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New Zealand leads the world in a new worldwide Global Attitudes Survey on LGBTI People while Australia is lagging behind.

This new annual survey by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) is being used to gather and assess credible data on public attitudes to particular issues related to sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics.

Developed in cooperation with the innovative Canadian technology company RIWI Corp. and in partnership with the US entertainment brand Logo, the survey collected answers to 31 questions from 96,331 online individuals in 65 countries.


Most importantly, the survey reached environments highly hostile to LGBTI people, such as Saudi Arabia and Iraq, resulting in the largest investigation of attitudes towards LGBTI people around the world ever conducted.

Sexual Orientation Laws in the world - overview
Sexual Orientation Laws in the world – overview

The survey findings showed 68% of respondents would have a level of upset if their child told them they were in love with someone of the same sex.

A surprising result came on a question of whether human rights should be applied to everyone, regardless of whom they feel attracted to, or the gender they identify with: a stunning 67% of the world agreed (62% Africa, 63% Asia, 69% Americas, 71% Europe, 73% Oceania), with only 17% disagreeing.

In Oceania, New Zealand attitudes showed a level of maturity equal to the best in the World.
The New Zealand same-sex marriage laws pushed them ahead of Australia which is at the third highest level, still to achieve full marriage equality.

In key questions from the survey both countries score well.

1. Being LGBTI should be a crime,(Strongly disagree 58% NZ & Aus)

2. Same-sex desire is a Western world phenomenon, interestingly the percentages of respondents that did not decide on a reply is very high: Australia (38%) and New Zealand (43%). Averaging these responses, we see that 20% agreed with the proposition, 40% disagreed and 40% didn’t choose either,

and 3. How would you feel if your neighbour is gay or lesbian? (No Concern NZ 84% & Aus 83%)

“We are witnessing a global shift in consciousness away from discrimination, but we need to increase public education efforts if forward progress is to continue”, said Renato Sabbadini, Executive Director at ILGA.

“Even in countries known for anti-LGBTI laws, attitudes are moving away from supporting blatant discrimination against LGBTI individuals and towards acceptance.”

The overall survey showed 53% of the world feels that being LGBTI should not be a crime, while only 25% think it should. As 39% of UN States criminalise same-sex sexual relationships, these figures are interesting to LGBTI advocacy.

Key figures:

96,331 respondents completed the full battery of 31 questions on perceptions of LGBTI people.

Data were collected from 65 States.

The analysis focused on the 53 of them with more than 700 respondents each: 9 African States (eight of them criminalising States), 15 from Asia (of which six are criminalising States), 15 from the Americas (two criminalising States), 12 from Europe, and two States from Oceania.

The survey went out in 22 languages, and was live for 60 days.

The full survey is here.

Last Updated on May 18, 2016

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