1.26 million Gautengers approve of violence against gays & lesbians
Levels of homophobia are on the rise in Gauteng, with a shocking spike in the number of people who support anti-gay violence and discrimination.
According to the latest Gauteng City-Region Observatory Quality of Life Survey, an astonishing 14% of the province’s citizens say it is acceptable to be violent to gay and lesbian people.
This represents an increase of 1% since the last survey in 2013 and equates to around 1.26 million people.
The 2015 results, released on Tuesday, also found that only 56% agreed that gay and lesbian people deserve equal rights with all South Africans. Disturbingly, this is a major fall from 2013 when 71% agreed with the statement.
The results appear to indicate a complete failure of government and civil society efforts to reduce homophobia and change attitudes in South Africa’s richest and most populous province.
Senior researcher Dr Sally Peberdy told Mambaonline that while those who said that violence against gay people was acceptable “won’t necessarily go out and be violent, it does mean that there is an environment in which it is increasingly possible.”
She was surprised as to the extent to which violence against gay people was seen as much more acceptable compared to xenophobic violence against foreigners (3% agreed) or for a man to hit or beat his partner (2% agreed).
“If you look at a comparison between the other two it really is shocking and disturbing,” Peberdy said.
She agreed that much more needs to be done to improve levels of acceptance towards gays and lesbians: “There doesn’t seem to have been any change in people’s attitudes and they have in fact worsened, so it appears that campaigns don’t seem to be working.”
South Africa, including Gauteng, continues to face incidents of violent hate crimes against LGBT people. In March, Lucia Naido, a 19-year-old lesbian woman, was stabbed to death on the night of her birthday on Johannesburg’s East Rand.
“If government is serious about issues of social cohesion, then they really must address homophobia,” said Peberdy. “You can’t have 14 percent of people thinking it’s okay to be violent against people for who they are.”
Conducted every two years, the Gauteng Quality of Life survey interviewed 30 000 residents across the province. As the survey is the only one of its kind in South Africa, it is impossible to know how Gauteng attitudes compare to those in other provinces.
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This study is socking! But the headline of this article is not factual. The study was done with 30 000 people, of which 14% feel violence is okay. That means 4200 people say the violence is okay. You cannot go and say from a query of 30 000 people is equal to the 9 million people in Gauteng therefore 1.26mil people are okay with the violence. That is inaccurate. Granted, I wouldn’t be surprised if the amount was actually more, but nonetheless, the headline is sensational.
What else would you expect ?
I love gauteng, I love people and I love my country but to read how people say it is ok to be violent towards gay people is such crap. Is it ok for me to be violent towards your little girl because I dont like the dress that she is wearing or is it ok for me to be violent towards your boy because in my opinion he has a horrible hairstyle like his dad. Come on people. Grow up. No wonder we will always have apartheid and homophobia because you get idiots like these that cant think for themselves. EVERY person is born with the right to being safe. That is our constitution human right. So arrogent uneducated people think they are above the law because of their own opinions regarding other people. Shame there really is no hope for our country not because of the ANC or apartheid but because of peoples stupid way of thinking
Hello, my name is Dominique and iv been a victim of assault recently by a man who keeps telling me if I want to be a man he will treat me like a man, then proseded on smashing my phone because I was recording his actions and then pushed me into a window where I cut my arm open. What I would like to know is who could I talk to about this issue? I have opened a case against him for assault but I would also like to do something about his actions towards my gender. I was born a female and I’m still a female I have never once wanted to be a man, I’m happy the way God made me.