Russians becoming more negative about LGBTQ – survey
The attitude of many Russians towards the LGBTQ community has grown more negative in recent years, according to a survey published by independent sociological research company Russian Field.
As reported by the Kommersant newspaper, which has seen the results of the poll, the number of Russians who believe LGBTQ rights should be restricted has grown significantly over the last decade. This year, some 62% said they supported limiting the rights of gay people, while 55% were in favor of restricting transgender rights. In comparison, two years ago, 42% of Russians opposed the idea of homosexual and heterosexual people having equal rights. In 2013, only 19% publicly shared this view.
In the poll, which surveyed 1,600 people across the country, respondents were also asked what associations they had with the phrases ‘traditional values’ and ‘European values’, and how they felt about members of the LGBTQ community.
Most respondents said they associated traditional Russian values with patriotism, family, respect for elders, love for your country, Orthodox Christian faith, freedom, and justice. Russian Field did not provide an exact percentage of people who chose this option.
The phrase ‘European values’ was associated with freedom, democracy, tolerance, LGBTQ, homosexuality, and same-sex marriage. According to Kommersant, the study said that a number of respondents noted that the phrase ‘disgusts’ them.
Asked what sort of limitations should exist for LGBTQ people, 25% of respondents said they should be barred from promoting their sexual preferences, 13% said they should not be allowed to publicly display their feelings in the form of hugs and kisses, and 11% went as far as to suggest that they should be expelled from the country.
The poll noted that demands to limit LGBTQ rights predominantly came from people over 45 years old. At the same time, nearly a quarter of respondents also insisted that Russia does not legally repress the individual rights of LGBTQ members.
Russia has increasingly tightened restrictions on the promotion of LGBTQ values to children. Moscow initially banned ‘LGBTQ propaganda’ aimed at minors in 2013. Last December, President Vladimir Putin officially signed a law introducing hefty fines for anyone found guilty of promoting ‘non-traditional sexual relations’, pedophilia, and transgenderism among minors and adults through books, cinema, the media, and websites.