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MANILA, Philippines – A big majority of Filipino adults agree that gays and lesbians are just as trustworthy as any other Filipino, according to a recent survey conducted by Social Weather Stations. These findings show increased sympathetic attitudes compared to similar SWS survey results in previous years.
The First Quarter 2023 Social Weather Survey was conducted from March 26 to 29 and included a sample size of 1,200 Filipino adults nationwide. Respondents indicated whether or not they strongly agreed, somewhat agreed, were undecided, somewhat disagreed, or strongly disagreed with statements about gays, lesbians, and Muslims.
In the survey, the SWS found that 79%, or about 4 out of 5 Filipino adults agreed that “gays or lesbians are just as trustworthy as any other Filipino.” This percentage has increased in the last decade with only 67% of respondents agreeing with the statement in a SWS survey conducted in September 2013.
On the statement about whether gay people or lesbians have contributed “a lot in the progress of our society,” 73% of respondents agreed with the statement. In the 2013 survey, only 54% of respondents agreed.
When asked if being gay or lesbian is contagious, about 26% of respondents in March agreed. On the other hand, in the 2013 survey about 45% of respondents noted that they believed being gay or lesbian is contagious.
About 43% of respondents noted that they believed that “AIDS can be considered as a sickness of gays and lesbians.” The 2013 survey found that 45% of respondents held this belief.
Additionally, 40% of respondents in the latest SWS survey indicated that if there were gay or lesbian members of their family, they would like them to change and become straight men and women.
These survey results were released shortly before several nationwide pride marches celebrating the right to love and demanding the passage of the SOGIE Equality bill, which seeks to penalize discrimination of people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression (SOGIE).
Record-high trust for Muslims
Meanwhile, a record high percentage of Filipino adults agreed that “Muslims are just as trustworthy as any other Filipino.”
This year’s SWS survey revealed that about 65% or a big majority of Filipino respondents held this sentiment. This is a high jump from September 2013’s 44% figure, or not even half of the respondents.
According to a 2020 census conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority, about 6.4% of people in the Philippines identify as Muslim.
As a minority religious community in a predominantly Catholic nation, Filipino Muslims have endured anti-Muslim remarks from politicians and microaggressions from non-Muslim peers. – Mark Allen Cu/Rappler.com
Mark Allen Cu is a Rappler intern studying in Stanford University. This article was done under the supervision of Rappler staff and his copy was vetted by editors.