An activist protests against LGBTI hate crimes outside the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg at last year’s People’s Pride.
The majority of South Africans continue to see homosexuality as morally unacceptable, according to the results of a global survey on morality.
The Pew Research Centre’s 2013 Global Attitudes survey asked 40,117 people in 40 countries what they thought about eight topics often discussed as moral issues: extramarital affairs, gambling, homosexuality, abortion, premarital sex, alcohol consumption, divorce, and the use of contraceptives.
The results show that South Africans are an overwhelmingly conservative bunch. It turns out homosexuality is the second most morally objectionable issue on the list; with 62% of South Africans declaring it unacceptable.
Only eighteen percent said that being gay is acceptable while 12% believe that it is not a moral issue at all.
The most morally objectionable topic in the country was extramarital affairs, with 65% of South Africans opposed to them. Sixty-one percent are also against abortion, 48% reject premarital sex and 40% are against gambling and divorce.
Information released by the Pew Research Centre last year found that 61% of South Africans believe that homosexuality should not be accepted by society.
The alarming results confirm that most South Africans’ views and beliefs are in conflict with our Constitution and that we have a long way to go before its progressive values are adopted by the public.
The country with the highest rate of anti-gay views in the world is Ghana, with a whopping 98% of its citizens seeing homosexuality as morally unacceptable.
Surprisingly, despite its strong Catholic heritage, Spain turned out to be the most accepting country when it comes to gays and lesbians; only 6% of Spaniards believe that homosexuality is unacceptable.