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Over a third of British Asians say same-sex relationships ‘unacceptable’

Written by gaytourism

Many British Asians hold socially conservative views around relationships (Photo: Sourabh Virdi on Unsplash)

A poll conducted by the BBC has found that British Asians are more socially conservative than UK society as a whole.

In the survey of 2,000 people, less than half (43%) of respondents said they thought same-sex relationships were acceptable. This compares with 75% of the British population as a whole. Thirty-six per cent of British Asians explicitly stated called such relationships ‘unacceptable’ (compared to 15% of UK as a whole).

Of the survey respondents, approximately half were born in the UK. The other half had been born elsewhere and moved to the UK. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka were the main Asian countries of origin.

The figures around acceptance of same-sex relationships remained fairly stable across age groups. Of those aged 18-34, 44% said they accepted same-sex relationships, 43% of those aged 35-54, and 42% of those aged 55+.

Sex before marriage

The pollsters also asked about sex before marriage. Only 5% of British society said they would be offended by someone having sex before marriage. However, this rose to 36% of the British Asians questioned.

The survey also found that British Asians are more optimistic than the rest of society. Of those questioned, 72% said Britain is somewhere you can ‘fulfil your aspirations and ambitions,’ compared to 64% of the population at large.

‘Acceptance comes from both within, and those around us’

Matt Mahmood-Ogston is the director of the Naz and Matt Foundation. He launched the foundation following the suicide of his partner of 13 years, Nazim Mahmood.

Mahmood died in 2014 in London, seven months after he came out to his Muslim parents. They did not react well to his coming out.

The Foundation’s aim is to ‘tackle homophobia triggered by religion to help parents accept their children.’

Reacting to the survey, Matt told Gay Star News: ‘We must continue to build bridges and create respectful, honest dialogue with the 36% of individuals who stated that they found “same-sex relationships” not acceptable.

‘Being true to oneself, and being accepted for who we really are, plays a major factor in how happy and content we feel inside.

‘Sadly for many individuals who are LGBTQI+ and born into any family who enforces strict, conservative interpretations of their religion or culture, this may often seem like a distant dream rather than a reality. True acceptance comes from both within, and those around us.

‘You are responsible for your own happiness and nobody should be allowed to take this away from you.’

See also

Asian parents encouraged to ‘open the closet door’ for their LGBT kids in major new campaign

Police warn ‘real possibility’ of increase in LGBTI hate crime due to Brexit

New Indian school resource tells kids it’s ok to be gay

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