The NDI poll was conducted in summer 2015 in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia in coordination with Ipsos Research. The poll was funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), with additional financial support from the U.S.-based Victory Institute and Sweden’s Civil Right Defenders and pro bono technical support from Grindr for Equality.
Young, educated and urban residents in six countries in the Balkans show measurable support for LGBTI rights, but most respondents do not believe that LGBTI people should be able to live openly based on equal rights. The poll is a guidepost and a call to action to LGBTI groups seeking equal rights for their communities. The poll reveals low levels of knowledge about the groups comprising the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities, and a correspondingly high degree of resistance to conferring equal rights and opportunities based on sexual orientation and gender identity. At the same time, poll respondents roundly disavow physical violence against LGBTI members of society. And for certain demographic groups, among them young and urbanized citizens, there is a small and perhaps growing acceptance of LGBTI rights.
According to a LGBTI sample within the poll, three out of four LGBTI people have been exposed to psychological abuse and verbal harassment, one out of four have suffered physical violence, and one out of two LGBTI persons has faced discrimination at school, at work, or elsewhere due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The general population perceives discrimination and violence against LGBTI citizens to be far less in frequency and scope.
LGBTI people surveyed in the poll and participating in companion focus groups expressed interest to become politically active, in terms of joining political parties and running for elected office. They report voting rates higher than the average turnout.