EU survey: Anti-gay attitudes remain
Mar 31,2009 00:00 by UPI

BRUSSELS -- Discrimination and bullying against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals and transgendered people remains a problem in Europe, a survey indicates.

A major report released Tuesday by the European Union's Fundamental Rights Agency found that, especially in Eastern Europe, harassment and attacks on gays and lesbians are ongoing, with politicians frequently turning a blind eye or siding with the perpetrators, the EU Observer reported.

The survey was ordered in 2007 by the European Parliament and the result is a comprehensive comparative report on homophobia and discrimination based on sexual orientation, its authors say. They found that even in EU states that boast more tolerant attitudes and tougher anti-discrimination laws, areas were found where homophobia is prevalent, such as in high schools and within sports culture.

The Observer said the report also found a worrying pattern of anti-gay attacks perpetrated by far-right groups and ethnic minorities, in addition to the more common gangs of young heterosexual men.

Some 82 percent of Dutch survey respondents, as well as strong majorities in Sweden and Denmark, said they were in favor of same-sex marriage, while only 14 percent agreed in Cyprus and 12 percent in Latvia, the survey found.

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