Here are all the fantastically amazing entries posted during August, 2006

Parents Protest New Course

August 30th, 2006

Ghost of Confusing Advice

Over 800 Vancouver protesters gathered this week to protest a new grade 12 course entitled “Social Justice.” The course will include a unit that focuses on gay role models, sparking fears that children province-wide will turn gay. The horror.

Murray Coren, who was granted a role as a consultant on the curriculum, was forced to state the obvious:

There was no information about gay or lesbian people [when I went to school], and having gone through that system for 13 years, it didn’t make me straight. So I don’t know how information about gay and lesbian people is going to turn anyone queer.

The protesters, for some reason, aren’t buying it, and presented a petition with over 14,000 signatures demanding that the government do the ultra ambiguous: “to defend and to preserve parental and children’s rights” and “to stop selling out to special interest groups.”

The kicker: the course is an elective.

Ted Morton’s Bill 208 Is Back

August 28th, 2006

Teddy Returns

Someone call a nanny! Alberta’s hysterical temper-tantrum over same-sex marriage is still going strong, apparently. Ted Morton (MLA and super bigot extraordinaire) resumed debate on Bill 208 Friday. The bill, which was presumed dead after legislature ended back in spring, was granted a surprise resurrection.

Here’s what the bill will do, if passed:

  • Allow civil marriage commissioners to refuse their public services to gays
  • Allow teachers to refuse to acknowledge the existence of same-sex marriage in Canada
  • Force teachers to hand out “parental warnings” if they do choose to acknowledge reality
  • Remove all punishment for an individual “exercising their beliefs” against gay marriage.

Un-freaking-believable!

Julie Lloyd, a local activist, is terrified.

The effects of this bill, should it become law in Alberta, would be devastating for gays and lesbians.

[Bill 208], if passed, would allow employers to fire gays and let landlords evict gay tenants with impunity because they’re “exercising a belief against same-sex marriage.”

Of course, the bill is also grossly unconstitutional, and certainly wouldn’t survive a court challenge (assuming the obscure notwithstanding clause isn’t used—which Alberta has done before to prevent court challenges to a ban on same-sex marriage from 2000-2005). But, really, even if the bill doesn’t survive, how much more of this hemorrhaging fit can Teddy produce?

Yeah, that’s totally a rhetorical question.

No One To Challange Anders… Again

August 25th, 2006

I am Con-Tor!

OK, in your best “soup nazi” voice: No reason for you! Next!

Walter Wakula, former Tory riding president for Calgary West, will not be allowed to challenge incumbent wacko MP, Rob Anders, for nomination. Absolutely no reason was given for Wakula’s disqualification, leaving everyone to scratch their head noisily—an action that Tories seem to evoke quite easily these days.

Anders (who, incidentally, was my MP before I got the hell out of Calgary), is best known as the sole dissenter in giving Nelson Mandela honorary Canadian citizenship, calling the man a communist and a terrorist. I remember Anders more for his crafting of flyers that linked crystal meth usage to “homosexual sex marriage” and mailing them to the wrong constituency.

So, why wouldn’t the conservative party allow a less controversial MP to run alongside Anders for the nomination when a clearly qualified former riding president is available? My guess: Anders is an undercover alien involved in a large conspiracy to slightly warm the rightmost chairs in the House of Commons! This is top secret stuff, folks…

Television A Little Less Gay This Year

August 23rd, 2006

Newscasts

GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, released their 2006 television study on Monday, and the results are ground shaking! A sharp drop in the occurrence of gay and lesbian characters in network TV series. That’s right, folks: Instead of last year’s 10 characters, there’s now, uh, 9. (Hmm… I wonder if Will & Grace calling it quits had anything to do with that?)

GLAAD president Neil G. Giuliano is dissapointed with the numbers, which works out to a whopping 1.3% of network television characters, not exactly a realistic ratio.

It’s clear that the broadcast networks have a long way to go before they accurately reflect the diversity of their audience and our society.

Quite true. Now if someone could do a study comparing the number of gay characters on television to the number of bigoted characters (like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and Stephen Harper)… That would be interesting.

Gays Evicted From Mall

August 21st, 2006

Mall Directory

Oh, oh! I was waiting for the day that someone would dare keep a gay man away from his mall!

