Should the census include sexual orientation?

July 18th, 2008 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

An interesting article in the NZ Herald on the issue of whether there should be a question in the on .

As someone who uses census data a lot, it would be incredibly interesting to have reliable information on sexual orientation demographics. There is almost no “hard” data anywhere in the world on how many people are gay, lesbian or bisexual. The old “common” figure of 10% is now widely seen as too high and 4% is thought to be closer.

Some will say, why should we even have demographic data on sexual orientation. Well for the same reasons we have data on gender, age, ethnicity, income, and location.

Now I’m one of those who wouldn’t care a fig if the census asked me my sexual orientation. However I can understand that it would be seen as pretty intrusive or worse by many respondents, and could affect the overall Census data.

And there is some potential for real problems to be caused in families. If you are bisexual and haven’t got around to mentioning this to your wife, then having her see you having ticked it on your census form isn’t the best way to let her know :-)

Even if one got over the issue of alienating some respondents with such a question, a complicating issue is how do you define heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual.

Many homosexuals (well of those I know) have had sex with women. However they do not see themselves as bisexual. It was just a phase they say :-)

The Dominion Post looks at this issue:

“Behaviour” describes whether someone’s partners are of the same or opposite sex; “identity” – their view of themselves as heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual; and “attraction”, which sex or sexes they are attracted to.

Again it is not as simple as people may think. A surprisingly high number of women (again based on people I know) have actually had sex or made out with another woman. But they don’t regard themselves as bisexual. It was just experimenting for many of them.

If I was designing the census I guess I would use the “attraction” definition as identity is so variable and behaviour may just reflect lack of opportunity or follow through.

Also please don’t turn this thread into a debate on what you think of homosexuals or lesbians. This is about whether we should have reliable data on the prevalance of various sexual orientations.

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109 Responses to “Should the census include sexual orientation?”

  1. Fairfacts Media (372 comments) says:

    Here’s a solution David.
    Do a poll on it.
    But don’t ring anyone up during AbFab, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Will and Grace, as well as Coronation Street.

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  2. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    If I was designing the census I guess I would use the “attraction” definition as identity is so variable and behaviour may just reflect lack of opportunity or follow through.

    I’d go with identity. As you say, plenty of people have dabbled with their own sex, and were presumably attracted to the people with whom they dabbled. And there are people who are attracted to their own sex who absolutely refuse to consider themselves non-heterosexual – say, for religious reasons.

    Citing statistics about how many people in New Zealand identify themselves as this, that or the other would be more useful, I think.

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  3. reid (16,472 comments) says:

    Not sure I agree with the dilemma of definition David.

    I’m pretty sure most people know if they are straight, gay, lesbian, trans-gender or bi-sexual.

    The only demographic that might ask themselves “what the hell are they talking about” are probably baby-boomers parents.

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  4. kodaz6 (5 comments) says:

    Why don’t they add ‘hobbies and interests’ while they’re at it? The only demographic variable that one can consistently rely on is birth date and the corresponding age.

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  5. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    The whole damn census should be canned. Too many intrusions into privacy, with false safeguards concerning that privacy that have been exposed as untrue again and again. Too much compulsion. Planning? Oh yeah. what have we ever got from planners other than clogged highways and failing infrastructure. Its bullshit that provides the perception of employment but not the reality for thousands of shiny arsed thumb twiddling bureaucrats. Do away with it completely.

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  6. radvad (765 comments) says:

    What Redbaiter said.

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  7. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,069 comments) says:

    At this point we have to stop and ask what the census is for. Is it a tool for the government to collect accurate demographics to ensure they’re spending our tax money wisely, or is it just a way for the state to obtain private information about its citizens that are really none of the states business.

    Try as I might I can’t really see how asking sexual orientation helps them allocate my tax dollars more effectively.

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  8. kodaz6 (5 comments) says:

    It would be as problematic as defining ethnicity..and could in fact lead to four questions and not one(behaviour, identity, attraction and status).

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  9. kodaz6 (5 comments) says:

    Your Tax dollars will be well spent but not necessary well allocated.

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  10. WasPhantom (5 comments) says:

    Sexuality, as well as gender identity is a sliding scale. The sooner we move away from this very black and white way of defining these, the better.

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  11. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    You should be able to apply for a passworded NZ citizenship ID on a government website, do the census through that, and have your address crossed off the list.

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  12. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    I think it is a good idea. The information will be invaluable to anthropologists of the future. It will enable the government to better target resources at issues which affect people which arise as a result of their sexuality, and it will widen understanding about the diversity of sexual orientation in our own society.

    After all it will be covered by the privacy act, so that poeple who feel too threatened by institutionalised homophobia, will be able to describe themselves without fear of recrimination. After all it must be quite a frightening thing to live under the shadow of a system in which homosexuality is a dirty little secret which turns otherwise decent people into deceivers, forced to be complicit in the evil that is homophobic bigotry. At least a census like this will remove some of the shame, and hypocracy, and enable people to openly declare their sexuality without fear of recrimination. It is a step in the right direction in my opinion.

    This should have been brought in a couple of decades ago, Now that it is mooted for ‘a couple of elections away’ who knows, one day, we might even have an openly gay Prime Minister.

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  13. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Hey Lee.

    Edit- Comment withdrawn- like yawn, who needs another thread on that..????

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  14. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    Redbaiter,

    I’ve never, ever, ever, ever heard anyone besides you suggest that homophobia could be considered a mental illness. Could you give me some reference to someone suggesting it should be?

