Prejudice of all types 'falling across Scotland'

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Prejudice based on age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity or religion is falling, a study for the Scottish government has suggested.

The report said 70% of Scots believed everything possible should be done to rid Scotland of prejudice of all kinds.

It showed a 50% drop since 2010 in those who would be unhappy about a relative in a same-sex relationship.

The Scottish government said the figures "show clearly that Scotland is becoming a more tolerant place".

The Scottish Social Attitudes Survey: Attitudes to Discrimination was commissioned by the Scottish government and the Equalities and Human Rights Commission.

It was carried out by the Scottish Centre for Social Research.

'Progress made'

It also suggested almost 90% of people think a woman who has taken a year off after having a baby is equally deserving of promotion as a woman who has not.

Equalities Secretary Angela Constance said Scottish people "can be proud of the progress we have made".

She said: "Discriminatory attitudes towards disabled people, LGBT people and people of minority faiths and communities are continuing to fall.

"And more people than ever before value the positive impact of people moving to Scotland from other countries, making our communities multi-cultural and vibrant places to live and work.

"However, while any kind of prejudice still exists we cannot afford to be complacent and this survey also shows there are areas where, as a welcoming and tolerant nation, we must challenge ourselves to do more.

"No-one in Scotland should face discrimination and we will work tirelessly with communities and partners up and down the country to eradicate any form of intolerance where it still exists."

'Positive step'

Susan Reid, research director of ScotCen Social Research, said the findings showed a marked decline in levels of prejudice towards lesbian and gay people in Scotland since 2010.

She added: "A large part of this is down to a significant decline in negative attitudes among the over-65s.

"Although older people are still more likely to express prejudiced views, the age gap has narrowed since 2010.

"This is a positive step towards a more inclusive Scotland. However, our research still shows relatively-high levels of prejudice towards some groups in society, such as people who cross-dress, those who have undergone gender reassignment and gypsy/travellers."

The Equality Network welcomed the suggestion that the proportion of people in Scotland who think that same-sex relationships are always or mostly wrong had fallen to its lowest ever level of 18%.

The LGBTI equality charity's Hannah Pearson said: "Attitudes have changed very fast, and we think that's in part due to the leadership shown by successive Scottish governments in promoting equality in the law.

"It's also because a lot more people have come out. People are less likely to hold discriminatory attitudes if they have a friend or family member they know is lesbian, gay or bisexual. Only 15% of Scots now say they don't know anyone lesbian or gay."

Scottish Conservative equalities spokeswoman Annie Wells: "These are hugely encouraging statistics that prove Scotland is becoming a more tolerant society.

"There is no doubt that this is thanks in part to the legalisation of same sex marriage, and the tireless work of LGBTI campaigners across the country.

"However there can be no let up, as there is still work to be done to ensure that we stamp out all prejudice against those in same sex relationships."

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said: "The findings of this report underline how far Scotland has come as a nation, with support for same sex relationships increasing significantly over the past 15 years.

"A clear majority of Scots now support same sex relationships. That's a real step forward for Scotland.

"It's clear that the majority of Scots can see that love is love."

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