to get off the hook) as our friends.

    Indeed they where even loath to repeal clause 28 and needed to be pressured into doing so by the then (alas no longer) forward thinking administration in Scotland.

    Everything we’ve had has been at the insistence of Europe, everything we’ve had has been the bare minimum and often not even that.

  34. Pink Oboe Player 27 Jan 2010, 10:21am

    To Gay activist Paul Mitchell, you say that “Then in 1994 when the gay male AOC was lowered to 18. There was a recommendation to lower the gay male AOC to 18 way back in 1978 – but it never happened (not with the Tories in power at that time anyway).”

    Get your facts right. Labour were in power in 1978, they were in power in 1994 though

  35. Gay Activist Paul Mitchell says there was a recommendation in 1978 to lower the gay age of consent but it failed because the Tories were in power. The Tories were not in power – labour was, led by Prime Minister Jum Callaghan, so lets get our facts straight – it was a Labour government that refused to lower the age of consent. With the noble exception of the 1967 Decriminalisation of Homosexuality (which was actually driven by Roy Jenkins who left Labout to join the SDP/Liberal Democrats), Labour did nothing nore for the gay community in the 8 years it held power in the late 60s and 70s. But they certainly redeemed themselves since 1997 – I think gay people of all political persuausions should acknowledge that. The very positive change in public perceptions towards us has been a result of Blair’s reforms.

  36. theotherone 27 Jan 2010, 10:36am

    DM: I mean that there’s been a spike in violence against Queer people. Homophobic crime is on the up and intolerance on the rise.

    Between the growth in a radical Islamist ideology, an influx of less than forgiving people from Eastern Europe, a flight towards Christianity and a Government who have effectively validated all of these we (as Queer people) have been pushed further and further into a corner.

    In the grand tradition of ‘Bearing Witness’ (handed down from Feminism that borrowed it from The Quakers) I’ll detail my own experiences:

    I live in a area that is predominately Middle Class but a neighbor on my street has spat at me on several occasions and threatened my partner. When I go to the supermarket people stare, point and throw insults; on several occasions I and my Partner have been followed by Security Staff and by other shoppers in blatant attempts to intimidate us. I have had people refusing to serve me in shops, I’ve been ejected from a pseudo-upmarket department store,had people refuse to accept my card (a gold card with a female name on it) as mine and called security on me, I’ve been spat at on the street only this week and in my last accommodation had an upstairs neighbor who told us in no uncertain terms that she disproved of us and made out lives a misery for the following year by constantly drumming on her floor and banging down at three and four in the morning. And that’s not even half of it.

  37. Mumbo Jumbo 27 Jan 2010, 10:45am

    Comment #24 by theotherone
    Comment 31 by Mihangel ap Yrs

    So, let’s see what you’re saying here.

    Conservatives against equality: 102
    Bishops against equality: 8
    Lab/Lib against equality: 15

    Conservatives for equality: 0
    Bishops for equality: 0
    Lab/Lib for equality: 145

    And this means it is the fault of Lib/Lab? When the overwhelming majority of Lib/Lab peers voted for equality? When not a single Conservative or bishop voted for equality?

    A remarkable conclusion.

    When even a small number of Conservative defectors would have been enough? But there was not one. Not even one. And they were led from the front bench by Baroness Warsi. In other words, it was officially approved Conservative party policy.

    It is clear where the blame lies.

  38. DM wrote

    “Yes, I am straight – have had close friendships with many wonderful gay people over the years, but like a lot of people, I’m getting sick of the whining. Maybe the whining is what is causing people to disapprove just recently…”

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    DM . . . we are fighting for basic rights which you heterosexuals take for granted.

    If there is a back lash as you imply. I really think this is because some heterosexuals do not believe LGBT people should be equal to heterosexuals socially, economical, in employment opportunities, or in personal relationships.

    DM . . . It appears the only people who are whining are the biogts!!!

  39. Simon Murphy 27 Jan 2010, 11:46am

    DM: You say: “As long as nobody harms you by actually discriminating against you, then why does it matter if they don’t approve of your lifestyle? ”

    Fair enough. But did you know?

    – Violent homophobic hate crime increased last year

    – The Conservative Party (tipped to win the next election) are trying to limit the parental rights of non-biological gay parents (thanks to religious extremist Iain Duncan Smith). They have also entered an alliance with far right, homophobic Polish extremists.

    – The Lords have just allowed religious groups to discriminate against gay people in employment.

    – The BBC deems it acceptable to ‘debate’ the merits of genocide against gay people

    Have you told your ‘friends’ that you think that they are whining too much and that this is the reason that violent hate crime is on the increase.

    With ‘friends’ like you, who needs enemies?

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