Statistics on Discrimination of Homosexuals


1. Acceptance of homosexuality
2. Acceptance of same-sex marriage
3. Legality of same-sex marriage
4. Legality of homosexuality
5. Homosexuals in the military
6. Homosexuals raising children
7. Employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity
8. Numbers of homosexuals, bisexuals and transgender

1. Acceptance of homosexuality

Increased acceptance of homosexuality is likely to lead to a reduction of discrimination. For instance, if homosexuality is considered to be morally acceptable by a large majority, then support for discriminatory policies such as laws prohibiting same-sex marriage (see below) will decrease. Over the last centuries and especially the last decades, acceptance of homosexuality has increased, as is shown by the graphs below:

public opinion on homosexuality




public acceptance of homosexuality

(source, see below for the criminalization angle; India is highlighted here because the country recently – December 2013 – recriminalized homosexuality)

A substantial majority in most Western countries believes that homosexuality is something that should be accepted.


Here are some more details and breakdowns for the US:

public acceptance homosexuality


Given the fact that younger cohorts are more tolerant, it’s not surprising to see the rates evolve in this way:

U.S. acceptance of gay and lesbian relations


morality of homosexuality

(source, data for the U.S.)

attitudes toward homosexuality

(source, data for the U.S.)

social intolerance of Muslims, homosexuals and immigrants in the US


This improvement shouldn’t obscure the fact that there’s still  long way to go. A large minority of U.S. citizens still disapprove. Take also a look at this graph:

homosexual presidential candidate

(source, data for the U.S.)

International public opinion is somewhat less positive. The World Values Survey data suggest that Asia and Africa remain more homophobic than the Americas and Europe, but change has been rapid nonetheless. In the 2006 wave of surveys, the majority of Indians and Chinese remained firmly against homosexuality. But the proportion of people who thought homosexuality was never justifiable fell from 93 percent to 64 percent in India from 1993 to 2006 and from 92 percent to 74 percent in China (source). Some more data:






attitudes toward homosexuality


Religion seems to be an force against acceptance:

religion and acceptance of homosexuality

religion and acceptance of homosexuality

(source, where you can find an interactive version)

Another version:


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2. Acceptance of same-sex marriage

Same-sex marriage as well is becoming more acceptable. The following graphs show the evolution of public support for same-sex marriage in the U.S.:

acceptance of same-sex marriage


public opinion on same-sex marriage in the US


public opinion on same sex marriage


Here’s a breakdown by religious affiliation:

american opinion on gay marriage


gay marriage acceptance

And a breakdown by political orientation:

support for same sex marriage by political subgroup

acceptance of same-sex marriage


support for same-sex marriage by political orientation, US


This is the breakdown by race (still only for the U.S.):

acceptance of gay marriage, by race

And here’s a state-by-state breakdown for the U.S.:

same-sex marriage map US

same-sex marriage map US


UPDATE: this is the situation dd. May 2014:


Here are some numbers for Europe:

support for same-sex marriage in Europe

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3. Legality of same-sex marriage

Policies on gay marriage are highly congruent with preferences – pretty much, gay marriage is legal where more than 50% of the people support it, and illegal where the policy has less than 50% support. (source)

In 2000, the Netherlands became the world’s first country to legalise gay marriage. At present (July 2013), 14 countries in the world grant full gay marriage rights. Most of those are in Western Europe: France, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Belgium and the Netherlands. They’re joined by two other Western countries: New Zealand and Canada, as well as 12 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. (In some countries, it’s only legal in certain parts of the territory. In Mexico only in the capital, for example. In the U.S. only in some states.) Also on the list is South Africa. In South America, both Argentina and Uruguay allow gay marriage.

Civil unions are legal in are legal in 13 European countries, including Germany and the United Kingdom. Some of Europe’s civil union rights, such as in Slovenia and Hungary, are quite weak compared to those in other countries. Civil unions are also permitted in 8 U.S. States and three Latin countries: Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador.

