When people mention Prague in the Czech Republic or Riga in Latvia you probably think of booze-fuelled stag parties and liberal attitudes towards sex and drugs.
The latest report from the National Opinion Research Centre (NORC) at the University of Chicago shows that since 1994 sexual relations between adults of the same sex has been increasingly accepted in most of the 16 countries in the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP).
There are 4 countries however where the opposite appears to be true. In Czech Republic, Latvia, Cyprus, and Russia, the answer “not wrong at all” in relation to questions about same sex activity declined in all the three surveys (1994, 1998, and 2008). And in the Czech Republic, Latvia, and Russia, the number of people who said it was “always wrong” went up in each of the three surveys.
Aleš Rumpel, director of the country’s gay film festival, Mezipatra, and a board member for the new NGO gay rights group PROUD said;“I don’t think these numbers are really all that surprising because I don’t think Czech people are as liberal or accepting as they think they are”.
There is an argument that whilst people will say they support gay rights they are less supportive when it comes to what homosexuals actually do in the privacy of their bedroom. The Czech Republic is not particularly religious and it seems that there has not been that much debate about gender inequality and gay rights until recently.
And it seems that czechs might not be so homophobic as it appears from the NORC data. That study came out just days before another set of statistics was released, compiled by the Center for Research of Public Opinion (CVVM) that showed nearly three-quarters of Czechs supported registered partnerships for gay couples, and 45 percent supported gay marriage, a number that has risen since registered partnerships were made legal in 2006 after being rejected in 1998
Source: Prague Post 8 June 2011