More Than Half Of Gay Men Afraid To Hold Hands In Public, Survey Finds

New research highlights "shocking levels of hate crime and discrimination."

A new survey conducted by LGBT advocacy group Stonewall reveals that more than half of British gay men don't feel comfortable holding hands in public, BBC reports.

Coinciding with Stonewall's Come Out for LGBT campaign, this research aims to highlight the "shocking levels of hate crime and discrimination that LGBT people still face in Britain today."

A poll of 5,000 LGBT people found that 38% of respondents feel scared to hold hands with a partner on the street, with the figure rising to 58% among gay men specifically.

One in five respondents said that they had experienced a hate crime in the past year, but 81% of these victims did not report the abuse or assault to police. These incidents occurred more among black, Asian, and other minority respondents.

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One in six respondents said their sexuality had been an issue in restaurants or cafes, and one in 10 respondents said they had problems trying to rent or buy property.

"At Stonewall, we want everyone across Britain who feels impacted by reading this report to join our campaign and pledge to come out for LGBT people everywhere, as visible allies," says chief executive Ruth Hunt in a statement.

"All hate crime is abhorrent," adds David Isaac, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. "LGBT people, like everyone else, have the right to live safely in the community. That is why we want the government to conduct a full review of hate crime legislation and sentencing guidance."

Stonewall is also recommending improvements in training for police and prosecutors on anti-LGBT discrimination.

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