Gallup: 28% Rate Their Area ‘Good’ for Gays; Nations Like Iran, Egypt ‘Too Sensitive to Ask’

By Michael Morris | August 27, 2014 | 5:16pm EDT

A recent Gallup poll suggests that 28% of adults across 123 countries in 2013 think that their area is a "good place" for gay or lesbian individuals to live. However, this tidbit does not even begin to tell the whole story.

Gallup's poll shows that the Netherlands, Iceland, and Canada are the warmest to gays, with citizens suggesting that their area is gay-friendly at a clip of 83%, 82%, and 80%, respectively. Contrary to popular belief, these three countries are not the leaders of the pack because of their cooler climates. In fact, the Netherlands, touting the highest "good place" percentage of all countries surveyed, is likely at the top due because it was the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage back in 2001.

Gallup also gives us a glimpse into the areas that are the most gay-averse. Senegal (98%) and Malawi (96%) had the highest "not a good place" for gays percentage, with Gabon (95%), Niger (95%), Mali (95%) and Uganda (95%) close behind.

The United States, while not ranked the highest "good place" for gays, is still relatively high on the list, at (70%).

It is illegal to be openly gay in many of the countries where the people feel their area is not a "good place" for gay and lesbian people to live.  In Senegal, where only 1% of individuals surveyed believe that their area is a "good place" for gays to live, a law dictates that "an improper or unnatural act with a person of the same sex" can be punished with up to five years in prison with fines of up to $3,000.  Similarly, in Pakistan, also a whopping 1%, laws provide that gay and lesbian people can be imprisoned.

Interestingly, Gallup notes that nearly all of the countries or areas where residents are the most likely to say their city or area is "not a good place" for gay and lesbian people are African nations, with South Africa being the exception.  South Africa was the first and only African nation to legalize same-sex marriage in 2006.

While those statistics are all very interesting, this is where things start to shake up. Gallup strangely, and somewhat sheepishly, admits that their country rankings "do not include data from more than a dozen countries where the question is too sensitive to be asked: Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iran, Nigeria, Bahrain, Bhutan, Iraq, Kuwait, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Yemen."

The piece does not even portend to explain what makes the topic of gay and lesbian people living in a particular area "too sensitive" or controversial to poll these countries that were admittedly left out in the cold.

The oddities do not stop there, however. While lesser known countries like Yemen, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Bahrain, and Bhutan were admittedly left out of the survey, more well-known countries were left out of the survey - and Gallup doesn't even acknowledge excluding them for being "too sensitive."

India, for example - the second most populous nation on the planet with 1.25 billion people - does not receive any mention.

Libya and Syria, two nations which have been in the news fairly often over the past few years here in the United States, are also absent from Gallup's admitted omissions list and the rest of the piece altogether. Several other prominent nations were also left out of the admitted omissions list, including Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Georgia, Algeria, Oman and Eritrea.

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