Last week, Nigeria's House of Representatives passed a bill that would criminalize gay marriage, same-sex relationships, and membership in gay rights groups. This week, the British House of Lords backed a bill that will allow gay couples to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies in England and Wales, if it passes.
The two news events occurred just a few days apart, but they starkly represent the growing gap in views on homosexuality around the world.
Majorities in many countries in Europe, Southeast Asia, Latin America, North America, and Australia now think homosexuality should be accepted by society, but much of Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa still clings to homophobia, according to a survey of 39 nations released by Pew on Tuesday.
There are several interesting insights here:
1) Views of homosexuality are most positive in Europe, especially Spain (88 percent there say it should be accepted by society), Germany (87 percent), and Czech Republic (80 percent). For the U.S., the number was 60 percent. Same-sex marriage is already legal in nine European nations, and France recently legalized it as well:
The lowest numbers by far were in Africa -- only 1 percent of Nigerians felt homosexuality should be accepted.