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French more accepting of LGBT people but clichés persist, survey says

Philip Fong, AFP | Acceptance of LGBT individuals has risen in France but clichés persist

French people are increasingly tolerant of homosexuality and its expression in public, but continue to hold clichéd views of LGBT individuals, according to a survey published by pollsters Ifop on Wednesday.

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In 2019, 85 percent of those surveyed said that homosexuality was “just another way of living one's sexuality". In 1975 just 24 percent of people held the same view, according to the survey conducted by Ifop for the Jasmin Roy-Sophie Desmarais Foundation, in association with Dilcrah, the Interministerial Delegation to Fight Racism, Anti-Semitism and anti-LGBT Hate.

Only eight percent continue to view it as “an illness that should be cured", whereas 42 percent thought so in 1975, seven years after homosexuality was decriminalised in France. Today, seven percent continue to consider homosexuality a “sexual perversion that should be opposed”, down on 22 percent in 1975.

François Kraus, director of Ifop’s political section, said the growing tolerance of homosexuality should not be confused with complete acceptance.

Indeed, greater tolerance has failed to eliminate old clichés about homosexuality.

One in five among the French public think that "certain professions where one is in permanent contact with children should be prohibited to homosexuals", the survey said, while 27 percent of respondents say they are uncomfortable in the presence of transgender people and 14 percent with homosexual or bisexual people of their own sex.

In total, 30 percent of French people admitted having been at one time uncomfortable with LGBT people.

The survey was conducted as a self-administered online questionnaire in mid-2019, with a sample of 3,013 people representative of the French population aged 18 and over.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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