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  15. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,069 comments) says:

    The information will be invaluable to anthropologists of the future.

    Because that’s REALLY what we want to prioritise on right now.

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  16. dave strings (608 comments) says:

    I find myself agreeing with many comments here.

    My biggest beef with the whole census approach is the use to which it is put. An example is probably worth while.

    I live in a growing suburb called Churton Park. It is quite affluent, and has grown by over 50% in the last 15years in terms of the number of houses in the ‘burb. There are a pre-school and primary school, both of which are full, as well as a large land reserve for a second school. Secondary students are required to bus out of the suburb for their education, as are primary students who are ‘outside the catchment area’ for the existing primary school. The MinEdu has stated that it will use the reserved land to build another primary school.

    Now, I may be wrong in my thinking, (it has been known,) but f we have too many students for a reasonably sized primary school today, it seems to me that we are going to have a large number of secondary students very soon, in which case a college, rather than primary school, might be a more appropriate concept. However, when discussing this with people who are involved in the MinEdu planning area, it was postulated that as the area was affluent, the best solution would be for the children to be educated at private schools when they reached college age!

    As for sexual orientation. I was involved in a discussion with SWMBO last night, who was wondering why some people were viewed as sexual and others weren’t. After a little probing (English is NOT her first language though she speaks it well,) it transpired the DPF’s favourite TV show had an on-going theme on asexuality, (asexual was the term concerning her as she had heard it, in context, as breing ‘ he is a sexual person’). THis brings into plkay the need, if sexual orientation is included in the census, for there to be an ‘other’ category available for use. I remember an older boy telling me at school there were seven types of sex: male sex, female sex, bi-sex, homosex, middle-sex, sus-sex and paid-sex; but during my first marriage I thought he had missed out the eighth – no-sex.

    Happy daze

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  17. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Ryann- don’t you think that questions that expose your narrow experience and extremely limited general knowledge would be better confined to private conversations rather than on asked on public web sites such as Kiwiblog?
    ——————————————-
    Phobia: An unreasonable sort of fear that can cause avoidance and panic. Phobias are a relatively common type of anxiety disorder. For example, extreme fear of spiders is called arachnophobia, and fear of being outside is known as agoraphobia. Phobias can be treated with cognitive behavioral therapy using exposure and fear reduction techniques. In many cases, anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medication proves helpful, especially during the early stages of therapy.

    The word “phobia” is from the Greek “phobos” (fear).

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  18. glubbster (344 comments) says:

    I think a closer estimate is that approximately 4% of people are gay at any one time. However up to 10% may have been gay or interested in the same sex at some point in their lives.
    I agree that sexuality should be a voluntary option on the census form. Why isn’t it yet? I thought not all questions were compulsory anyway. If you get say 50% of people answering this question, you have got a very very good result.
    If its compulsory, people may just lie so the results wont be accurate anyway.
    The options cannot be just gay or straight, they should include boxes for bisexual as well.
    Those who are bisexual do not necessarily ‘practice’ with people from both sexes at the same time (may be in a relationship with a person from one sex). This does not make them one or the other, they still retain their bisexuality.

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  19. mike a. (7 comments) says:

    far too instrusive. The census already has far too many nosey questions which are none of the governments business. The results would be inaccurate anyway for the same reason that past surveys are inaccurate. when it comes to sex and money people don’t tell the truth. Pleae explain why people would be more truthful when answering a census question on this issue compared to all the past surveys which you admit are inaccurate.

    Anyway, doesnt’t really concern me. I haven’t filled in a census survey since 1976 and don’t intend to anytime soon.

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  20. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    Redbaiter,

    Homophobia is not a literal phobia in the technical sense.

    Do you have anything more than the fact that the word “phobia” is used as part of the word?

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  21. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    I don’t have a problem with it. I agree with glubbster above that it should be an optional question. I think it would give us as a country interesting information about ourselves. I have to say that a large part of what is interesting about the census is the changes over time – I agree that they seem to have very little impact on actual planning by our government for our needs today.

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  22. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Homophobia is not a literal phobia in the technical sense.”

    Really? Not a “literal phobia”? Interesting statement. Just what kind of “phobia’ is it than Ryan?

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  23. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    “The old “common” figure of 10% is now widely seen as too high and 4% is thought to be closer.”

    That’s questionable. i.e. It’s known that gay, bi and lesbian people who go on to do tertiary education take years longer to self-identify, than gay, bi and lesbian people in the general population. Also, many people who have had a lot of same-sex sexual contact in the past, won’t identify as bi, just because they’re in a heterosexual relationship (presumably because of the stigma). This indicates that social conditions have an impact on how many queer people, are likely to self identify. So I would argue that the homophobia in NZ and many other places probably makes the figure much lower than it would otherwise be.

    on that note, Otago University got a queer representative position voted into its constitution yesterday, but only after a previous attempt was thwarted by a very rare request for an SGM corium count (a request that was made after the OUSA executive had made all the changes that they wanted to make). So, for those that say homophobia doesn’t exist in NZ anymore, get real.

    As to the question of whether it should be part of the census, I don’t see why not. Would be interesting to look at changes over time.

    [DPF: Good God - how can anyone think being against a gay representative position on a body is homophobic. This is the worst sort of politics where one just applies a smear term to anyone who disagrees with you]

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  24. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    As someone who uses census data a lot, it would be incredibly interesting to have reliable information on sexual orientation demographics.