You heard right; a Gay Pride Group is speaking with the Ontario Human Rights commission after the Downtown Chatham Centre Mall shut down their booth, which was to be part of a larger mall-approved AIDS support event.

Mall officials were quick to dismiss discrimination charges, claiming that ousting the gays was part of a larger mall policy to not allow political or religious groups (neither of which I’m certain describes Gay Pride—but, whatever).

Strangely, though, it has been noted that the mall regularly allows the Christian group Salvation Army to fundraise there—often accompanied by municipal politicians. Alan Durston, Mall manager, had an… uh, interesting explanation.

We’ll allow some groups to come in to fundraise, but they don’t preach their religious beliefs to anybody else, which is the difference between gay pride or the Mormons or whichever other group.

Yeah, those gays are so annoying—preaching their religious beliefs to those who don’t want to hear it. Not at all like the Salvation Army (who, according to their own website, “is an evangelical group dedicated to preaching among the unchurched people”), accompanied by right-wing politicians

Uh, oh—hold on. I injured my eye while rolling it just now… I should tend to that… Well, until Wednesday folks!

Tory MP Challanged For Not Being Tory-ey Enough

August 18th, 2006

Tory Nominations

Looks like the crazies are at it again, attacking their own base! Tory MP Garth Turner is having his riding challenged by radical “Christian” fundamentalists for not supporting a ban on same-sex marriage. Garth is, of course, unfazed by the nonsense.

Am I supposed to change my mind and all of a sudden hate homosexual people because I’m facing a challenge in my riding? Of course not, I’m not going to change. I’m still the member of Parliament, and I’m still going to do what I said I’m going to do.

A conservative with actual sense? Party on, Garth!

Breaking News! Stop The Presses!

August 16th, 2006

This Just In

Gee whiz, give a guy a microphone and you think you’d expect something different from time to time, no?

Justice minister Vic Toews (who doesn’t seem to have a firm grasp of justice) has once again re-stated his previous re-iteration that he will still not be supporting equal marriage when it comes before parliament in the fall… again.

After the vote to revoke same-sex marriage inevitably fails, I’m told he will simply re-run his hysterical world-has-been-thrust-into-chaos sound bytes to save energy. Can’t be too conscientious, after all—what with global warming and such.

Ou Est Harper?

August 14th, 2006

Where's Harper?

The International AIDS Conference—the bi-annual event said to bring nearly 27,000 researchers, patients, journalists, and activists to the fine city of Toronto—kicked off yesterday with an evening of, well, really exciting stuff!

Celebrities, including Bill and Melinda Gates, Bill Clinton, Richard Gere, and Alicia Keys were in attendance. Even former prime minister Paul Martin said he’d be there to make a speech (before the conservatives triggered a snap election), as previous PMs have done (Yes, even Brian Mulroney). In fact, it seems like everyone who’s anyone was there to help put a stop to one of the world’s largest pandemics. Everyone except… Gee, who’s that guy again?

Ah, yes; silly me: Prime Minister Stephen Harper was notably absent, instead touring an arctic military base to “defend arctic sovereignty.”

Organisers and attendants of the AIDS conference are baffled, including Stephen Lewis, UN director for AIDS/HIV in Africa:

It’s a dreadful mistake in political judgment, and it’s not excusable. It’s a lost opportunity to tell the world how Canada feels about this pandemic. The Arctic sovereignty issue will still be there [when the conference ends]. Forty million people worldwide carry this virus, and most will die preventable deaths. What greater scourge is there than that?

I’ve asked time and again why he isn’t coming, and the answer I keep getting is that he doesn’t want to be booed.

Well, booing certainly seems to be a big problem for our prime minister and his MPs. But, hey, if he keeps this up—and with a little luck after the next election—maybe that won’t be a problem for him anymore.

Can We Address The United Nations?

August 11th, 2006

Consultive Status

Montreal gay groups are anxiously awaiting a decision from the UN Economic Social Council on whether or not three gay rights organisations will get consultive status at the UN. Consultive status would allow the groups to formally address the international community.

Encouragingly, Lousie Arbor, the UN high commissioner for human rights, spoke at the International Conference on LGBT Human Rights last month.

I hope that [my speech] will send a signal to the entire world community that we have to be very present to those who historically and currently today are still—if not totally—voiceless and very much the victims of exclusion and marginalization.

