Love thy neighbour (as long as the neighbour isn’t gay)
I like to pretend sometimes that we have moved on as a species, that we have enlightened ourselves and have left the chains of ignorance behind as we accept one another and move into the 21st Century – oh am I wrong. A new survey shows that almost quarter of NZers and Australians would not want a Gay neighbour! . John Mangan, professor of economics at the University of Queensland, is co-author of a paper interpreting statistics from the Human Beliefs and Values Survey, conducted in 24 Western countries between 1999 and 2002 and has found that 22.3% of NZers and 24.7% of Australians did not want a gay neighbour – the sheer size of that percentage is eye opening and is a massive reminder that although we like to think society has become more progressive, there is a solid, solid chunk of the population who are homophobic, what do these people think will happen if homosexuals move into the neighbourhood? Have these people not seen Queer Eye for the Straight Guy? Once a group of homosexuals move in, they decorate and colour co-ordinate all the letter boxes and start driving up property valuations for everyone – who doesn’t want that? Is the fear that Gay orgies will break out left right and center or God forbid the precious children of straight families will somehow be ‘turned’ (because homosexuals get points for everyone they turn don’t you know), is it a deep seated anger that the street has to be shut down nightly for gay pride parades 6pm weekdays (9pm late show on Friday nights)?
That homophobia lurks in our society is no shock, but that the number is as high as it is – almost quarter of everyone, should raise eyebrows and make everyone think hard about how such prejudice can be broken down – maybe a queer pride parade is as important to the straight community as it is for the queer community in terms of breaking down fears.
Survey finds gay prejudice worldwide
A survey of 1202 New Zealanders has found 22.3 per cent would not like homosexuals as neighbours. And of 2048 Australians surveyed, 24.7 per cent said they didn't want gays living next door. John Mangan, professor of economics at the University of Queensland, is co-author of a paper interpreting statistics from the Human Beliefs and Values Survey, conducted in 24 Western countries between 1999 and 2002. He said the results showed anti-gay prejudice was by no means confined to Australia. "The conclusion is the most prevalent form of bigotry is homophobia. It's everybody except Scandinavians, so it's not a particularly Australian thing." The figure was exceeded by survey respondents in Austria (26.7 per cent), Greece (26.8), the Republic of Ireland (27.5) Italy (28.7) and Portugal (25.6). And Northern Ireland came out on top, with 36 per cent saying they did not want gay neighbours. The least prejudiced nationality in the survey was Sweden, where only 6 per cent said they would object.