    Meh… good luck, David, because I wouldn’t answer such a question on principle — just as I leave blank questions on ethnicity, and object to state answering the question on religion. I just don’t think the state has any legitimate (or even debatable) interest in such data. “Emerging interest” is a simply bizarre rationale and someone should give Victor van Wetering a history lesson. My partner is old enough to remember when people quite literally lost their jobs and homes after being outed.

    And as for the argument that “health authorities need data on gay, lesbian and bisexual populations”. Well, I think there are people who would argue that such data isn’t going to make a blind bit of difference when services are already inadequate, regardless of the sexual orientation of their clients.

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  25. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Danyl Mclauchlan, thanks for the laughs, keep it up you should be on comedy central. “It is a tool for the government to collect accurate demographics to ensure they’re spending our tax money wisely”. Spoken like a true and loyal agent of the state. Yes Danyl the government does need the census but they don’t need to know if I’m as bent as a dogs back leg.

    I use to enjoy the census but my darling wife will no longer let me fill out the forms. It seems many of my answers are deemed “unhelpful” and if I continue on my errant ways the full force of the law will deal to me, all very scary, lol. I’m only aloud to sign the bloody things now. As far as I’m concrened the less the bastards know about me the better I like it. To many of you put faith in the government to do the right thing, so what happens if we have a homophobic government and all the queers are rounded up. WON’T HAPPEN, sorry it has happened and I’m only using homosexuals as an example.

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  26. glubbster (344 comments) says:

    MuddyNome, there may well be a difference between a homophobe and voting to amend the constitution to include a representative for same-sex people (you have to make the case the the benefits of this rep outweigh the costs, something I cant comment on but its an extra logical step of reasoning). You are a simple person aren’t you…you dont appreciate any distinctions.
    And if you read my previous post you would realise its because only about 4% are gay at any one time.
    Good try to not troll this convo, but you are still way off the mark with your comments.

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  27. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    Really? Not a “literal phobia”? Interesting statement. Just what kind of “phobia’ is it than Ryan?

    It’s a badly put-together word that has become prevalent enough to end up in the dictionary.

    Frankly, if you want to get as pedantic about it as you are with the “phobia” part, why not be consistent? “Homo” means “same”. So “homophobia” must clearly mean a mental illness where you have an uncontrollable, intense but treatable fear of things that are the same. Twins terrify you. You run screaming from schools that have uniforms.

    If one were to put together a proper Greek word for what is commonly called homophobia… Well, as far as I know, there’s no Greek word that refers to all non-heterosexual orientations. We could steal the word “queer” from modern use and say “misqueerism”. Like misanthropy or misogyny. But less rolling-off-the-tongue.

    Here’s a question for you:

    Race is to racism what homosexuality is to… what?

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  28. Mike S (229 comments) says:

    I’m in two minds over this one, as a card carrying homo. I fear a lot of people won’t fill it inaccuratelyt, and this will be used to beat us up with over our “small numbers”
    And I know lots of men who enjoy a bit of guy fun on the side but happily centre their lives around their wives and kids, who don’t even see themselves as bi, so it’s hard to know exactly what would be counted

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  29. goodgod (1,348 comments) says:

    It has no place place in what should be a scientific survey. The existence of the question reflects a particular type of politics.

    “Some will say, why should we even have demographic data on sexual orientation. Well for the same reasons we have data on gender, age, ethnicity, income, and location.”

    All these things can be defined easily. If you have a penis, you tick male. If you live in Epsom, you say so. If you’ve been alive for 43 years, that too is recorded. What you actually do with your penis doesn’t change the physical location of your house, your age or that you have a penis. What you think about your penis doesn’t matter in the census context. The census doesn’t and shouldn’t ask whether you think you are a woman in a man’s body or if your parents were mean to you when you were a child. The internet is full of places you can go to express those things.
    The only use for this information is one of political activism of a certain type e.g. lets spend $XYZ on helping [insert orientation here] in Te Aro because [insert reason here]. I’ve never heard of a government initiative proudly proclaiming to help heterosexuals in Te Aro, or anywhere else. The question seeks a particular end. It is not one that is going to lead to the social unity the groups who want these questions asked, wish existed. I would have though by now, that after watching the development of social divisions in the USA, regardless of the various rights groups surrounding them, that the never ending powershift from one group to another isn’t going to bring unity or world peace anytime soon. If we truly want unity, we have to lose our affection for enforced social revolutions of any kind. It’s a big ask, but a good first step is turning away from silly questions like the one discussed in this thread. (no offence intended to the person who asked it, of course…)

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  30. michaelNZ (1,091 comments) says:

    As the govt makes us pay for the use of our information my two cents is NO.

    When we have free access to all the data and are able to GIS all of it then MAYBE.

    Therein lies a conundrum, I am unconvinced that the data is not attributable to individuals, so would not want more personal info in the dataset.
    More importantly where does this stop?

    I have been known to contemplate putting in answers that aren’t true, at what I consider to be a forced unwarrented and unpaid for intrusion into my personal life.

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  31. glubbster (344 comments) says:

    Should their wives know Mike S or is it to be a dirty little secret?
    No one has come up with a decent argument as to why it should not be a voluntary part of the survey.

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  32. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Race is to racism what homosexuality is to… what?”

    I don’t care Ryann. (and the last thing I want to read is another hundred or so posts on fucking homosexuality.) How about showing some respect for the thread subject??

