ALMOST one in 10 Scots would reject their MSP if they were a different religion to them, a survey of attitudes across Scotland has revealed.

The poll also found more than a quarter of Scottish men think it is wrong for people to have a same-sex relationship.

Meanwhile, 75 per cent of Scots are concerned people with very strong religious beliefs are sometimes too “intolerant” of others.

The findings are contained in a new report by the Humanist Society Scotland, which has raised concerns over society's “hidden intolerance”.

Campaigners said the results chimed with their own research – and warned Scotland cannot be complacent in the fight for equality.

The report, Tolerant Scotland?, found more than eight in 10 Scots believe everyone should have equal rights no matter their religious or non-religious outlook.

However, 9% said they would not accept someone who has different religious beliefs to themselves being elected their MSP.

Analysis also found 11% would not accept an individual with a different faith marrying a relative.

And 20% of those asked said that it was wrong for people to have relationships with people of the same-sex, with 67% saying they did not think it was wrong.

Male respondents were more than twice as likely to think same-sex relationships are wrong (28%) compared to women (13%).

Gordon MacRae, chief executive of the Humanist Society Scotland, said the research painted Scotland as a tolerant country overall.

But he added: “However there is some findings of concern, for example around one in 10 people would not accept an individual being their MSP if their religion/belief was different.

“There has been unacceptable incidents in the past of people attempting to use religious positions to advocate against voting for candidates in an election.

"Thankfully this is shown to be out of touch with the overwhelming majority of people in the country who hold much more inclusive values and believe religious leaders should not attempt to sway people’s votes.

“It is disappointing to see continued opposition to same-sex relationships amongst a minority but nevertheless sizeable proportion of the community. As Humanists we support individuals living a loving life with those who make them happy.

“There clearly continues to be work done to ensure Scotland is a fully inclusive nation for LGBT people.

“The Scottish public have also shown their awareness of those who attempt to use religion as a tool for division.

“Over three quarters said they felt some hard line religious people were too intolerant of others and believed in no way should religious leaders attempt to influence people’s democratic votes."

The survey found 86% of Scots said they had no qualms about the religion of their GP, with those over the age of 65 being the most accepting of different beliefs in the consulting room (95%).

A total of 12% of respondents said they would not accept someone from a different faith teaching their children.

Elsewhere, 79% of Scots said religious leaders should not try and influence people’s votes and 72% said they should not try to influence government decisions.

Around 86% of respondents said they believed it was possible to live a good ethical life without being religious.

More than 1,000 Scots were polled by Survation on their attitudes over the summer.

Colin Macfarlane, director of Stonewall Scotland, said the findings confirmed the charity’s own research, and highlighted that “while progress has been made we cannot be complacent”.

He said: “We know that in Scotland one in five people have experienced a hate crime in the last year because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“We know that only half of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people feel comfortable being open about their sexual orientation or gender identity with their family and two in five trans people avoid certain streets because they don’t feel safe.

“Scotland has changed for the better over the course of the last 30 years but there is much more to be done before everyone is accepted without exception.”

A spokesman for the Catholic Church said the results “do appear to show encouraging levels of tolerance”.

He added: “But it is important to remember that tolerating is not the same as agreeing.

“While we should encourage tolerance, compelling people to agree with or endorse what they oppose, would be the height of intolerance.”

A Church of Scotland spokesman said the report highlighted “a tolerant and inclusive society”.

He added: “However, it also shows that more work remains to be done.

“The Church of Scotland works continuously to nurture good relationships with people of all faiths and none.”

He said the church was “always willing to try to work to heal divisions and improve understanding”.