Scotland: LGBT friendly? Recent Survey might suggest otherwise

Scotland: LGBT friendly? Recent Survey might suggest otherwise

An LGBT+ Friendly destination:

Scotland is known to be one of the most LGBT+ friendly places worldwide. In fact, in the years 2015 and 2016, the country was named as the best in Europe for LGBT+ legal equality. In addition, LGBT heroes, for the first time, were nominated this year for the ‘Proud Scotland Awards’.  According to Peter Ferguson, the Director of the awards,

“I think society in Scotland is more accepting of the LGBT community than a lot of other places and we want to give people recognition for that.”

– As reported by The Nationa

However, while being known for its diversity and inclusion, a recent survey by Consuswide shows that more than 1 in every 5 Scots are either not open-minded or accepting of the LGBT community.

Censuswide conducts a survey

Between 3rd and 10th of May, this year, Censuswide Scotland conducted an online poll that captured the attitudes and opinions of Scots. Data related to LGBT were released as part of this study. A total of 630 women and 375 men, took part in this poll. Out of the total of 1005 participants, 21 percent i.e. 207 of the respondents said that they are “either not at all or are not completely open-minded and accepting of LGBT people.”
Image Courtesy – KaleidoScot

Demographic breakdown of the result

Out of the 207 respondents, 112 were women while 95 were men. This constitutes 18 percent of the female participants, and 25 percent of male participants.

When considering the segments age-wise, those above 55 years of age were the least accepting and open-minded. About 66 people from this age group responded this way. On the other side of the spectrum, unsurprisingly, participants between the ages of 16 and 24 contributed least to this result. Out of the 122, only 13 were seen to be unaccepting of the community.

Do you think you are homophobic?

The poll conducted by Consuswide also asked other questions to its respondents. One such question focused on whether participants thought others would describe them as being homophobic. 1 in 10 i.e. 8 percent of the respondents responded saying that others could perceive them as homophobic. In addition, 34 women and 47 men were part of the group who agreed to this statement. This makes up 5 percent of female, and 13 percent of male participants.

Finally, when looking at age-wise contribution, the results are similar to the previous poll. The biggest age group was from Scots aged 55 or above, at 13 percent. This is more than double of the ‘Millenials’ (6 percent) who agreed to the statement.

The purpose of the opinion poll

In an interview with Scotsman, Jordan Ferguson from Censuswide Scotland said, “The Censuswide Scotland opinion poll has been tracking public attitude across a range of important issues in 2019.” He explained,

“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.”

Director of Stonewall Scotland, Colin Macfarlane sighted the importance of such states saying,

“Statistics like this are an important reminder of how much work we still have to do to achieve LGBT equality.”

-As reported by Heart

LGBT+ in Scotland:

Glasgow pride:

The Mardi Gla Pride, in Glasgow, took place this year on the 20th of July and was organised by the LGBT Co-op. About 7000 people marched their way through, with rainbow confetti filling the air, and cheers and chants echoing throughout the crowd. Political parties, inter-faith network groups, global banking companies, and over 70 other groups were represented in the march. MP Jo Swamsnin told Sunday National,

“This turnout for Glasgow Pride by Mardi Gla is amazing and shows the love in this city, the inclusion that we should rightly be proud of, but never complacent. [He continued] There are so many rights which are not upheld, where people do not have equal treatment in this country and the world. The fight goes on.”

-As reported by The National
Image Courtesy – The National

Lessons on LGBT+ issues become part of the school curriculum:

Last year, Scotland became the first country in the world to introduce education on LGBT rights as part of the school curriculum. As part of the Time for Inclusive Education campaign, States school are required to teach their students, firstly the history of movements and equalities of the LGBTI. Furthermore, topics such as how to tackle transphobia and homophobia and exploring LGBTI identity have to b covered within the curriculum. The aim of the initiative is to make schools a more LGBT-friendly environment by reducing anti-LGBT bullying.

Related Topic: School Syllabus now includes LGBTQ+ history!

But there is still a long way to go:

As seen from the opinion polls, a fifth of the respondents, are not accepting of the community. This is especially evident for those above the 55-year-old age mark, according to the study.

On the same front, hate crimes against people who are part of the LGBT community have increased. In fact, it is at its highest ever recorded level in Scotland. About 1,216 crimes have been recorded for the year up to 31st March 2019. Furthermore, high profile LGBT crimes have been reported in recent months. For example, burning of a rainbow flag in Fife, and an attack on a couple in Edinburgh.

Scottish Government supports the LGBT community with their initiative. Currently, the government has invested about £900,000 a year into four different LGBT charities.

Also Read: How to Date, LGBTQ+ edition with Ishaan Sethi

Source Credit: Attitude, Heart, Pink News, Pink Saltire, Scotsman, The Guardian, The National, The Times. 

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