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  33. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    Glubbster:

    God, where do I start … so much ignorance.

    “voting to amend the constitution to include a representative for same-sex people”

    Tranz people are included under the umbrella of “queer”, and they don’t necessarily identify as same-sex-attracted.

    “its because only about 4% are gay”

    Simpleton. The figure includes bisexual people as well, and it’s not about who you’re having sex with, it’s who you’re attracted to.

    “there may well be a difference between a homophobe and voting to amend the constitution to include a representative for same-sex people”

    Fair comment. Do you not think it’s suspicious that a chorum count hadn’t been called for over 4 years previously though (according to the exec members I talked to)?

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  34. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    I don’t care Ryann. (and the last thing I want to read is another hundred or so posts on fucking homosexuality.) How about showing some respect for the thread subject??

    Just remember what you’ve learned next time you’re considering acting like homophobia is a mental illness.

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  35. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “And I know lots of men who enjoy a bit of guy fun on the side but happily centre their lives around their wives and kids,”

    A lie.

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  36. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Just remember what you’ve learned”

    That you’re an infantile waste of time and bandwidth? I didn’t just learn that from this exchange Ryann, I’ve known it since about your second post here. (..and for you to assume that that load of self serving convoluted irrational waffle proved any damn point shows just how infantile)

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  37. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    That you’re an infantile waste of time and bandwidth? I didn’t just learn that from this exchange Ryann, I’ve known it since about your second post here. (..and for you to assume that that load of self serving convoluted irrational waffle proved any damn point shows just how infantile)

    Redbaiter,

    Don’t cry. It’s going to be okay.

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  38. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    danile ain’t just a river in Africa bleater. I have a gay male friend who was propositioned by a senior National Party figure (who will go unnamed). As I understand it he has wife and kids.

    [DPF: 20 demerits for that - third hand unattributed anonymous allegations can go elsewhere]

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  39. 3-coil (1,220 comments) says:

    Would any of us be so gullible to trust that our Prime Minister (for example) would then tell the truth (for once) when filling out her census form?

    If not, what’s the point of putting in a question that we don’t believe the Dear Leader of our nation would answer truthfully?

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  40. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    Ryan Sproull:

    “And there are people who are attracted to their own sex who absolutely refuse to consider themselves non-heterosexual – say, for religious reasons.”

    Just as there are people who absolutely refuse to indulge other “tendencies” with which they were born, such as paedophilia, necrophilia, bestiality…….

    One of the most disturbing things I have read recently was about “family court” agencies in the USA of all places, subjecting accused fathers to a porn-video/penile auto-da-fe (“plethysmograph”) to work out what their “tendency” was, as if that was going to be conclusive regarding their guilt IN PRACTICE.

    http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=35

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  41. Dr Robotnik (533 comments) says:

    It’s about as useful to unbiased and fair governance as asking whether you are a tits or arse man.

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  42. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    It’s about as useful to unbiased and fair governance as asking whether you are a tits or arse man.

    They’d better include an “Other (Please Specify)” field, or there’ll be trouble.

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  43. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    Just as there are people who absolutely refuse to indulge other “tendencies” with which they were born, such as paedophilia, necrophilia, bestiality…….

    True.

    One of the most disturbing things I have read recently was about “family court” agencies in the USA of all places, subjecting accused fathers to a porn-video/penile auto-da-fe (”plethysmograph”) to work out what their “tendency” was, as if that was going to be conclusive regarding their guilt IN PRACTICE.

    PhilBest,

    That is indeed very disturbing.

    Was the chick operating the video player hot? That’s the question.

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  44. emmess (1,428 comments) says:

    >>Here’s a solution David.
    >>Do a poll on it.

    Can you imagine the reaction of people who are rung up when asked “Are you gay?”

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  45. 3-coil (1,220 comments) says:

    Roger Gnome (11:28am) – if your gay male friend “has wife and kids” that is his business. Why do you feel the need to tell us all on this thread?

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  46. David Farrar (1,898 comments) says:

    Heh heh would have to pay the staff danger money :-)

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  47. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    3-coil – You appear to have a reading comprehension problem.

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  48. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    I dunno. I haven’t got any problem with being asked if I’m gay.

    “Nope.”

    Seems simple enough. Who would it bother? I suppose the “I’m not actually sure” people might feel uncomfortable.

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  49. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    DPF:

    “how can anyone think being against a gay representative position on a body is homophobic”

    Firstly, it’s a queer rep, not a gay rep (there’s a huge difference). Secondly, every other uni in NZ has one, except for one, so it’s a well-recognised need. Finally, as I have previously pointed out, it had been many years since a chorum count had been sought at an SGM, and the chorum count was left until all the exec’s other motions had all been passed. (the motion for a queer rep was pudhed to the back of the queue, so it could be denied without the exec’s other motions being jeopardised by failure to achieve chorum). The request for a chorum count was too fishy to be mere coincidence.

    [DPF: Of course it was not coincidence. They didn't want the position established so asked for a quorum count. But that is not the issue. It is this insane PC view of the world that anyone who disagrees with special roles on an executive is bigoted. In fact the true bigotry is those who can't accept there are legitimate reasons against have special places on an Executive for minority groups. You might not agree with those reasons but if you can't see any reason someone would have those views except homophobia - well then you are the bigoted one]

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  50. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    Roger,

    Quorum.

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  51. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    Ryan Sproull:

    “PhilBest,

    That is indeed very disturbing.

