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"1 in 100" headlines a sign of how far we have come

January 27, 2008 8:58 PM

The LGBT equality group of the Lib Dems say newspaper readers should not be misled by reports this weekend that an Office for National Statistics poll of 4,000 people found that "only" 1 in 100 described themselves as gay or lesbian.

Indeed DELGA Chair Jen Yockney welcomed the figures. "Some will say, 'well that's the old 1 in 10 figure disproved', or think it debunks the 6% figure for homosexuality the government used when planning for Civil Partnerships.

"Read more closely and it becomes a little clearer. A further 1 in 100 identified as bisexual and 1 in 200 as "other", while a great many could not be recorded because the interviewer chose not to ask the question. So this seems to show not the real proportions in the population, but the responses of members of the public being asked by a stranger whether they were bisexual, straight or gay."

"The real story here is not 'it's only 1 in 100'. It's a remarkable 1 in 40 non-heterosexuals who are so comfortably out about their sexual orientation that they don't feel they have to lie when being interviewed by a stranger.

"That's still far short of the likely real figures in the wider population, but it's a great reflection on the impact LGBT equality campaigns have had that we have come this far."