The global trend toward giving homosexuals full marriage rights has gained what seems like unstoppable momentum.

gay marriage rights worldwide







Let’s have a closer look at the U.S. Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalised it (dd. 2012), including three which, for the first time, did so by popular vote on November 6th, 2012.
same sex marriage and civil unions in the US


Detailed maps regarding the legality of same-sex marriage in the U.S. are here. During the Presidential election today, November 7th 2012, Maine and Maryland also voted on ballot initiatives regarding same-sex marriage. Majorities of voters in both states approved it.

same sex marriage map US

(source, this map does not yet include the recent legalization in Maine and Maryland)

Perhaps this map is more up-to-date:

legal status of same-sex marriage in the US


Or this one:





The legality worldwide of same-sex marriage is thus:

Numbers of people living in jurisdictions where same-sex marriage is legal

(source, source, these numbers do not include domestic partnerships and other arrangements that are somewhat equivalent to, but clearly distinguished from, marriage)

Here’s a more up to date version of that graph:


Only a small percentage – about 3.7 – of the total global population lives in a jurisdiction that allows same-sex marriage, but the increase is encouraging.

The large increase in 2008 in the numbers for the US (the green area, pushing up the yellow area for South Africa, where the numbers did not actually rise in 2008), followed by a similarly large decrease was due to the recognition by California courts of same-sex marriages, and the following reversal resulting from “Prop 8“, a popular vote that abolished the right. (The most recent turn of events is that Prop 8 has been judged unconstitutional by a Californian Court).

same sex marriages in europe

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4. Legality of homosexuality

Some 80 countries still criminalize consensual homosexual sex, or “sodomy” as it’s often called (more strange legal terms for homosexual sex here). Punishment can include flogging, imprisonment, and in about a dozen jurisdictions, the death penalty. Of the seven countries that impose the death penalty for homosexuality, all are Muslim. Most of the countries that hace outlawed homosexuality are in Africa and the Middle East, although they’re joined by some Caribbean and Southeast Asian nations. Five of those 76 countries include laws permitting the state to hand out the death penalty for homosexuality: Mauritania, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Iran. India recently outlawed homosexuality.

The following map shows the status of homosexuality laws in the world:

world homosexuality laws wikipedia

Here’s another version:

where homosexuality is illegal


And yet another version:


(click image to enlarge)

Here’s the situation in Africa:

legal status of homosexuality in Africa


Britain decriminalized homosexuality only in 1967 and it was not until 2003 that America’s Supreme Court struck down the remaining sodomy laws in 14 states.

Here are the numbers of countries and states that have decriminalized homosexuality over the past centuries:

decriminalization of homosexuality


legality of homosexuality worldwide


laws prohibiting homosexuality

(source, click image to enlarge)

In many countries that have legalized homosexual behavior there are still large minorities that believe homosexual sex should be a crime. Take the US for instance:

US public opinion on legality of homosexuality

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5. Homosexuals in the military

This still seems to be a big deal, at least in the U.S.

gays in the military

dadt support


gays in the military


The US policy of DADT was ended on September 20th, 2011. Where gays can openly serve in the military:

map where gays can openly serve in the military



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6. Homosexuals raising children

Again, I only have data on the U.S.:

homosexuals raising children

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7. Employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity

Laws on employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity

seek to prevent discrimination based on race, sex, religion, national origin, physical disability, and age by employers. A growing body of law also seeks to prevent employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. Discriminatory practices include bias in hiring, promotion, job assignment, termination, compensation, retaliation, and various types of harassment. (source)

In the U.S., many states have laws that protect all public employees against employment discrimination, including discrimination of people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Many large cities and other localities have similar rules. A minority of states ban this type of discrimination in private employment: 21 states plus DC have laws banning discrimination in private employment that also cover sexual orientation, and 15 plus DC have laws that also cover gender identity.

Here’s a map showing those 21 and 15 states:

Legislation prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and Gender Identity in private employment

Legislation prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and Gender Identity in private employment


And here’s a map showing legislation covering both private and public employment:

Legislation Prohibiting Employment Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Legislation Prohibiting Employment Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

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8. Numbers of homosexuals, bisexuals and transgender

In order to know how many people are potentially affected by discrimination, it’s useful to know how many identify as homosexual, bisexual or transgender. Here are some numbers for the U.S.:

[D]emographer Gary Gates, who works for the Williams Institute at UCLA’s School of Law, has compiled the results from nine surveys that attempt to measure sexual orientation — five of them from the U.S. He estimates that 3.5% of the U.S. population identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, while 0.3% are transgender. … He also points out that bisexual identification is generally more common among women than among men. (source)

These are numbers based on self-identification. If, on the other hand, people are asked about sexual attraction and sexual behavior, the numbers are higher:

11% of Americans ages 18-44 report any same-sex sexual attraction, while 8.8% report any same-sex sexual behavior. (source)

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83 thoughts on “Statistics on Discrimination of Homosexuals

  1. benjie villacruel says:

    your data are quite interesting. i would like to ask if you can assist me with my thesis. it’s about homosexuality in the Philippines and i am having difficulty in acquiring pertinent surveyed data. i am hoping for your favorable response. thank you so much.

