New research has revealed one in six Australians agree that people in same-sex relationships “should be charged as criminals”.

The 2017 Ilga-Riwi Global Attitudes Survey, which surveyed people in 77 countries, also showed that overall a quarter of people agreed with the statement, The Guardian has reported.

About one in five North Americans thought that gay people should be charged as criminals, while 45 per cent of respondents from African countries agreed.

The researchers said that laws in each country affected how people see the LGBTI community.

“The law of the law affects the attitudes of people in the land,” said researcher Aengus Carroll.

“In repressive states where there are repressive laws, attitudes of the public are affected by the laws and this is very clear in this data.”

The study also investigated attitudes to trans people.

Worldwide, only 50 per cent of respondents thought that trans people should be legally recognised as their self-identified gender.

The survey showed that people who know a queer or trans person are more likely to support their rights, with 73 per cent agreeing that equal rights should apply to everyone, compared to 44 per cent of people who said they didn’t know any LGBTI people.

“It is universally clear that when respondents know someone belonging to sexual or gender minorities in their cultures, their attitudes appear to be significantly more inclusive and inclined towards equal treatment,” said the researchers.

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