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While More Germans Accept LGBTQ People, Fewer Accept Muslims

A new poll published last week in Germany finds that Muslims are less accepted than LGBTQ-identifying people.

Of 1,000 respondents in the poll by Playboy Germany, 70 percent of them wouldn’t care about having a queer child. The same number of people would be in favor of a law that would require insurance companies to cover gender affirming surgery costs for trans people, according to Deutsche Welle. Mafo.de conducted the survey.

In Germany, there have been solid gains for LGBTQ rights recently. The cabinet approved legislation last week introducing a third gender option for people who are intersex. Just last year, the German Parliament approved legislation allowing for same-sex marriage.

Germany has, since the 1940s, become increasingly supportive of LGBTQ people, according to DW. For example, in 1949, over 50 percent of married German men viewed homosexuality as an illness. However, in the late 1970s, that had decreased to 25 percent.

By 1991, 36 percent of people polled said they would not want a homosexual neighbor. In 2008, that number was only 13 percent.

Though acceptance has grown, hate crimes against LGBTQ people increased 27 percent in the country from 2016 to 2017, reported DW.

Hate crimes against Muslims in Germany are also on the rise. In 2017, the German government reported 950 attacks on Muslims and mosques.

Around 56 percent of people responded to the poll that they would not want to live near a mosque. This is compared to 25 percent saying they would not want to live near a synagogue or Buddhist temple. Sixteen percent said they would not want to live near a Christian church.

Estimates say that there are around 4.7 million Muslims living in Germany. Germany’s Muslim population is the second highest in Western Europe, behind France.

The poll represents shifts in perceptions of how people have typically understood progressive and conservative ideologies. From the Netherlands to Finland, being anti-LGBTQ has become a taboo but being anti-Muslim has become more and more popular. Many far-right parties across Europe have courted LGBTQ people by appealing to the notion that Muslim people are a danger to them. The Economist points out that Germany’s far right even has a queer branch.

“Some of the many factors playing a role here are of course that coming out is voluntary, that the LGBT community has somewhat more control over how much of their identity people see…and also that laws create norms—so for example, when you legalize gay marriage, that goes a long way for creating acceptance,” Melanie Steffens, a social psychology professor at the University of Koblenz told DW in explaining why Germans accept LGBTQ people but not Muslim ones.

The reported polling data did not mention the perceptions of LGBTQ-identifying Muslims in Germany.

Image via Getty


Alex Cooper