    Was the chick operating the video player hot? That’s the question.”

    Ha ha ha. Good one.

    But do read the article I linked to. While the US of A Supreme Court is busy protecting the habeas corpus rights of terrorists, the “family court” is treating fathers like the “Ministry of Truth” in George Orwell…………

    (Sorry if this is turning into a threadjack. If D4J makes an appearance he’ll have a bit to say, won’t he……….but after reading that article, I think we need to listen to him, we ignore these issues at our peril).

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  52. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    cheers Ryan – had a hell of a bender last night, celebrating the success of the queer rep thingy with friends.

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  53. Dr Robotnik (533 comments) says:

    “had a hell of a bender last night”

    Was he married with kids too?

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  54. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    Dr Robotnik – hehe, good call.

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  55. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    But do read the article I linked to. While the US of A Supreme Court is busy protecting the habeas corpus rights of terrorists, the “family court” is treating fathers like the “Ministry of Truth” in George Orwell…………

    Well, not really while. Your article is citing a book written by Jed Abraham in 1999, and I can’t find any other references to the practice in family courts anywhere. I can’t see any evidence that it’s common practice, or even uncommon practice.

    (Sorry if this is turning into a threadjack. If D4J makes an appearance he’ll have a bit to say, won’t he……….but after reading that article, I think we need to listen to him, we ignore these issues at our peril).

    It’s not threadjacking, it’s the organic evolution of a discussion ; )

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  56. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    Philbest-

    You appear to be pathologising mutual pleasure between consenting adults, likening it to non-consensual sex with animals. Does consent mean nothing to you at all?

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  57. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    Surely the reason you can’t ask a potential employee their sexual orientation at a job interview is because it leaves you open to accusations that you are hiring or not hiring people on the basis of their answer (which would be discrimination.)

    I don’t have a problem with a census question on sexual orientation because I * believe * the census data is collected for constructive planning purposes, not as a way of gathering ammunition for use against me. (Although I could be wrong, see Redbaiter at 10:19.)

    OTOH, if I have been a homosexual living in Germany in 1938, I probably would have done well to worry if there was a census question about my sexual orientation!

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  58. helmet (807 comments) says:

    Look DPF, it’s totally irrelevant whether you choose to be gay or not.

    [DPF: 20 demerits]

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  59. reid (16,472 comments) says:

    “Just as there are people who absolutely refuse to indulge other “tendencies” with which they were born, such as paedophilia, necrophilia, bestiality…….”

    Yes I imagine if you switched “indulge” to “divulge” there’d not be too many ticks beside the bestiality box.

    A couple of people above referred to use of the data. There are many database marketing products that use census data including GIS products. As everyone knows the gay/lesbian demographic has high disposal so it’s potentially very useful.

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  60. helmet (807 comments) says:

    I have a goat that was molested in Te Pahu by a certain very senior Labour MP (who shall remain nameless). The MP has no children but is married to an academic bloke with a beard.

    I’m deliberately being super vague about their identity because I don’t want you to think I’m trying to stir up rumours or anything, I just felt that it is relevant to the topic, somehow.

    The goat has kids too.

    But I guess Nome’s probably telling the truth. In a way I guess we’ve all been roundabout propositioned by National, they’re obviously desperate to screw us all, right?

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  61. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    Why is it that people like Nome (it is a rather strangely “lefty” habit) feel that they have to constantly remind everybody that they are ” gay friendly” or “not homophobic”.
    You often hear them say “I was out with my gay pals last night” or “one of my gay friends said….”

    The rest of us have friends or pals full stop, the fact that they MAY be gay does not matter to us at all.

    It sounds like Roger is the one who is homophobic, he seems to be having a bit on an internal struggle with accepting people for what and who they are, in an endeavour to cover that up he feels the need to tell us (and perhaps himself) that he is really a “gay friendly person”

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  62. Dr Robotnik (533 comments) says:

    Good england reid. Even better stereotype.

    As for the bestiality box, there’d be a few ticks from the ‘naki wouldn’t there? Or does the fact that one man got done for being an “ass man” not mean they all are?

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  63. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    helmet – redbaiter was denying that married men have sex with other men. I was pointing out that he was wrong. Why is that a problem for you?

    Also are you trying to equate consensual same sex relations with bestiality? Are you with PhilBest in the “consent is meaningless” camp?

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  64. helmet (807 comments) says:

    Yeah of course it’s fucking meaningless. Animals can’t give consent so it’s all good you twit. You don’t ask their permission before you shear or butcher them either, so why does it matter when you want to make love to them?

    I thought you were from Otago? Why do I have to explain this to you?

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  65. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “which would be discrimination.”

    In a free and civilized nation, discrimination would not be subject to law, and all laws would be colour blind. If I want to discriminate, or not discriminate, I should be free to do so. To have government departments and hordes of pointy headed interfering little dipshit bureaucrats (and communist sympathizers like Joris de Bres) running around enforcing poorly written regulations on discrimination is not only a burden the taxpayer can do without, its an uncivilized assault on freedom and freedom of expression.

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  66. helmet (807 comments) says:

    Nome- “redbaiter was denying that married men have sex with other men. I was pointing out that he was wrong. Why is that a problem for you?”

    Sorry bro, my mistake. I thought when you telling that story about the married National bloke being a closet homo that you were trying to cause some kind of mischief. It was probably just the first example that sprung to mind, right?