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  4. Lauren Spark says:

    I wanna take you out tonight, I wanna make you feel allright, I don’t have a lot of money but we’ll be fine, no I don’t have a penny but I’ll show you a good time!

  5. maria alyanna alapag says:

    do you have any information about the degree of acceptance of homosexual specifficaly in the philippines?

  6. diana mariana kirioma says:

    do you have any information about data statistic gay and lesbian in south africa. How much gay and lesbian are there now??

    • Hi Diana, no I don’t. And that sort of information is by definition unreliable because it’s based on self-reporting, which means that people have to say if they’re gay or not, which obviously is difficult in a hostile environment.

  7. C. Naiko says:

    Hi, im doing a thesis about acceptacion of homosexuality in the world since globalisation began.
    Do you have any more information i could use?

    Sorry about my terrible english.

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  9. Jessie Del Rosario says:

    thanks for having such data! it really helps me as i am writing my undergrad. thesis!!!!
    thanks again and more power!

    P.S. Am glad that there are many stud. who are also researching ’bout such kind’a topic!

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  14. Kaelyn Gabbard says:

    Thank You so much. I learned a lot of useful information from this website. You should continue to inform people about homosexuality!

  15. Duncan Armstrong says:

    Im wondering if you had or can point me in the right direction for research on homosexuality in new zealand, including surveys on acceptance and discrimination. if anyone can help that would be greatly appreciated

  16. Good evening,
    My name is Bryan Arangorin and i would like to comment on your work. I really thank you for posting this blog about discrimination over homosexuals. It really does show alot of dedication for gay pride and for others to understand that this whole fight over discrimination should end as soon as possible. I am a motivational speaker, a college student, a creative thinker, and a very helpful person. I have a friend that used to live here where i live, he had a gay personality. “Lawrence Fobes King” you might already have read articles, newspapers, watched news on television that he got shot for asking his killer, Brandon Mcinerney, being Larry’s valentine. It was very shocking to see a good friend, Larry, die at a very young age & to see many sad faces up rise from this strategy. So, i have a group doing a research paper on hate crimes about discrimination on homosexuals and why does it affect in this society. After reviewing all your information on this blog, it gave me a better understanding what to put in my paragraphs about power. I just want to know, if Obama, United States President, have a thought about this. What side is he on? [Accepting Homosexuals in this society, or not accepting it.] – That is all. (:
    Hope you have a great day !

  17. Squeeky Wheel says:

    I’ve come to an eye opening supposition! Personal opinions aside. When looking at the graphs, “replace” the word “Homosexuality” with the words ” People having sex outside of marriage.” Then ask yourself, could there be a correlation? And could it be because of a general moral decline of society around the world? I would venture to say the percentage wise the changes mark to mark would be nearly identical.

    • Tolerance says:

      How about replace the word “homosexual” with “white male” or “black” or maybe whatever your national origin is. Does that say something about the moral decline of society? Or does it actually say something about the increasing global tolerance to differences leading to greater peacefulness of society?

      • Evan Law says:

        That… Is very interesting. As interesting as it is true I would venture to say. But forgive me, where are my manners? My name is Evan Law. And I am pleased to make your aquaintance.

  18. Heidi says:

    Hi, I’m writing an essay on government tolerance levels of homosexuality based on laws and policies in both the US and China. I was wondering if you knew where I could find statistical data/charts/graphs/etc. based on each country, maybe one based on how many homosexuals were punished in each country, that sort of thing. This blog has already been incredibly helpful, so thank you very much.

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  21. Nicholas says:

    This makes me kind of sick to be of the human race… We’re all people, are we not? So why can I marry who I want? I heard something like this from somewhere: “If you don’t like gay marriage, then don’t get married to someone gay.” You can extrapolate that to involve all aspects of life.

  22. Aninka Rosa says:

    Hi I’m not gay myself but feel very strongly about people who discriminate against them. It is so so wrong in so many ways and I hate it so much. Why do people have a problem with it. it’s nothing to do with their stupid little brains that can’t emphasise. I completely support gays and gay marriage! it is wrong to discriminate and it makes me sooooo angry!!!!

