Most Canadians underestimate the problems LGBT people face around the world

Published by May 1, 2018 3:00 pm

Results of a Léger Marketing survey ordered by Fondation Émergence :

Most Canadians underestimate the problems LGBT people face around the world

Montreal, May 1, 2018 — With the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia arriving soon, Fondation Émergence is releasing the results of its latest survey on Canadians’ perceptions of the condition of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people on a global scale. This survey is part of the 2018 campaign on LGBT rights around the world entitled “In my country, it’s a crime to show my colours”.

Canadians underestimate how many States criminalize homosexuality

While 72 States still criminalize homosexuality, and 8 of them still sentence homosexuals to death, only a quarter of Canadians (26%) think that the situation of LGBT people around the world is bad or very bad. Most (40%) think it’s average, and almost a quarter (23%) think it’s good or even very good. This misconception might stem from the fact very few people actually know how many countries criminalize homosexuality. Only 21% of respondents stated that this number was between 51 and 75. The majority (59%) thought it was lower than that, and 27% of Canadians surveyed believed that fewer than 25 countries criminalize homosexuality.

Canadians want our governments to do more

54% of Canadians (61% in Quebec) said they thought federal and provincial governments ought to be more proactive when it comes to fighting homophobia and transphobia on an international scale. Half of them want the governments to be much more proactive.

Awareness campaigns are the way to go, according to Canadians

Half (48%) of the respondents who think that the governments should do more believe that creating awareness-raising and education campaigns are the best way for our governments to fight homophobia and transphobia on an international scale.

Most Canadians would take a vacation in a homophobic country

57% of respondents said they would take a vacation in a country that criminalizes homosexuality. More than half of them said that the fact that a country criminalizes homosexuality was not an important factor when choosing their holiday destination.


Other interesting fact: 8% of respondents said that they were either homosexual or bisexual (4% of each), and 2% identified as either transgender or queer. These numbers were higher in Quebec (11% homosexuals and bisexual; 3% transgender, queer and non-binary people). These numbers coincide with our surveys from previous years and with surveys from other institutions.


“This survey shows the importance of our 2018 campaign on LGBT rights around the world,” said Patrick Desmarais, President of Fondation Émergence. “There is still a lot of work to do, but people seem ready to move forward. It’s essential to show support for groups who defend LGBT rights and to work with them.”


The survey was conducted in April 2018 through a web survey of a random sample of 1,546 Canadian adults drawn from the Leger Web panel. The complete results are available at


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Source:  Fondation Émergence

For more information:

  • Olivia Baker, Communications Officer

438 384-1058

  • Laurent Breault, Executive Director
438 384-1058