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The attitude of Russians to the LGBT community

11% of Russians have acquaintances of homosexual orientation, 87% do not.

A quarter of Russians (25%) one way or another, believe that adults have the right to enter into relationships with people of the same sex by mutual consent. Over the past few years, the proportion of people who hold this opinion has grown slightly: in 2015, there were 19% of them. At the same time, the number of people who do not support such relationships has grown significantly: from 60% in 2013 to 69% in 2021. The proportion of respondents who found it difficult to give a clear answer has significantly decreased. In other words, public opinion on this issue turned out to be more polarized than before.

Among women, 28% believe that people have the right to same-sex relationships, 66% – that they do not. Among men – 20% and 73%, respectively.  

Russians aged 18-24 are the most sympathetic to same-sex relationships: more than half (53%) believe that people have the right to it, 39% – that they do not. Respondents aged 55 and older have the worst opinion on the issue: 13% and 81%, respectively.

Among those who have acquaintances of homosexual orientation, 65% believe that people have the right to same-sex relationships, 27% – that they do not. Among those who do not have such acquaintances, these figures are 19% and 75%, respectively.

38% of Russians treat people of homosexual orientation with disgust or fear – this figure has grown noticeably over the past 20 years (2003 – 21%, 2013 – 26%, 2015 – 24%). 32% treat people of homosexual orientation indifferently and without much emotion – also, a noticeable increase (2013 – 23%, 2015 – 26%). This question also shows the growing polarization of public opinion on homosexual people.

A third of Russians (33%) agree that gays and lesbians should enjoy the same rights as other Russian citizens. This indicator has significantly decreased compared to 2019 – 47%. 59% believe that gays and lesbians should not have the same rights – a noticeable increase since 2019 (43%).

More than half (55%) of Russians aged 18-24 believe that gays and lesbians should have equal rights, 39% believe the opposite. Among respondents aged 55 years and older, these figures are 25% and 66%, respectively.

Among those who have acquaintances of homosexual orientation, 70% believe that gays and lesbians should enjoy the same rights as other citizens. Among those who do not have such acquaintances, this figure is 28%.

Методология

This survey was conducted September 23 – 29 2021, among a representative sample of all Russian urban and rural residents. The sample consisted of 1634 people aged 18 or older in 137 municipalities of 50 regions of the Russian Federation. The survey was conducted as a personal interview in respondents’ homes. The answer distribution is presented as percentages of the total number of participants along with data from previous surveys.

The statistical error of these studies for a sample of 1600 people (with a probability of 0.95) does not exceed:

3.4% for indicators around 50%

2.9% for indicators around 25%/75%

2.0% for indicators around 10%/90%

1.5% for indicators around 5%/95%

The ANO Levada Center has been included in the registry of non-commercial organizations acting as foreign agents.

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