Current Affairs

Gay rights fear for next generation

Marc Shoffman December 4, 2006
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Almost half of the next generation do not believe gay people deserve the same rights as heterosexuals, a global poll has revealed.

A survey for the BBC World Service looked at the views of young people aged 15-17 in key cities on issues such as climate change, terrorism, and homosexuality.

One question was, should homosexuals be given the same rights as heterosexuals?

In total 47% said no, while 37% backed equal rights.

In London, only 36% of 313 young people asked backed same sex rights, 39% were against it.

Rio had the highest amount of support, with 74% saying yes, while New Yorkers were second with 67%, followed by Delhi with 51%.

The Delhi figure is surprising as India still criminalises homosexuality, while New York state has previously ruled against gay marriage.

The Rio result signals a more tolerant, developing society emerging in South America where gay adoption and civil unions have recently been approved in certain areas.

The biggest opposition was unsurprisingly found in the conservative African continent.

In Lagos, Nigeria, 86% said no to equal rights. Nairobi in Kenya followed closely with 81%.

Ben Summerskill, chief executive of gay charity Stonewall, told that it shows the importance of the new Sexual Orientation Regulations which aim to stop discrimination against LGBT people in the provision of goods and services.

He said: “It’s not surprising that there is still a lot of prejudice against gay people in the world and even in the UK.

“It shows the importance of new laws to make sure LGBT people are treated fairly in schools.”

Stonewall recently launched an anti-homophobic bullying campaign in London schools and has been awarded a government tender to distribute the education packs across the UK.

In other results, a majority of youngsters said terrorism is the most pressing global issue.

In total 3,050 people were interviewed around the world in ten key cities including London, New York, Rio, Delhi, Moscow, Cairo, Baghdad,, Lagos, Nairobi and Jakarta.

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