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ONS explains thinking on gay census question

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  1. For the life of me I can’t imagine how such a survey could be useful. How on earth could a wildly inaccurate count of how many gays and lesbians are in a country be useful? As long as there are people who value their privacy, as long as there are closets, as long as there are a hundred different opinions on what constitutes “gay”, “straight”, “bisexual”, “homosexual”, “sexual orientation”, “sexual behaviour”, “sexual practice”, etc. there is no way that the survey will come anywhere close to producing an accurate count. Under ANY scenario the count will be considerably less than the actual and that won’t benefit anyone but the anti-gay crusaders.It seems to me that this idea is misguided at best and dangerous at worst.

  2. Zeke, we gay people would never have progressed this far if we had considered all future moves with such gloom and negativity. The positive way of handling this matter is to WORK to ensure the question is asked in such a way that we get as honest a response as possible from gay people. Don’t you worry about the number of those who won’t answer honestly, the Department of Statistics builds them into its considerations. There have always been those who have not answered questions honestly. I have been doing my family tree recently and I have uncovered all sorts of fibs to do with age and occupation told by my ancestors in the censuses of the 1800s.As regards HaloScan, I got in by the correct method just now, but find that my letter “d” isn’t working normally. Anyone else having a problem with “d”?

  3. Paul Brownsey 14 Feb 2008, 11:54am

    The so-called expert says that “being a gay man, as opposed to being a ‘man who has sex with men’ is all about being public.”All about?*ALL* about?Come along, don’t be so silly.This is an private definition of the phrase “gay man” made up by the so-called expert, a definition that has precious little connection with the actual meaning of the phrase.The so-called expert then says, “Sexual identity is concerned not with people’s sex lives but with their identity.”This invites the question of what is meant by talk of a person’s identity.From what I have read, it refers to how a person *thinks of* himself.But, of course, how you *think of* yourself can be just plain false. I may think of myself as Napoleon, but I’m not; I may think of myself as a frisky Siamese kitten in an old lady’s body, but I’m not. So though someone may think of himself, “I’m not gay,” it doesn’t follow he’s not gay.Paul

  4. Sorry dai, I don’t think it is being negative or gloomy to be realistic.

  5. It’s positive and optimistic realism that gets us all to “the top of the mountain”. Remember, “Nothing venture, nothing win!”Let’s work with the Trades Unions to ensure the sexuality question IS included in the census.And let’s work with the Trades Unions to ensure the question is couched in such a way that ALL LGBT people have no fear of answering it honestly.And last of all, let’s remember that feeling able to be totally honest about ourselves is one of the main constituents of freedom. We have to strive for it.

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