Survey: Estonians have become more tolerant of sexual minorities ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Attendees at 2017's Tallinn Pride event
Attendees at 2017's Tallinn Pride event Source: Postimees/Scanpix

Estonian have become more tolerant of sexual minorities over the last four years, according to a Eurobarometer poll released Tuesday, but are still below the European Union average.

The results were published in Eurobarometer's discrimination 2019 survey on The Social Acceptance of LGBTI people in the EU. While there has been an increase in tolerance since the last survey was carried out, Estonia is still below the European Union average.

When asked should "gay, lesbian and bisexual people should have the same rights as heterosexual people", 53 percent of Estonian respondents agreed. This is an increase of nine percent from when the past poll was conducted in May/ June 2015. While 37 percent disagreed and the remaining 10 percent answered that they did not know.

Support for same-sex relationships has risen by nine percent to 49 percent, and support for gay marriage has increased by 10 percent to 41 percent.

When asked if respondents felt comfortable with two men showing affection in public only 23 percent said they felt comfortable, nine percent said moderately comfortable, and 62 percent said it would make them feel uncomfortable. The remaining six percent said they were indifferent or did not know.

This is an increase of 7 percent of respondents saying they are comfortable and a decrease of 11 percent saying they are uncomfortable.

The EU average for two men showing affection in public was 49 percent saying they were comfortable, 14 percent were moderately comfortable, and 34 percent were uncomfortable. 

When asked how comfortable respondents were with two women showing affection in public, the results were similar. In total 29 percent said they were comfortable with women showing affection in public, 12 percent were moderately comfortable, and 53 percent said they were uncomfortable. This is an increase of 10 percent saying they were comfortable.

The EU average was 53 percent saying comfortable, 15 percent uncomfortable, and  29 percent were totally uncomfortable.

When asked how comfortable a respondent would be if their child had a relationship with someone of the same-sex, 31 percent said they would be comfortable or moderately comfortable and 45 percent said they would be uncomfortable. The figures were slightly lower when asked about a child being in a relationship with a transgender person.

A new question added to this survey was whether or not a third gender should be added to public documents, 50 percent of people said no and 32 percent said yes.

When asked about the perception of discrimination, 34 pecent of people said it was widespread towards gay, lesbian, and bisexual people, with 44 percent of people say it was rare. Respondents said it was similary rare for people who are transgender and intersex.

More than 60 percent of respondents said children should be taught about sexual orientation and transgender in school.

All the survey results can be found here.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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