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21% of Scots ‘not open-minded or accepting of LGBT people,’ study finds

Emma Powys Maurice August 12, 2019

The poll was conducted by Censuswide Scotland earlier this year (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty)

More than a fifth of Scots do not consider themselves to be open-minded or accepting of LGBT+ people, a recent survey suggests.

The results came from an online poll of 1,005 people conducted by Censuswide Scotland in May this year, seen by The Scotsman.

207 of people surveyed (21 per cent) said that they are either “not at all” or “not completely” open-minded and accepting of LGBT+ people.

The results suggest that men are more likely than women to feel this way, with 25 percent of men surveyed giving a negative answer compared to 18 percent of women.

The least open-minded and accepting age group were the over-55s, with 66 people (34 percent) responding to the question in a negative way.

Unsurprisingly, the demographic with the lowest number of people who claimed not to be open-minded or accepting of LGBT+ people was the 16-24 age group, with only 13 of 122 respondents sharing a negative view.

Trans Pride march in Dundee, Scotland, 2019. (Stewart Kirby/ Getty)

When people were asked whether they think others would describe them as being homophobic, the majority of respondents said no, but 13 per cent of men (47) and around 5 per cent of women (34) said that they would.

Jordan Ferguson, from Censuswide Scotland, said: “The Censuswide Scotland opinion poll has been tracking public attitude across a range of important issues in 2019.

“This particular study looked at how open-minded and accepting of LGBT communities respondents consider themselves, while also asking them to consider how they may be perceived by others.

“Our results found there to be a number of Scots who do not consider themselves open-minded and accepting of LGBT people.

“The responses vary across the age groups with the older respondents being the least likely to consider themselves open-minded.”

LGBT+ issues in Scotland

Scotland is one of the most LGBT-friendly places in the world, being named the best country in Europe for LGBT+ legal equality in 2015 and 2016.

However, trans issues have recently become a flash point for controversy, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon facing attacks from inside her own party over plans to reform gender recognition laws.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at Glasgow Pride (Getty)

Last month the Scottish MP Mhairi Black spoke out about a “toxic” backlash against transgender rights, accusing opponents of trans rights of spreading “misconceptions and outright lies” about trans people.

Intersex and trans rights were in the spotlight at this year’s PinkNews summer reception in Edinburgh, where the Scottish Minister for Older People and Equalities acknowledged: “We may have equality in law, but we still need equality in life.”

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