What's the World's Most Gay-Friendly Country? The Answer May Surprise You


Spain: 88, United States: 60. No, this isn’t the latest score from a fútbol match. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey (better warn the guys at Fox News), most Americans are becoming more tolerant of homosexuality in society, but the survey found that tolerance and support is highest in Europe and Latin American countries. The study was conducted in 39 countries and found stark geographical differences when participants were questioned about whether homosexuals should be accepted in society. Take a look at the map here:


In countries that aren't known for their history of a strong state-sponsored religion, Canada "won" with a resounding 80% of participants expressing tolerance and support for gays, with Australia a close second at 79% and France not too far behind at 77%, mes amis. 

Most surprising, maybe (although only for those who haven’t experienced the country's extensive, hedonistic nightlife), is Spain having the most tolerance for homosexuals out of any country in the survey, with 88% support. Even as a predominantly Catholic country, Spain has allowed same-sex marriages since 2005, a law that was recently upheld by Spain’s Constitutional Court, which makes Spain the world’s third country to approve gay marriage nationwide. 

Other Catholic countries like Italy, Argentina, and the Philippines are predominantly tolerant of homosexuality. The United States is accepting it at a rather pathetic rate for a first-world country, especially one that constantly touts itself as the leader of the world, at 60% supporting homosexuality — coming in at 11th place behind 13 other countries. What Pew found as an overwhelming factor in the responses they received from American participants was age, with those under 30 more accepting of homosexuals than people 30 to 49. Both of these groups, of course, were more likely to be tolerant of homosexuals than the age group of 50 and older. 

Apart from Israel, most of the Middle East, unsurprisingly, falls in stark contrast to Europe and Latin America, with some countries not even breaking double digits for support. Gary Gates, a demographer with the Williams Institute said, “There are cultures where religion is a very, very important factor, as a regular part of daily life ... in those countries, it’s harder to distinguish what’s religious and what’s culture. But in other countries, like Italy or Spain, the culture has always had a live-and-let-live dimension to it. Even with a very strong religious presence, you see that kind of attitude coming out.”