Here are all the fantastically amazing entries posted during September, 2006
Remember when Stevey promised to hold a free vote on same-sex marriage this autumn? Well, according to the anti-gay lobby, the vote’s been moved to winter! (I guess the summer break wasn’t long enough for them to convince our MPs that society has been thrust into a chaotic land of terror!)
So, what is the anti-gay lobby doing with all this new time? Well, the
Canada Anti-Gay Coalition, err… is forming a last-minute “national marriage caucus.” The press release was a little cryptic, but from what I can gather, the caucus’ first task is to build a fortified protective wall around every family. Or, at least, every family without gay members. So, for all those into cement stocks, BUY!
- Activists say Ottawa will delay vote to reopen same-sex marriage [Globe and Mail]
Well, that didn’t take long! The Conservative Government announced yesterday that they have cut funding for the gay-friendly Canadian Heritage Department and turfed the gay-friendly Court Challenges Program entirely. (The gay-friendliness is surely just a coincidence, don’t you think?)
The Canadian Heritage Fund was—probably coincidentally—attacked by the right wing lobby groups REAL Women of Canada and Focus on the Family Canada earlier this month for supporting the Vancouver Queer Film Festival. Almost certainly coincidentally, that’s the same lobby that was bleating about the Court Challenges Program days prior to that.
Speaking of amazing coincidences, The Court Challenges Program has been used repeatedly by gay groups to challenge horribly unconstitutional bans on same-sex marriage—the very thing that the new government is trying to re-introduce. Though, the timing is certainly also an amazingly improbable coincidence.
Anyway, these surely non-ideological budget cuts were made despite an over 13 billion dollar surplus inherited from the former Liberal government. If I didn’t know better, I’d say the new government is exercising an unconstitutional opposition to equal rights for gays. But, instead, I’m going to think it’s just Coincidence Month in Canada. I’m never told about Coincidence Month.
DJ Paul Brown, of the Edmonton radio station The Bear, has arranged for two straight male strangers to marry on the air. The stunt is part of the station’s annual Really Tough contest, where people compete in “un-manly” challenges for a chance at a $40,000 top prize. (Incidentally, a coin toss was used to decide who had to wear a tuxedo, and who had to wear a bridal gown.)
Now, personally, I can’t help but chuckle. I mean, the two guys obviously had a blast with the stunt, and really, it’s far more of a knock against the classic “tough guy” image than anything else. (Definitely something one would expect from a morning radio show.) But, gee… How do you think the brilliant scribes at The Edmonton SUN are reporting this?
The mind boggles at how this loophole can be milked for more than a radio-station contest.
You’re an older unmarried guy or gal without a pension? Marry your older friend, and get spousal pension benefits. You’re a visitor and you want to stay in Canada? Marry another man and he can sponsor you as a family member.
Free vote coming up on same-sex marriage, parliamentarians.
Oh, yes, right; this brand new “loophole” is going to be horrendously exploited! Hurry, parliamentarians, while you still can, vote to revoke equal marriage rights! After all, before same-sex marriage was legal in Canada, it was absolutely impossible for two strangers to marry. And marrying for pension or citizenship? A concept surely never conceived before these gays came along.
This will be the first time I’ve explicitly written this in a post, but: Slap!
- What’s Love Got to Do With It? [Edmonton SUN]
So what does a right-wing government do when 8 provincial courts independently rule that a ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional? Why, it appoints new judges, of course! And that’s exactly what our prime minister did this week. And, surprisingly, it’s not the appointment of a former president of the Conservative party into the Quebec high court that’s drawing the most criticism—it’s the new Ontario Judge.
Joe Brown, who will now officially sit in the Ontario Superior Court, is well known for representing the radical right-wing lobby groups Focus on the Family Canada and REAL Women of Canada in a court challenge to declare same-sex marriage unconstitutional. The case was a spectacular failure. (After all, declaring equality unconstitutional is kind of like declaring Stephen Harper a charismatic joy.) But selecting someone who represented such an eyebrow-raising, destined-to-lose case doesn’t exactly reflect an unbiased nature.
When contacted by the press, Judge Brown refused to talk:
In my past incarnation, I would speak to you. In my present incarnation, you would have to speak to Chief Justice Heather Smith.
Hey, does that mean he’s been recently reincarnated? If so, that’s pretty encouraging! But maybe we should still keep our eyes on this one.
