Same sex marriage lower in Alberta than reported by census
An unexpectedly high number of same-sex marriages in places like the oilpatch left census-takers scratching their heads, until they realized many of the ``couples'' were only splitting the rent.
As a result, Statistics Canada said Wednesday, it may have overestimated by as many as 4,500 the number of same-sex married couples in parts of the country.
A last-minute discovery forced the agency to hold back some census data on gay and lesbian married couples when they realized they couldn't be certain if some people were hitched or only roommates.
So during Wednesday's release of the latest tranche of census data, Statistics Canada only provided same-sex marriage numbers for the country's larger cities and not for smaller communities, where the numbers might be off.
It all amounts to an asterisk in the latest batch of numbers about same-sex marriage in Canada.
``We observed that there was a possible over estimation of same-sex families,'' said census manager Marc Hamel.
``The counts for some smaller communities seemed too high.''
None of this changes the fact that more and more of Canada's gay and lesbian couples are tying the knot.
Statistics Canada said same-sex marriage nearly tripled between 2006 and 2011.