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87% of Russians Oppose Gay Parades

Homophobic attitudes are widespread in Russia, and fewer people appear tolerant of homosexuality than eight years ago, a survey released Tuesday said.

Eighty-five percent of respondents surveyed by the Levada Center said they opposed same-sex marriages in Russia and 87 percent said they did not want gay parades to take place in Russian cities, Interfax reported.

The survey showed that 23 percent of respondents felt that gay people should be left alone, while 27 percent said they needed psychological help.

Another 16 percent suggested that gays be isolated from society, 22 percent insisted on compulsory treatment, and 5 percent said homosexuals should be "liquidated."

Over the past eight years, the number of Russians who that believe gays and lesbians should be left "to themselves" has declined 7 percent, while the percentage of Russians who think homosexuals should receive treatment has climbed 5 percent. The percentage of those who believe that homosexuals should be isolated from society has also increased, by 4 percent.

In response to the question, "What is your personal feeling toward gay and lesbians?" 50 percent of respondents said they felt irritation and disgust, another 18 said they felt a sense of alertness, and for 4 percent, homosexuals evoked a positive response.

Eighty percent of respondents opposed granting the right to adopt children to same-sex couples, while 5 percent said they had no objections.

The majority of those surveyed (89 percent) said they had no homosexual friends or relatives.

The survey was conducted in February among 1,600 residents in more than 130 cities in 45 regions across Russia. Although no margin of error was cited, Levada Center surveys usually have a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.

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