Homophobia is on the rise in Germany, which should serve as a "warning signal" in light of the shooting attack in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, at the weekend, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday.
"As well as the compassion I feel for the victims' families, I am also concerned about survey results from yesterday, which indicate that attitudes towards gay people in Germany are also changing," Merkel said during a televised press conference.
"Homophobia has increased and that is a warning signal," she added.
A survey released Wednesday by the University of Leipzig showed that just more than 40 per cent of Germans find it disgusting when homosexuals kiss in public.
The long-term study, conducted every two years since 2002 to gauge political attitudes in Germany, surveyed a representative sample of 2,240 people.
Omar Mateen, a US citizen of Afghan descent, perpetrated a shooting attack in an Orlando nightclub on Sunday, killing 49 people.
Berlin's Brandenburg Gate will be illuminated in rainbow colours late Saturday in order to commemorate those killed.