The study found that 74% of Russians answered “no” to the question: “Should society accept homosexuality?” Russia ranked as having the highest rejection of gay people in the Europe, following Poland (46%) and Greece (40%). In contrast, the rest of the European Union tallied overwhelming acceptance of gay people, with Spain boasting the highest percentage of “yes” responses at 88%.
The report, released on June 4, follows Vladimir Putin’s signing of the “anti-gay propaganda law” and a string of human rights abuses against the country’s LGBT population, including the recent attack on a gay activist by ex-paratroopers and the emergence of a neo-Nazi group that lures and tortures gay men.
The Pew Research Center surveyed 37,653 individuals in 39 counties from March 1 to May 1, 2013. The study found high acceptance of gay people in the European Union, Canada (80%), Australia (79%), the Philippines (73%), and Latin American nations Argentina (74%) and Chile (68%). In the United States, 60% of respondents said society should accept homosexuality (a number that has risen at least 10 percentage points since 2007), while 33% of U.S. respondents said society should reject homosexuality.