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  67. dave_c__ (49 comments) says:

    Ah ! I see – there would be plenty of time to organise this in time to pose the question at election time, but no time to organsie a question on smacking ! What hypocrisy

    Anyway what possible business is it of anyone else other than the individual as to what orientation they are

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  68. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    the problem is that the census is getting expanded from a simple document to give governments information so that they can assist and support the citizens to one where they and their civil servants can delve into the lives of the citizens so the government can commit its evil social engineering experiments.

    Thats why I have always taken great delight to answer such census questions in a way to confuse and baffle.

    For example to the ethicity question I tick all the boxes. WTF is it the governments business This is blatant state racism.

    A good government will treat all its citizens equally so doesnt need to know their colour.

    Unless of course they wish to indulge in state sponsored discrimination?

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  69. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    Bruv:

    “I was out with my gay pals last night”

    I said that I was celebrating with friends. I didn’t specify their sexuality. In any case, you’re reaching more than a little with those tenuous accusations of homophobia. I reckon that you’re homophobic, so you have trouble accepting that other people aren’t. You just don’t see how it’s possible.

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  70. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    So WTF do they need to know your sexual preferences?

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  71. Nigel Kearney (1,013 comments) says:

    Yes to questions on gender, age, income and location. No to questions on race, religion and sexual orientation. The latter are things that government has no business taking into account in formulating policy. The only reason to have them in the census is to faciliate discrimination.

    Race does have a rather tenuous link to allocation of health resources (though if Southern Cross asked about it the HRC would rip them a new one) but religion and sexual orientation are entirely people’s private business, not the government’s.

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  72. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    A lie.

    Liberal media lying about sex scandals again…dang.

    Is anybody for this question? goodgod, gd etc would seem to have a point – what action could a government possibly take upon having such info? Or is it available to businesses through Statistics NZ? edit – would anyone even want this info like reid alluded to re: high disposable income?

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  73. Dr Robotnik (533 comments) says:

    “Unless of course they wish to indulge in state sponsored discrimination?”

    How many policy analysts and communications advisors will that create employment for?

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  74. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    “Animals can’t give consent”

    Well, helmet has just gone on record as being pro-bestiality. Good on you for not being afraid to admit who you are bro!

    “I thought when you telling that story about the married National bloke being a closet homo that you were trying to cause some kind of mischief.”

    Firstly, silly boy, I was insinuating that he is closet bisexual, not closet homosexual. Also, it just seemed the most pertinent example, which is why I chose it. Finally, if I wanted to cause shit I would have specified who it was.

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  75. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    From what I can gather, anyone who doesn’t support the homosexual political agenda, or the perversion of the word “gay”, or the use of made up words like “homophobia” [a propaganda term used in an attempt to shame people into submission to the ideas of homosexual activists] qualifies them in the mind of dumb half educated little PC fuckwits like Nome (who are in reality so badly educated they can’t even spell “quorum”) as homophobic. The reality is therefore that its a meaningless term that is due only scorn and contempt. Like Nome, who epitomizes the brain dead product of an increasingly failing education system riddled with the idiotic social mores of leftist professors more concerned with advocating a political position than they are with educating.

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  76. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    Nome:

    likening it to non-consensual sex with animals. Does consent mean nothing to you at all?

    How exactly do you get consent from an animal?

    I will state that I don’t believe I am a homophobe (some of my best friends and all that), but I sure as hell would have voted against a special queer officer being funded with my money. Just like I would vote against a women’s officer, or a men’s officer.

    What I’m surprised at is that you are so concerned by it, and that you saw the passing of it as a reason to go out and have a bender. What exactly is this queer officer going to do that makes anyone’s life any easier, that justifies the compulsory appropriation of the money of some of NZs poorest people so as to fund it?

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  77. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    Redbaiter,

    I would say it is an overused term, but not meaningless. The same goes for “politically correct”.

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  78. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    Roger,

    You said Otago was the last not to have a “queer officer”? I’m pretty sure that AUSA doesn’t have one.

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  79. reid (16,472 comments) says:

    It’s interesting though that “heterophobic” hasn’t yet entered the lexicon isn’t it?

    Heterophobic being the phenomena whereby people falsely perceive homophobia where it doesn’t exist.

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  80. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    So redbaiter, in one maniacal rant has erased anti-gay prejudice from the books of history! I guess, next the idiot will be trying to deny that the holocaust ever happened.

    Nazi concentration camp badges, primarily triangles, were part of the system of Identification in Nazi camps. They were used in the concentration camps in the Nazi-occupied countries to identify the reason the prisoners had been placed there. [1] The triangles were made of fabric and were sewn on jackets and shirts of the prisoners. These mandatory badges of shame had specific meanings indicated by their color and shape.

    Pink triangle: homosexual men and sexual offenders

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_concentration_camp_badges

    You never fail to crack me up baited one.

    Just been watching this music video – fucken awesome.

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  81. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    “Ryan Sproull”

    I said that there is still one that doesn’t.

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  82. reid (16,472 comments) says:

    roger I find your comments are verging on becoming heterophobic. No-one denies homophobia exists, just that its effect is sometimes overstated.

    Personally I find heterophobia extremely offensive and I’m surprised and saddened as I normally find your comments are rather enlightened.

    Could you just try to be a little more tolerant of heterosexuals in future?

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  83. tim barclay (886 comments) says:

    This has got rainbow Labour written all over it so they can specifically target gays or at least work out numbers. I assume an incoming National Government will can this politically inspired nonsence.

