85% of Filipinos support protection of gays, lesbians vs discrimination–SWS
MANILA, Philippines – A large majority of Filipinos support the right of gays and lesbians to be protected against discrimination, a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) report said.
It showed that 85 percent of the 1,200 respondents agreed with the statement, “Just like me, gays and lesbians also have the right to be protected against any form of discrimination.”
Only five percent said they disagreed while 10 percent said they were undecided.
This was one of the six questions raised in surveys conducted June 28 to 30, 2013 and September 20 to 23, 2013, the results of which were published in their website only on Friday (Feb. 6).
In the September survey, majority of the respondents (67 percent) also said that gays and lesbians are “as trustworthy as any other Filipino.” Eighteen (18) percent disagreed, while 14 percent were undecided.
More than half (54 percent) also said that gays and lesbians “contributed a lot in the progress of [the Philippine] society,” while 24 percent disagreed.
The same percentage (54 percent) of respondents in June said that they disagreed that being gay or lesbian is a form of mental illness. On the other hand, 25 percent said they think it is a mental condition.
The September survey also showed that while 45 percent disagreed that being homosexual is “contagious” or something that can be acquired from other people, 38 percent believed otherwise.
While SWS said the respondents showed “sympathetic attitude” on the first five questions, they were unsympathetic when asked about acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
The statement “Acquired (Immune) Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS can be considered as a sickness of gays and lesbians” was agreed to by 45 percent. Only 33 percent disagreed and 21 percent said they were undecided. The remaining one percent did not give an answer.
The World Health Organization defines AIDS as the most advanced stage of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which targets the immune system and weakens a person’s defense system against infections and certain types of cancer. HIV is transmitted through the exchange of body fluids (blood, breast milk, semen and vaginal secretions) from infected individuals.
SWS said the surveys were not commissioned and were done on its own initiative.
The findings were posted in the SWS survey on Friday. It was earlier presented as a paper titled “Measuring Homophobia in the Philippines” (authored by Vladymir Joseph Licudine and Ma. Leah Czarina Aldave) at the XVII World Congress of Sociology in Japan in 2014.
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