- PM’s pick for bench draws fire [Globe and Mail]
Ah, mid-September. That time of year when all of our gleeful politicians return to that magical parliament building in Ottawa and discuss matters at the forefront of the Canadian consciousness. Now, what issue do you suppose will be one of the earliest priorities this autumn?
(OK, I’ll admit it; that’s totally a rhetorical lead-in.)
That’s right kids, our brand new prime minister, Stephen Bus—err, Stephen Harper, resumed work this week and promised to act swiftly on his campaign promise to revoke same-sex marriage!
Now, naturally, the vote to re-open the “big debate” is expected to fail spectacularly, but don’t let that thought make you too comfortable with your full equality! Justice Minister Vic Toews has announced that, failing a ban on gay nuptials, the government will also introduce some shiny new legislation to “enhance protections for those who oppose same-sex marriage on religious or moral grounds!”
Hmm… You know, that sounds a little familiar… Almost like a defeated Alberta bill that would have removed all punishment for those who wished to refuse public services to gays on grounds of “moral objections.” You know, the one that also almost forced teachers to send out parental warnings before even acknowledge the existence of same-sex marriage in Canada. Yes, yes, I’m quite certain that was the same language used to describe it.
Anyway, whatever becomes of this idea, it looks like it’s going to be a fun-filled autumn of family-protecting (i.e. alarmingly hateful) goodness ahead!
Well, back to work! I haven’t quite yet filled my quota of destroyed families today. The gay agenda requires at least 15.
- Same-sex motion eyed [Calgary SUN]
- Commons resumes to fall agenda littered with pitfalls [Canadian Press]
Looks like Calgary’s own Bishop Fred Henry has added a little something to my (unofficial) Canadian Collection Of Defamatory Quotes™:
[Same-sex marriage] is the worst betrayal of children I’ve ever seen—even more so than the Catholic church sex scandals.
Ah, yes. Words that would elicit an awed horror if spoken anywhere other than the ostensibly titled Let’s Talk About Children’s Rights forum. The forum, held last Thursday in Calgary, was, naturally, composed entirely of hysterical anti-gay rhetoric. Speakers included Ted Morton and Syed Soharwardy, in addition to the not-so-good bishop, who uttered the above nonsense.
- Children at centre of gay-marriage debate [Calgary Sun]
A more gay-friendly curriculum would directly cause student absenses and a “loss of confidence in the community,” according to Heather Stilwell, a Surrey School Board trustee. (Holy crap, can you imagine? Our children will learn nothing!)
The bizarre comments came after the education ministry delivered letters to the school board, demanding adherence to the Alternative Delivery Policy. The policy outlines circumstances in which a parent may withdraw their child from classes, and baselessly withdrawing students from classes discussing gay role models isn’t one of them. As you can guess, that sent Stilwell off the deep end:
Parents will arrange dentist and doctor appointments during class times if the education ministry orders districts to enforce its alternative curriculum. What [the policy] will force them to do is lie. There’ll be a loss of confidence in the community.
Good heavens! So, there you have it. Hide, children. Skip classes. The school board demands it—for the good of society!
Pope Benedict, fresh from blaming Canada’s low birth rate on same-sex marriage, has once again instructed lawmakers to strip away gay rights. Because, you know, it just tears families apart to think that one could allow loving gay couples to equally enjoy the legal institution of civil marriage. The paperwork is just far too sacred, I’m told.
Anyway, the pope’s latest effort in his long history of creative phrasing—delivered, of course, from his throne in the resplendent Vatican palace—goes like this: “In the name of tolerance, your country has had to endure the folly of the redefinition of spouse.”
Well, folly is a little unnecessary and… Wait a minute here. Let me check something…
spouse (noun): A marriage partner; a husband or wife.
Nope, nope. Seems about the same to me.
Despite the pope’s ever-so-convincing speech, Gilles Marchildon of EGALE Canada, had to suggest that lawmakers follow the, uh, law:
We don’t have a state religion in Canada. Just as government doesn’t instruct the Catholic Church how to celebrate communion, the church shouldn’t instruct politicians on who can get married.
Very true. Because as unholy as the Charter of Rights must be, it does appear to guarantee citizen equality. Sorry, Pope of Canada.
Goodness knows why, but anti-gay lobbyists and the new conservative government are now trying their hardest to scrap The Court Challenge program. The program, run by the oft-attacked Heritage department, was set up to help fund groups that wish to challenge potentially unconstitutional laws. It has been awarded in the past to several minority representation groups, such as EGALE (Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere), aboriginal groups, groups for persons with disabilities, and LEAF (The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund).