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  84. Manolo (13,783 comments) says:

    Roger said: “I have a gay male friend who was propositioned by a senior National Party figure (who will go unnamed). As I understand it he has wife and kids.”

    What a despicable statement! You’ve lost the little credibility you had left in my book.

    You’d be enraged and rightly so, if I had said that I have a friend, with wife and kids, who was propositioned by Roger Nome, the Labour acolyte, wouldn’t you?

    Good on DPF for giving you demerit points for such vile conduct.

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  85. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    I said that there is still one that doesn’t.

    Ah, I see. Yeah, AUSA is it. I’ve never heard any talk there about having a “queer officer”, either, to tell the truth.

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  86. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    PaulL:

    “How exactly do you get consent from an animal?”

    That’s kind of the point. It’s partly for the same reason that an age of consent exists – i.e. children can’t properly give consent.

    “but I sure as hell would have voted against a special queer officer being funded with my money.”

    I have no problem with that. I did have a problem with people using underhanded tactics to circumvent the democratic process though.

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  87. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    Roger, that isn’t underhanded tactics. If the constitution says you need a quorum, something controversial was being discussed, and there didn’t appear to be a quorum, it is hardly underhanded to make sure the rules are followed. Otherwise there was potential for any decision to be challenged afterwards on the basis that process wasn’t followed. You’re inventing outrage so that you can get all excited.

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  88. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    “that isn’t underhanded tactics.”

    I disagree. Almost every constitutional vote is potentially controversial, yet a quorum count is almost never called. They simply never get the requisite 200 people to the SGMs (until yesterday when we got 250, and there’s usually about 50), so if they ever met thier contitutional requirement nothing would ever get passed. To not subject the issue of a queer rep to their standard democratic practice is underhanded, and in reeks of bigotry.

    Incidentally, a quorum count was called yesterday, the official initially insisting that there was only 180 people in attendance. Then several other people counted 250 people. They were then forced to let the vote go ahead, which won with an overwhelming majority (probably 90%). No bigotry there, nope.

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  89. Brian (Shadowfoot) (80 comments) says:

    The question will probably gauge attitudes better than anything else.

    At different stages in my life I would have answered different ways, depending on how out I was, how private my answers were, and my trust in the government not mis-using the answer.

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  90. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    Roger, that isn’t bigotry. That is following process. What it sounds like is that the council has a quorum requirement that is regularly ignored. That is shameful, and probably explains why so much crap comes out of these forums.

    It also sounds suspiciously like there weren’t 250 people there, and the official involved got shouted down. It is well known that lefties can’t count :-)

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  91. Ryan Sproull (7,153 comments) says:

    Roger,

    AUSA has the additional problem of voluntary student-union membership, which means that in order to be really technically correct for quorum, everyone present would have to provide some kind of ID and be checked against the list of AUSA members, and only counting those people’s votes.

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  92. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    “Roger, that isn’t bigotry”

    Whether you choose to be honest with yourself or not, it absolutely reeks of anti-queer bigotry. I’ve made my case, and can’t be bothered continuing this argument. The evidence is all there, and I’m happy for people to make their own minds up based on that.

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  93. Pascal (1,969 comments) says:

    Oh look. Philip John is threadjacking again for his own agenda. What a surprise.

    As to the main topic of the thread, I would not be against the census including this option if it had a [Unspecified] choice as well. I would generally prefer it if the government knew less about me. People have a right to their privacy. This used to be the case in New Zealand.

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  94. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    Par for the course Roger. Weak argument, you’re losing, and you go with “I’ve made my case, I’m leaving.”

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  95. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    And, your case is “someone called for a quorum count on a matter that related to a queer officer. Quorum counts are infrequently if ever called. Therefore it is bigotry.” We have already established that not wanting a queer officer is not tantemount to bigotry, there are plenty of reasons for not wanting to waste money in this way that aren’t bigoted. So, even if the calling of a quorum meant something, that something is not bigotry.

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  96. helmet (807 comments) says:

    Nome said “Firstly, silly boy, I was insinuating that he is closet bisexual, not closet homosexual.”

    The bloke in your story is married, so he’s definitely not having sex with his wife anymore, he’s probably not bisexual at all. probably just a regular homosexual.

    “Also, it just seemed the most pertinent example, which is why I chose it.”

    Bwaaaah hahahahaha. Bullshit.

    “Finally, if I wanted to cause shit [had any balls/facts] I would have specified who it was.”

    Good decision to leave this thread Nome. That bullshit was definitely worth a few demerits.

    Now, where were we. I think sexual orientation should be included on the census. It’s very fascinating.

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  97. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    David when are we going to rename ‘kiwiblog’ ‘nomeblog’ – I only ask, becasue once again, it appears that somehow, your post, is once more, all about him.

    Like I said the other day;

    I’s fucking ridiculous.

    Notice his new strategy? Dip in with something vaguely relevant, twist it into another flame-war then f**k off with a cheery ‘Oh you guys have lost another argument’. Mission accomplished.

    I respectfully submit, DPF that he is taking the piss out of you.

    Apart from nailing his ‘gay-friendly’ credentials to the mast as a means to attempt to smear a ‘National MP’ earning 20 demerits, what depths does he actually have to plumb to before he earns enough demerits to get kicked off?

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  98. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Of recent years Ive taken to filling in surveys and questionares in a fashion that fucks up the answers anyway.
    I only fill in the ethnicity answer with “Other” (because they never ask if you are a New zealander). I always halve or double the household income. I will usually give the opposite gender (unless they ask another question that makes it obvious that you are fibbing). And so on. Bugger them, they never want to pay one for the information.