Well, here’s hoping for a positive outcome! Addressing the UN would be a powerful statement. I can see it now… “Dear countries that oppress and harm us: Seriously, stop it.”

Pride™

August 9th, 2006

Trademark

The word Pride™ has been trademarked by several of Canada’s Pride™ organisations, as some small promoters have discovered.

Jamie Lee Hamilton was delivered a letter from the Vancouver Pride™ Society informing her that she would have to pay $65 to promote her events ManPride and TrannyPride this summer. Jim Deva, a Vancouver bookstore owner, thinks the whole concept is ridiculous.

I don’t think the Vancouver Pride Society board was elected to be the Pride police. The whole concept of this Pride policing is not healthy at all. It will not increase diversity. Some people will be acceptable and other people won’t. I find that the dangerous sort of part of the whole thing.

Pride™ Toronto, the organisation spearheading this movement, said that they trademarked the word Pride™ as a protection from big business.

As for my thoughts… I’ve been a proud™ attendant of many Pride™ events in the™ past, and I’m personally™ in disagreement™ that the word™ Pride™ is something™ that requires™ protection™.

U.K. Still Un-Kool With Gays

August 7th, 2006

Just Civil Unioned

Britain will not recognize Canadian same-sex marriages, a U.K. judge has decided.

Mark Potter (possibly Harry’s considerably less favoured half-brother) ruled last week that recognizing same-sex marriage would “fly in the face” of human rights and “fail to recognize physical reality.” While this statement may seem entirely contradictory, the judge may have mistakenly thought it was “opposite day,” something I’m sure exists in the wizarding world.

Regardless of how the error was made, Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger are officially considered in a “domestic partnership” instead of the genuine marriage that Canada granted them in 2003. Wilkinson and Kitzinger were, of course, disappointed:

We are deeply disappointed by the judgment, not just for ourselves but for other gay couples and families. It perpetuates discrimination and it sends out the message that lesbian and gay marriages are inferior.

Though we’re disappointed, we are sure there will be a day—within our lifetimes—when there will be equality for same-sex marriage. This judgment will not stand the test of time.

Well said. And, hey, all you gotta do is wait for this magical fantasy world craze to run it’s course. That’s only one more book away, no?

Bishop Fred Henry: Wafer Nazi

August 4th, 2006

No Wafer For You!

Retroactive Slap Another hysterically anti-gay nut from Calgary? Get out!

Fred Henry, a bishop from Calgary, wrote a pastoral letter (not quite as lovely as that sounds, trust me) that equated gays to prostitutes and pornographers, pressuring the government to do something about it. The wording wasn’t exactly subtle either. Well, you be the judge:

Since homosexuality, adultery, prostitution and pornography undermine the foundations of the family, the basis of society, then the state must use its coercive power to proscribe or curtail them in the interests of the common good.

Funny… The government did end up acting in the interests of the common good! You’d think Fred should be happy, but, well… Far be it from him to judge others, but after same-sex marriage became law, he judged all the politicians that voted for equality and refused to give them communion wafers. Oh, then he suggested that Prime Minister Paul Martin, should be excommunicated from the church. Bitter much, Fred?

Although, in fairness, we’ve all had our moments. I once wouldn’t let my best friend play at my house until he gave me back my He-Man action figure back in 1986.

Well, that, folks, was retroactive slap week! Up-to-date stories shall appear starting Monday!

Elsie Wayne: “Shut Up,” Gays!

August 2nd, 2006

Elsie Wayne

Retroactive SlapTime for another retroactive slap! (And, if you’re wondering about these; I should mention that I’m actually moving 4,000 km across the country. That’s why Rob Anders is now officially my former MP; wouldn’t you have moved, too?)

Elsie Wayne, although now the leader of an anti-gay lobby group, Traditional Marriage Crusade (chortle), is best known for her delightfully insane outburst in the House of Commons back when she was a conservative MP. Keep in mind, this quote is actually from the House, not from some insane fringe group press release:

Why do [gays] have to be out here in the public, always debating that they want to call it marriage? Why are they in parades? Why are men dressed up as women on floats? If they are going to live together, go live together and shut up about it!

Now, place your bets, everyone! Are her views as old as her, or vice versa?