Published Wednesday, 13 June 2012
The report ‘Do You Mean Me?’ launched on Wednesday. (© UTV)
The report looked at how attitudes towards people from different backgrounds - including race, disability and sexual orientation - have changed over the past six years.
It found that the level of negativity has risen and linked this to increased social contact.
Twenty-seven percent of respondents said they would object to a gay neighbour and 42% would be unhappy about them becoming an in-law.
Around a third of people, 35%, would mind a transgendered person as a work colleague.
Meanwhile half of respondents would mind having a Traveller as an in-law and negative attitudes towards people with disabilities, most notably mental ill-health, are also up.
Chief commissioner, Michael Wardlow, said: "This is 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."
Over 1,000 people from across NI were surveyed last September.
A group representing the gay community said the study has provided a startling insight.
John O'Doherty of the Rainbow Project said: "What this report clearly shows is that not enough is being done to address the negative perceptions that exist against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
"While government ministers continue to refuse to introduce legislation to allow same-sex couples to adopt children or get married, no consideration is given to the impact this has on attitudes towards our community.
"While government continues to treat lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people as second-class citizens there is the risk that this is how lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people will be viewed by the general public."
Mr Wardlow said the survey shows a trend towards a hardening of attitudes when it comes to marriages and relationships.
He has encouraged people in NI to challenge beliefs and stereotypes.
"Overall, attitudes towards different groups in different social distance situations have firmed or hardened over time, in particular in the marry/relationship situation," he said.
"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."