Dec 11, 2010

ALARMING SURVEY: 75% of the Romanians, disturbed to have a gay in the family

LGBT people remain the most discriminated group in Romania, after people with HIV and right before Roma people, according to the latest survey by National Council Against Discrimination CNCD. The percentage of homophobia is high and although the Romanians consider themselves as very tolerant, 55% are uncomfortable when daily interacting with gay people, 56% would not eat together with a gay man, 85% would not drink water from the same glass with a gay person (same percentage as for a person having AIDS) and 85% would be offended if a same sex person is flirting with them.
Romanians think that discrimination as a phenomenon is present very often (18%) or often (44%) in Romania. More, after Romania entered the European Union, people think that discrimination is increasing (31%) or is at the same level (45%) but in the future will increase even further (27%) or will be at the same level (42%).

As for the gay people, after entering E.U. discrimination in Romania increased (34%) or is at the same level (45%).
Romanians are aware that sexual minorities are discriminated in a very high percentage (21%) or in high percentage (40%) and consider as discriminations facts like a person being fired from work for being gay (85%) or banning a gay pride or parade on the street (69%).
57% of the Romanians think that finding a job is harder for a gay person than for a heterosexual person. Actually, the society feels that LGBT persons are discriminated in a very high or high level, in general (55%), at school (55%), when hiring (55%), at work (53%), when they need medical services (48%), public services and administration (42%) or when they need justice services (41%).
In general, comparing to the heterosexual persons, the gay people are treated more badly (68%), in the same way (18%) while only 1% think that gays are treated better.
Romanians are very disturbed by the LGBT people: 85% if a same sex person will flirt with them, 75% if a family member is gay, 65% if their son/daughter is gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender, 58% if their family doctor is gay, 54% if they see on the street two men holding hands and 47% if they have a LGBT person as a co-worker.
Although, when in presence of a gay person, 37% of the Romanians would feel comfortable or very comfortable while 55% would feel less comfortable or uncomfortable.
When asking about eating together, only 35% would eat with a gay person and 56% wouldn't. Only 10% would drink water from the same glass with a gay while 85% wouldn't do such a gesture.
If they find out that a relative is having another sexual orientation, 65% of the Romanians will keep it secret and only 18% will admit it in public.
Regarding a relationship with a gay person, 23% of the Romanians would agree to accept him to live in Romania, 15% to work together, 14% to be neighbors, 12% would not accept him in Romania, 10% would accept him only to visit Romania, 10% agrees to have somebody gay among the closest friends and only 5% to have a family member.
But after all that, 34% of the Romanians think that they are tolerant, the second positive attribute of the people after hard work. Only 7% feel themselves intolerant, the last in percentage of the negative attributes of the Romanian people.
The conclusions of the study show that the group of sexual minorities is the most stereotyped one, and we can talk about an important potential of homophobia in the Romanian population.
The sexual minority's problems are more and more discussed all around the world but in Romania because of traditions, religion, lack of information and others, this subject still remains taboo. Another possible reason, except the ones above, could be the fact that during communist period terms like: sexual minority, homosexuality, gay, lesbian, bisexual, were generally missing in common language or were considered as psychic deviations or behavior deviations and were punished by law.
Tolerance for homosexuals increases when social distance increases. Depending on the socio-demographic characteristics, the study showed that women are more tolerant to sexual minorities comparing to men. Young people (18-29 years) are more tolerant to sexual minorities comparing to older ones (50 years or more). People in urban areas more tolerant compared to the ones in rural areas. As for regions of development, residents in Bucharest and the ones from North-East cities are more open to interact daily with gays and as the educational level is higher, the level of acceptance of sexual diversity is higher.
From the analysis of the data results that population is more likely to have a tolerant attitude when sexual minorities do not ostentatiously show diversity in public (parades, intimate gestures in public spaces, etc.)
"When the parade was, they were beaten with stones. So people do not accept them because they are who they are, especially to show off in public." (Focus Group, population)
"I think they are one of the strongest categories and the ones that fight the most to get rid of this discrimination and I totally agree with their parades and movements. I think they fight for a right, for their nature that they are not willing to hide anymore. In a few years, it will be normal. Maybe tens of years, maybe hundreds in Romania but sometime it will be normal. I have nothing against them on one condition, to keep their intimacy under their sheets." (Focus Group, population)
Analyzing the results, comparing to other ethnic or social groups, the attitude of the population towards LGBT people is highly negative and the level of acceptance is low.
The survey Discrimination Phenomenon in Romania was made during October-November 2010, by TOTEM Communication for National Council Against Discrimination CNCD. The sample was of 1400 people, Romanian citizens (men and women), residents in urban and rural areas from Romania, having more than 18 years. You can download and read the full report (pdf in Romanian) from the CNCD's website.

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