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More than a quarter of people in Northern Ireland would mind a gay, lesbian, or bisexual person living next door, a new report has found.

The survey questioned participants about their negative attitudes towards people from different backgrounds including race, disability, and sexual orientation over the last six years.

The research found that 27 percent of people would not like to be next door neighbors with a gay person and a further 42 percent said they would be unhappy about them becoming an inlaw.

The findings come from a survey into experiences of and attitudes towards discrimination, published by the Equality Commission of Northern Ireland.

Some key findings include:
-30 percent of the respondents felt that some forms of prejudice are acceptable.
-55 percent of people would mind having a Traveller as an in-law, up 17 percent from 2005.
-35 percent of people would mind working alongside a transgender person, 40 percent would mind having them as a neighbor and 53 percent as an in-law.
-33 percent of people felt they have been unfairly treated or harassed.

Commenting on the findings, the Equality Commission’s Chief Commissioner, Michael Wardlow, said: “The study provides a valuable insight into our society, how we connect with others and who we are as people.

“The key question is “Do you Mean Me?” and this is double-edged. It is not just have I experienced discrimination because of who I am, but do I have negative attitudes towards others just because of who they are? Where the answer to the second question is yes, then we each need to address what makes us think like this and challenge our own beliefs and stereotypes.

“The survey has also highlighted that 30% of the respondents feel that some forms of prejudice are acceptable and equivalent surveys in other parts of UK have shown similar results. This continues to be a worrying insight into the population’s psyche and proves that much work remains to be done to break down barriers in our mindsets to create a fairer and more equal society for everyone in Northern Ireland.”

“This survey will certainly inform and drive our work going forward and part of this will be to continue to work collaboratively with leaders from across business, politics and the community.”