The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law has released new research that shows LGBTQ acceptance has become more polarized. The news isn’t all depressing, though. The research also shows that average levels of acceptance for LGBTQ people and their rights have increased globally since 1980.
So if rights are increasing what does “polarizing” mean?
It means that the countries that accept us keep getting better. But the countries that don’t accept us are accepting us less.
Over the past three decades, the world has grown increasingly polarized when it comes to LGBTQ people. Countries that have supported and accepted LGBTQ people and rights – like Iceland, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark – have continued to make strides since 1980. And the opposite: the least accepting countries – like Saudi Arabia and Ghana – have gotten less accepting since 1980.
“The Global Acceptance Index provides a consistent and comparable way to measure attitudes and attitude change, which could better understand inclusion of LGBT people in many areas of social, economic, and political life,” Andrew Flores, the lead author of the reports and a visiting scholar at the Williams Institute, said in a statement published along with the reports.
Flores told NBC News, “we are not necessarily seeing that every country is improving on its attitudes towards LGBT populations.”
This is a sobering reminder that, while it is incredible that we are overall more accepted, there are still places that do not support our rights. It’s important to remember this Pride season – while we take to the streets in celebration, acceptance and love – that isn’t the case for LGBTQ people everywhere. While it is easy to say that we are making progress, we have to acknowledge the trends go both ways.
Other key findings from the study include: