7 in 10 Britons want laws banning discrimination against LGBT people

Britons are largely supportive of laws against discrimination and equality when it comes to marriage and adoption

The author(s)
  • Ciaran Mulholland Ipsos Scotland
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A new global study by Ipsos shows strong support for measures to be put in place to stop discrimination against LGBT people in Britain.  Seven in ten (68%) support laws that stop this type of discrimination in relation to employment, access to education, housing and social services, compared to 55% globally. 

One in six Brits (16%) say they have attended a public event in support of LGBT people, such as a Pride march, compared with 13% globally, while a similar proportion (15%) have attended the wedding of a same-sex couple. More than a third (35%) say they have visited a bar or nightclub that caters mainly to LGBT people. Only 3 in 10 (28%) have spoken out against someone who was being prejudiced against LGBT people.  However, half of people in Britain (52%) want companies to actively promote equality for LGBT people, compared with 47% around the world. 

A majority of Britons support having openly lesbian, gay and bisexual athletes, however, only a quarter (24%) support transgender athletes competing based on the gender they identify with rather than the sex they were assigned at birth. On this matter, Britons are less likely to support compared to the global country average (32%). 

The majority of Brits support marriage equality. Seven in ten (68%) say same-sex couples should be allowed to marry legally, which has increased from 55% who said the same in 2013. Globally, 54% support same-sex marriage. In Britain, 14% say same-sex couples should be able to obtain some kind of legal recognition but not marry, while 7% believe they should not be able to do either. Over a quarter (27%) say their views on same-sex marriage are different than they were 5 years ago. 

Just over 7 in 10 (72%) believe same-sex couples should have the same rights to adopt children as heterosexual couples do while, while one in five (19%) do not. Three-quarters (76%) say same-sex couples are just as likely as other parents to successfully raise children, which is higher than the global average where 62% feel the same way. 

The study shows that in Britain, 2% identify as transgender, non-binary/non-conforming/gender-fluid or in another way. Fifteen per cent say they are only/mostly attracted to the same sex or equally attracted to both sexes. One in twenty identify as bisexual (5%) or homosexual (4%) while 1% say they are pan/omnisexual and 1% are asexual. Almost 6 in 10 Britons say they have a friend, relative or work colleague who is lesbian/gay/homosexual, while 3 in 10 (28%) know someone who is bisexual. Just over 1 in 10 know a transgender (13%) or non-binary (12%) person.

Commenting on the findings, Ciaran Mulholland, Associate Director and Co-Chair of the Ipsos Pride Network said:

These findings highlight the progress that has been made in public attitudes to the LGBTI+ community in Britain. The British public are now largely in support of equality when it comes to marriage and adoption rights, and most want to see active measures put in place to tackle discrimination against the LGBTI+ community. However, there is still a sizeable minority that disagree with these measures.

Technical Note

These are the results of a 27-market survey conducted by Ipsos on its Global Advisor online platform. Ipsos interviewed a total of 19,069 adults aged 18-74 in United States, Canada, Malaysia, South Africa, and Turkey, and 16-74 in 23 other markets between April 23 and May 7, 2021.
The sample consists of approximately 1,000 individuals in each of Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland), France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the U.S., and 500 individuals in each of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, and Turkey.
The samples in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and the U.S. can be taken as representative of these countries’ general adult population under the age of 75.
The samples in Brazil, Chile, China (mainland), Colombia, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Russia, South Africa and Turkey are more urban, more educated, and/or more affluent than the general population. The survey results for these countries should be viewed as reflecting the views of the more “connected” segment of their population.
The data is weighted so that each country’s sample composition best reflects the demographic profile of the adult population according to the most recent census data.
Where results do not sum to 100 or the ‘difference’ appears to be +/-1 more/less than the actual, this may be due to rounding, multiple responses or the exclusion of don't know or not stated responses.
The precision of Ipsos online polls is calculated using a credibility interval with a poll of 1,000 accurate to +/- 3.5 percentage points and of 500 accurate to +/- 4.8 percentage points. For more information on the Ipsos use of credibility intervals, please visit the Ipsos website.
The publication of these findings abides by local rules and regulations.
The author(s)
  • Ciaran Mulholland Ipsos Scotland

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