What the data says about the acceptance of LGBTI people in Europe
Despite a rise in anti-LGBTI hate speech and violence across Europe, in our recent Annual Review, we have conversely seen a rise in acceptance of LGBTI people in many countries, including places where politicians and public representatives are known for their anti-LGBTI views. In this blog, we bring you the figures that show positive development on public opinion since 2020.
Despite a growing prevalence of anti-LGBTI hate speech from public representatives, and a subsequent rise in the severity of attacks against people perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or intersex, public opinion is actually shifting for the better in Europe. With very few figures showing regression, the following data reveals that official hate speech against LGBTI people does usually not reflect or stream from public attitudes.
We’ve compared the evolution of public opinion between 2020 to 2023 through our Annual Reviews. The ILGA-Europe Annual Review is one of the most complete reports on the main social and legal events and developments impacting the lives of LGBTI people in 54 countries in Europe and Central Asia. Here we bring you a snapshot of the key figures so that they don’t get lost in a sea of information, but you can find more detail and context in our reports, as well as the original sources of the data in the links.
Keep reading to find out the research and figures that illustrate positive developments in public attitudes to LGBTI people in your country.
2021: 40% of voters would support a party with a positive attitude towards LGBTI people.
2020: 32% of Bulgarians accept LGBT people, showing regression compared to previous years.
2021: 65 % of the population supports marriage equality.
2020: 60% of the public supports marriage equality, confirming 2019 results.
2021: 53% of residents in Estonia consider same-sex attraction acceptable, rising by 12% compared with 2019. 64% thought that same-sex partners should have the opportunity to officially register their partnership according to the Registered Partnership Act and 47% supported marriage equality.
2020: 46% of Estonians support marriage equality. While 27% would vote against it, 21% would not even go vote.
2022: Two-thirds of citizens believe the government should do more for LGBT equality, that children should be taught about SOGI issues, and that LGBT children who are rejected at home should have state support.
2022: 81% agree with marriage equality. 75% would have little or no problem with their child being LGB, but this rate is much lower, in the case of having a trans child, 66%.
2022: Social acceptance of LGBTIQ people is slowly increasing.
2022: Most Hungarians do not consider ‘homosexual propaganda’ an important issue.
2021: 59% of Hungarians thought same-sex couples should have the same right to adoption as others, and 60% thought same-sex couples were just as suitable to be parents as heterosexual couples. Another survey found that public support for LGBT people had never been stronger in Hungary.
2020: After MEP József Szájer’s resignation, Medián found that 79% of respondents thought “homosexual” politicians should not be discriminated against.
2022: High rates of acceptance towards LGBTQI people, with cisgender gay men being the most (89%) and non-binary people being the least (65%) accepted.
2022: 49% had a neutral stance towards ‘homosexual’ people, 25% were accepting, and 23% condemned ‘homosexuality’. A third of the respondents said they did not know an LGBT person.
2020: 38% of Latvians had negative attitudes towards LGB people, 48% were neutral, and only 9% were supportive. Nonetheless, 63% supported the adoption of legislation to protect families without marriage in place.
2021: One third of Lithuanians support legal gender recognition for same-sex couples.
2022: 55% of Chisinau residents have a positive or neutral attitude towards LGBTQ+ people, compared to 33% just three years earlier. The rate of those being strongly against LGBTQ+ people also significantly decreased.
2020: GENDERDOC-M conducted a survey with 815 people in Chisinau about their attitudes towards LGBTI people, finding that half either supported or had a neutral stance towards LGBT people. This is a much more positive picture of the capital, than what the government has been claiming previously, saying that 98% of Moldovans were against LGBT people.
2022: Public acceptance of LGBT people is improving, but due to radicalisation, progress is extremely slow.
2021: 70% of the population believes that being LGBT is a disease, but over two-thirds would report anti- LGBTI violence to the police.
2022: For the first time in many years, there was stagnation instead of an increase in the number of Dutch people who have a positive opinion of LGB people. One in six people think there is “something wrong” with people who do not identify as either a man or a woman.
2021: The government presented the first ever research on intersex people’s societal acceptance, finding that 67% of the population does not know what exactly intersex is, and that knowledge about intersex increases acceptance. Another survey found growing public awareness about non-binary people.
2022: Public attitudes towards LGBT people continued to improve, but less so for trans and bisexual people. For instance, 51% support trans people (2013: 36%), 66% support lesbians (2008: 47%), and 85% support cohabiting same-gender couples (2008: 70).
2022: A study showed that between 2015 and 2022, the rate of those who know LGBT people in their environment doubled from 8 to 15%.
2020: Public attitudes towards LGBT people have softened, with more people being undecided, and fewer being in favour or isolating or “eliminating” LGBT people.
2021: 56% of Poles would support at least civil partnership for same-sex couples.
2021: Despite only 0.01% of Serbians knowing they have a trans friend or family member, 60% thought that trans people should be protected from discrimination and 64% thought that trans people should have access to gender-affirming surgeries.
2022: Three out of four support trans minors in getting the care they need.
2021: Swedes have a relatively high degree of knowledge about trans people and an overwhelmingly positive in their attitude towards them, but perceive anti-trans prejudice as common.
2021: 53% of the Swiss population are (rather) in favour of introducing non-binary gender markers on official documents.
2020: Acceptance of LGBTI people was at a record high, with almost 50% of the population supporting LGBTI equality – 9% higher than in 2019.
2022: Public attitudes towards LGBT people had increased significantly over the past few years, including in terms of family recognition (see here), equal rights in general (see here), and the prohibition of discrimination and hate speech targeting LGBT people (see here). One study found that the number of people with a positive attitude towards LGBT people had quadrupled since 2016.
2022: A study highlighted that the hostile political discourse against trans people is not in sync with public attitudes in the country. Most agreed with a ‘live and let live’ approach, wanted schools to be safe and inclusive and talk about trans issues, and agreed that trans women were women and trans men were men. Respondents were more divided on bathroom access and sports.
2020: 72% of respondents to the Northern Ireland Life & Times Survey reported that they were not prejudiced at all against trans individuals, and over half of respondents supported and were comfortable with trans people accessing gendered toilets, domestic/sexual violence refugees, and LGR, based on their identity.