    So, if the census wants to know if im queer or not, then they will never know – because I might or might not give the right answer – depends how contrary I feel that day.

    On a more serious note – surely they could find something far more worth while to put their time to.

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  99. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    barry, they will then spend your money as if they do know – is that what you want?

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  100. Grant Michael McKenna (1,160 comments) says:

    The fascination of some people with the facts as a basis for policy making is bizarre. Western civilisation was built on innuendo, smears and bigotry. Keep it that way!

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  101. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    I read a hilarious little piece somewhere once by a “heterophobic” gay, who shouted out “Breeders!” at any guy-and-gal in a clinch in public……….

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  102. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    Ryan Sproull (616) Add karma Subtract karma –1 Says:
    July 18th, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    But do read the article I linked to. While the US of A Supreme Court is busy protecting the habeas corpus rights of terrorists, the “family court” is treating fathers like the “Ministry of Truth” in George Orwell…………

    “Well, not really while. Your article is citing a book written by Jed Abraham in 1999, and I can’t find any other references to the practice in family courts anywhere. I can’t see any evidence that it’s common practice, or even uncommon practice.”

    I certainly hope that MOST of what the article refers to, not just the “plesythmographs”, is NOT still going on. I’m not an expert on the subject. But I do believe that PC totalitarian style initiatives of this type can be going on and any sort of publicising of it be non-existent, partly because of draconian legal gagging measures and partly because MSM journalists are part of the PC feminist multiculti etc plot themselves. The Canadian “Human Rights Commissions” are another classic example of this, dishing out unjust, absurd Orwellian judgements one after another and destroying decent peoples lives without a peep from the MSM.

    D4J could certainly put us straight on the current state of play re fathers and family courts. Where is he?

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  103. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    RogerNome, my point to Ryan Sproull was that many people do not ever actually put into practice, tendencies with which they were born. Some of these “tendencies” may involve consent and some may not. My choice of examples was quick and random.

    I believe that there are sound reasons for cultures that have become the world’s most successful, durable, and desirable, to have stigmatised and in many cases, legislated against the “tendencies” that they have. For example, as Charles Murray points out, there is a sound “societal survival” basis for the severe stigmatisation of bastardy. I have quoted and linked to his superb articles many times before, but they are like water off a duck’s back to the likes of you.

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  104. Flashman (184 comments) says:

    There are few things sadder than a market reseach wonk getting all wet-mouthed over what exciting new questions and innovative topics of obnoxious intrusiveness he/she might be introduce into a survey programme.

    There are few things more casually enjoyable than either telling them to stop being so bloody silly and to get back on strategy or sabotaging their finely crafted questionnaire and survey programme with some carefully selected bogus answers and non-responses.

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  105. BR (81 comments) says:

    “I’ve never, ever, ever, ever heard anyone besides you suggest that homophobia could be considered a mental illness. Could you give me some reference to someone suggesting it should be?”

    I think it is a mental illness, and no amount of politically correct bullshit will ever change this view.

    Bill.

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  106. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Riiight Flashman,

    So you actually agree to take part in phone surveys (disturbing in itself) and then become all damp palmed when you slip in a false answer.

    Wild!

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  107. chiz (1,144 comments) says:

    reid:I’m pretty sure most people know if they are straight, gay, lesbian, trans-gender or bi-sexual.

    Sexual orientation is to do with which gender you find sexually attractive and not with which ones you fuck. There are examples of gay men who sleep with women and of straight men, usually sex workers or prisoners, who sleep with men. Its similar in some ways to the fact that people will sometimes sleep with someone they consider ugly just because they’re horny and can’t find anyone else. Sometimes its the sex act that matters and not who its with. Having said that there are two complications. First, some people are asexual, and secondly, some people just don’t know. Most gay or bi people know at puberty that they are gay or bi but there is small percentage that take a year or so to realise what they are and there is a tiny minority past the age of 20 who aren’t still aren’t sure. Likewise some asexual people go through a few years of confusion. Some asexual people realise at or soon after puberty that they aren’t hetero and conclude that they must be gay and don’t realise for a another year or so that that identity doesn’t fit them either.

    As DPF notes the actual rate of homosexuality is unknown. Following Kinsey many people thought for a while that it was 10% but its now generally thought to bet between 1% and 4%. From a social science point of view including this question in the census would be useful in finally getting some answers, age-matched and with a large sample size. Unfortunately I just don’t see why its needed for planning purposes which is, after all, the ostensive purpose of the census.

    DPF:As someone who uses census data a lot, it would be incredibly interesting to have reliable information on sexual orientation demographics.

    Could you give examples of how this be useful?

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  108. Shunda barunda (2,983 comments) says:

    From what people are saying, it sounds like the question would be pretty difficult to answer for some people.
    If a question on sexuality is needed, why not simply ask the nature of peoples sexual orientation at the TIME of the census.
    That would still give a reasonable snapshot of NZers sexual behavior, while not requring people to be absolutely sure of their sexuality.
    That said, is it really necessary? I always feel a bit uncomfortable with the question about religion on the census, people are so confused about what defines religion, yet they still ask the name and nature of the church you go to.
    If there’s no pressing reason for this info why clog up the system and fund more usless bureaucrats?

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  109. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    BR, heh heh – like evidence?

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