  23. Stephanie says:

    I am writing a research paper on a need for limiting hate speech in America and I have to open with case studies or statistics. This page has had the most simple versions that actually gives charts and I’m wondering how I would cite this information in MLA. Is there a way to cite this or would I need to go through the specific sites to get that information?

    • Citing secondary sources is usually frowned upon. Better to cite the original sources rather than my blog. I normally give links to original sources, and you can just copy those (check first if they aren’t dead).

  24. Common sense says:

    Is that Devil you? Jesus was actually speaking of Judas who betrayed him. Are you against your fellow human being who just happens to be created gay? Please explain how your random scripture misrepresentation relates to this conversation? I’m very open to an enlightened conversation.

  25. Dominika says:

    I am a student of Psychology in the third year (BSc.) at the Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovakia). I would like to kindly ask you to fill in this questionnaire, which will be the source of the information for my bachelor thesis titled “The Attitudes of the Majority Population towards Sexual Minorities”. The questionnaire is anonymous and will be used only for informational purposes in my work. Thank you for your time!!

  26. Priyam says:

    I am a student of MSW. I am doing a research on HOMOSEXUALITY IN INDIA. there seems to be no statistical data available. Please help..

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  28. I’m extremely impressed along with your writing abilities as well as with the structure on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it your self? Anyway keep up the excellent high quality writing, it’s uncommon to look a nice weblog like this one today..

  29. João says:

    Congratulations on the good work, it’s rare to find so much information in a single page. I’d also like to encourage you to keep the information as updated a possible, to maintain it valuable, For instance, same-sex marriage is already legal in Portugal, Iceland and Argentina since 2010. Greetings!

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  32. Melinda Koers says:

    Please help me promote my petition. I am a LGBT community member and supporter. My wife and I were legally married in Washington DC on May 5 of this year. As you are well aware we are always fighting for our rights on these issues. My wife and I underwent in-vitro several months ago and were blessed with a pregnancy. However several weeks into it, we suffered a miscarriage. My work discriminated against me and I truly don’t know if it I pregnancy discrimination or lesbian discrimination.. I would be so grateful if you would read my petition and if possible help me promote it. My goal is to get 100,000 signatures and either push for my job back or a change in company policy.


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  35. Just wish to say your article is as astonishing.
    The clearness for your publish is simply cool and that i could think you’re an expert in this subject. Well along with your permission allow me to take hold of your RSS feed to stay up to date with drawing close post. Thank you one million and please continue the enjoyable work.

  36. Lily Weldy says:

    I am trying to start a campaign in my school so that my best friend (lesbian) can take her girlfriend to homecoming in October. This is only day one, but this really helped me get a start. I’m willing, and preparing, to take this to the courthouse with her help.
    Love you, Tori^.^

  37. I am not a homosexual or a bisexual or a transgender I am just a normal plain old 10 year old girl from Canada, but I think that all homosexuals deserve the right to be considered human and to be treated nicely like any other person I hope this comment of mine can cheer all of you out there, I honestly think that since all of our holy texts have been written by man, the words passed on by generation, and from that, a lot of us have thought that homosexuals are scary or wired or odd or stupid or crazy or lost etc… don’t think that that is true it is strongly not true in any way all of you homosexuals out there get your confidence and trust in yourself and be who you want to be and live your life happily without thinking your stupid or odd or anything, look up songs for inner-confidence and think that you are the king or queen of the world because your voice DOES mean something to me or who thinks whoever reads my comment go out there and be who you want!!! trust me who cares if you get made fun at as long as you trust in yourself. the most important is to be yourself!
    bye everyone , by Mary who trusts all of you!!! and be happy!!!

  38. hey, it’s me Mary again, to be honest most homosexuals are pretty much just living an everlasting WWII because all you guys do if your scared, well homosexuals were killed in WWII, don’t see why at all, anyways go live your life and escape and get rid of your fears of being who you really are and just be happy and be awesome!!
    your new ”blogger” Mary! bye guys

  39. thank you FILIP SPAGNOLI for telling me your age it is very helpful because now I know how old you are thanks for telling me! bye.
    I think I should start a new gig on this blog write a new comment every day on this blog!!
    good day

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  41. JH says:

    So in the middle east homosexuality is looked down to but when some random dude is humping a cow, a donkey or some animal or EVEN his sons that’s ok? males for pleasure and females for having children right lol I find that terribly funny?

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