Yury Levada's Analytic center "Levada - Center" in the end of July 2010 carried out a survey of 1600 Russians age of 18 and older in 130 settlements nationwide on public attitude to homosexuality.
The results of the survey show that homophobia is still popular enough among Russian society: 74% or respondents believe that gay and lesbians are morally dissolute or mentally ill people. Only 15% said homosexuality was equal to heterosexuality, 11% of respondents had difficulties answering the question.
Only a quarter of respondents (25%) think it would not be good to persecute homosexuals or exercise some special measures towards them, "let them live as they want". 24% proposed to give them psychological help, 39% believe that gays need to be isolated from the society and must undergo compulsory treatment. 4% call "to exterminate homosexual people".
The question "Should gays and lesbians have same rights as heterosexuals" has almost divided the Russian society on two equal halves: 45% support equal rights, 41% reject gay rights, 15% failed to answer it. 84% of respondents are against legalizing same-sex marriage across the nation and only 14% support this issue. 82% of people prefer not to allow gay prides in their settlements.
The question on adopting of a law prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation has also widened the split in the Russian society: 41% support that law, 31% are against and 28% do not care.
During the last five years (since the last poll carried out in August 2005) the level of tolerance to GLBT people has slightly dropped and gay hate mood has increased. The number of people who believe that GLBT people must be left in peace has decreased on 5%, on 4% has increased the number of those who strongly believes that gays must undergo compulsory treatment and the number of those who call for isolation of GLBT people from the society has grown bigger on 6%.
Russian men are more likely to be homophobes then women, gay hate mood is stronger among senior (older than 55 years), low income people and people who had graduated only from high schools. They strongly believe that homosexuality is a dissolution and a bad habit.
Men, high school graduates, middle and high income respondents, folks of Moscow and rural areas also believe that homosexuals are mentally ill people.
Females, young Russians (18-39 years), highly educated and rich respondents showed to be tolerant to GLBT society. They think that homosexuality has a right to exist equally as heterosexuality, call not to take any special measures towards gays or lesbians and "let them (i.e. gays and lesbians) be themselves".
The number of people who think that GLBT people need to have psychological help is almost the same among all groups of the Russian society.
People who believe that homosexuality is a disease that must be treated compulsorily and homosexuals must be isolated from the society are mainly the respondents aged 40 years old or older, high school graduates, low income people and country bumpkins - i.e. people who still keep soviet-model thinking.
Article translated by Yerdna Bananes