Gwen Landolt, representative for the anti-gay group REAL Women of Canada was practically foaming at the mouth that anyone would dare challenge the fairness of a law:
[The Court Challenge program] is a boondoggle for special-interest groups with a certain ideological perspective. Only one side of the argument gets the money.
Uh, no, Gwen. Any group can get the money, but it has to be used to challenge unconstitutional laws. You know, the kind that you’re always pushing for? Why, even you’d be able to use it, if there were a law against hysterical right-wing social conservative groups using the word “boondoggle.” Which there isn’t.
Gwen, along with (anti) Justice Minister Extraordinare, Vic Toews, also said the program should be reviewed because it’s shrouded in secrecy (ooooo). In reality, the details of how much funding is allocated to which group is not disclosed because of a law protecting solicitor-client confidentiality.
Thankfully, the Canadian Bar Association (who actually studies law for a living) defended the program, saying it plays “a vital role in increasing access to justice for marginalized and vulnerable groups.” Good stuff.
Strangely, the success and funding somehow isn’t sitting well with the anti-gay lobby group, REAL Women of Canada. Spokeswoman Gwen Landolt (who scoured the film listings to publicize such gems as: “Deconstructing Crack Ho” and “Toilet Sex in Canadian Cinema”) had these kind words:
The films [in the festival] are simply degenerate and degrading to humanity. There is no artistry there, the films are used as a political statement against established social mores, a way of showing contempt, of saying “we don’t have to be held to normal standards of behaviour.”
Wow, I know exactly what you mean. When I was at the festival, instead of watching “Pride and Prejudice: LGBT Struggles for Human Rights” I must’ve accidentally walked into “Horrifyingly Gratuitous Debauchery” back-to-back with “Look At Me; I’m Going Potty On Your Family’s Lawn!” It was so awful; both were being force-fed to unwilling parishioners and impressionable children by drug addicts and activist judges. Why did you fund this film festival, Department of Canadian Heritage? Why?
Ahem… Landolt then attacked the Heritage department for having promoted tolerance in the past.
The Heritage department is filled with problems. The department has got to be examined; it’s a disgrace. In the public accounts of 2004-2005, the department issued $112,800 in funding to EGALE [Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere], for the purpose of “furthering participation in Canadian society.” Was that really necessary?
Oh; that was a question. Let’s see, was the funding for equality organizations really necessary? Well, as long as groups like yours, Gwen, spend every waking minute pressuring our lawmakers to ensure that gays and lesbians are devoid of rights, culture, and their constitutional freedom as a citizen to make whatever freakin’ arts films they want—yes! It is really necessary.
Thankfully, the Department of Canadian Heritage has a good sense of reality. Spokeswoman Dominique Collin, had this to say:
Through their Festival, the [Vancouver Out On Screen Film Society] presents a wide range of culturally diverse media arts and attempts to bring the issues and experiences of the LGBT communities into the mainstream, fostering acceptance and understanding.
Right on. Do you think it’s working?
Ah, Labour Day, the ironically named holiday where we get absolutely no work done. And, of course, this site is no exception. However, I’ve prepared this lovely Labour Day Update in advance, especially for you!
So, without further ado…
Take THAT, Teddy!
The amazingly bigoted Alberta MLA, Ted Morton, was dealt a sweet, justice-ey blow last week, as his hate-filled Bill 208 was mercilessly killed by necessary opposition delay tactics. The bill would have permitted civil marriage commissioners to deny their public service to gays, forced teachers to “warn” parents before even acknowledging the existence of same-sex marriage in Canada, and remove all consequences for an individual “exercising their beliefs” against same-sex marriage. Ah, just think: waiters refusing to serve gay couples, bus drivers refusing to let them board public transit… How uniquely Alberta! (And mind-numbingly unconstitutional.)
And, I guess that’s it for the Labour Day Update. Just one story. Well, until Wednesday, folks, don’t labour too much!
Queen fans need not rejoice. At least, not in Zanzibar. The Zanzibar’s Association for Islamic Mobilization and Propagation is demanding that the government shut down a local restaurant’s planned 60th birthday celebration for the late Freddy Mercury. Although Freddy is the island’s most recognizable export, the group strongly objects to the fact that Freddy was… well, I’ll put it in his own words: “as gay as a daffodil, my dear!”
The radical religious group, which obviously thinks sexual orientation ought to overshadow all one’s accomplishments and tourism potential, successfully shut down a local gay man’s birthday party last year. Gee whiz. Why can’t these nuts just be cool, relax, get hip… and so forth?