In December 2022, ERA – LGBTI Equal Rights Association conducted a public opinion poll on the attitudes of the Western Balkans’ general public towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ+) persons.
The main objectives of this public opinion poll were to:
● Expand the evidence base concerning public attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, and queer persons in the countries of the Western Balkans region.
● Collect data on specific attitudes and opinions of the general public towards LGBTIQ+ people, with a particular focus on visibility and acceptance, safety, hate speech and hate crimes, legal, social, economic, political, and family rights, gender rights, and political participation, and representation;
● Compare public attitudes of 2015 to those in 2023, and understand and analyze reasons for changes.
● Analyse the impact of the LGBTIQ+ movement’s work in the region in the last seven years.
● Enable ERA network and local LGBTIQ+ organizations to conduct effective evidence-based advocacy, capacity building, and campaign work.
● Make recommendations for further improvements in the future
The survey was conducted by Ipsos, the world’s third-largest market research company, present in 90 markets and with a solid track record in executing complex surveys utilizing various methodologies. Ipsos has network partners in all the region’s countries and engaged a multidisciplinary expert team for this survey. It was made possible thanks to the support of the European Union and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy.
Public attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, and queer people were still predominantly negative in December 2022 – January 2023, when this survey was conducted. They have, however, shown improvement compared to 2015, when the same study was conducted by the National Democratic Institute and Ipsos.
LGBTIQ+ people in the Western Balkans region are far from accepted. At first glance, the general trend indicates that the public is more accepting of LGBTIQ+ people. This acceptance is predominantly expressed in relation to more neutral or socially acceptable issues and not in areas that relate to so-called traditional values.
With minor exceptions, attitudes have been moderately improved compared to 2015. Regarding some measured indicators, attitudes significantly improved in some countries within the period 2015-2022.
The analytical report and policy paper can serve as a guideline for how a responsible state can improve the legal and socio-economic framework for respecting the human rights of all its citizens, including LGBTIQ+ people.
To read and download the analytical report, click here.
To read and download the policy paper, click here.
Notes: This report has been made possible through the contribution of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) to the project “Understanding and improving public attitudes towards LGBTIQ+ people in the Western Balkans.” The contents of the report don’t necessarily reflect the position of MAECI.
This public opinion poll was co-funded by the European Union.