WASHINGTON – The vast majority of countries around the world have become more accepting of homosexuality, with the exception of Russia and other former socialist countries, a new study has found.
The report, compiled by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, examined general trends in over 30 countries regarding their attitudes towards homosexuality.
Approval of homosexuality increased in 27 countries and decreased in only four: Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Latvia and Russia, the study noted.
The growth in approval ratings was stronger than the decline.
The study rated the top five most tolerant countries regarding homosexuality as the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, and Belgium, according to the survey.
The bottom half of the list consisted of seven ex-socialist states, East Asian nations, Latin American countries and Cyprus, South Africa, and Turkey.
In Russia, 59 percent of the population felt that homosexual behavior was wrong in 1991 compared with 64 percent in 2008, the study showed.
In Russia on Saturday, Moscow police detained three global gay rights leaders and dozens of Russians in a violent end to a rally that activists tried to stage near the Kremlin wall despite a ban.
The small crowd of young marchers was attacked by members of an ultra-Orthodox group who had successfully lobbied Moscow to ban the event.
Organizers said the three Westerners and most of 30 Russians were released after a few hours of detention.