80% of Russians oppose same-sex marriages, gay pride parades - poll

Homophobia is rather widely spread in Russian society and hard feelings have grown over the past eight years, the Levada Center told Interfax.

Some 85% of Russians polled in February opposed same-sex marriages and 87% objected to gay pride parades. The number of same-sex marriage supporters is down from 14% to 5% in the past three years, and the number of people who do not mind gay pride parades remains at 6%.

Only 23% of Russians are tolerant to homosexuality and tend to understand problems of such people; they say gays and lesbians should be left alone. Twenty-seven percent believe homosexuals need psychological aid, 16% propose isolating them from the rest of society, 22% insist on compulsory therapy and 5% on their "liquidation."

Homophobia has grown in Russian society over the past eight years. The number of respondents suggesting that gays and lesbians should be left alone is 7% down, the number of respondents insisting on therapy is 5% and the number of respondents insisting on their isolation is 4% up.

Fifty percent of the respondents asked about their personal attitude toward gays and lesbians said they were irritated and disgusted, 18% were cautious, 23% were "calm and unemotional" and 4% had positive feelings.

Eighty percent of 1,600 respondents polled in 130 towns and cities in 45 regions opposed the right of same-sex couples to adopt children, 5% had no objections and 15% were hesitant.

Some 89% admitted they were not acquainted with gays or lesbians and only 6% acknowledged such acquaintances. Sixty-one percent said they would be profoundly upset if their children or grandchildren had fallen victim to homosexuality propaganda.

Russia does not have a federal law banning homosexuality propaganda amongst minors. Yet regional laws to the effect have been adopted in Ryazan, Arkhangelsk, the Kostroma and Novosibirsk regions and St. Petersburg.

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