Saturday, July 07, 2012

Poll: 5% of Canadians Identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender

This new Forum poll will undoubtedly provoke controversy within the gay community says Gary Kinsman, a Laurentian University sociologist and leading Canadian expert on sexuality issues. Kinsman makes note that some in the gay community will say the rate is "under-reported" and "far too low" while social conservatives ‘‘...will argue the results are somehow bogus and too high.”

The National Post reports:
74% [of Canadians] say they know someone who is what is now inclusively summed up as LGBT — lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. That is one of the findings of a new poll zeroing in on this country’s gay landscape, and the survey is believed to be the most comprehensive snapshot ever — the “best estimate to date,” the lead pollster says — of a community that has so far mostly eluded Canadian statisticians. The Forum Research poll, commissioned by the National Post and taken twice in June to confirm its accuracy, found that 5% of Canadians identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. And contrary to the popular wisdom that the same-sex marriage rate is surprisingly low, the poll found that a third of LGBT people say they are in a same-sex marriage. “Social scientists have never been able to pin down how many Canadians are LGBT, but we believe this is the best estimate to date,” said Lorne Bozinoff, president of the polling firm. “This is something people want to know; they’re curious. And now is the time to measure it: people are less reluctant to answer the question, so we can actually ask it.” 
Statistics Canada says on its website it “has neither the definitive number of people whose sexual orientation is lesbian, gay, bisexual, nor the number of people who are transgender.” The statistical agency asked the question in 2009, but sociologists cautioned the rate is likely under-reported because some gays are suspicious of how the government will use the data or are offended Ottawa would even ask. That 2009 survey found 2% of Canadians aged 18-59 said they are gay, lesbian, or bisexual — a full 8% lower than the “one in 10” truism that has circulated since 1948, when American biologist Alfred Kinsey pronounced that 10% of all men are gay.