Here are all the fantastically amazing entries posted during October, 2006
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Hamilton has rescinded their annual funding for the Challenge for Change peace forum because this year’s keynote speaker, James Loney, is gay.
Loney, incidentally, is the Roman Catholic peace activist that was held hostage in Iraq for several months. But, of course, the church simply shan’t be promoting peace if it means letting his kind speak. What meaningful input could he possibly shed on the subject, anyway? Scoff!
The forum somehow managed to go ahead without the Diocese’s $500 donation. This year’s theme was “The Price of Peace.”
- Church won’t fund Loney speech [The Waterloo Record]
Over 70 Vancouver postal workers walked off the job yesterday morning after discovering they were to deliver unaddressed homophobic pamphlets. The 28-page pamphlets, published by an Ontario church, tells gay readers that they are “ungodly, unhealthy, and unnatural” and calls AIDS “the consequences of homosexuality.”
Canada Post responded by saying they’re not in the business of censorship and will deliver the pamphlets, but would also not require that their postal workers handle them. Instead, managers will put the offensive brochures into envelopes and deliver them themselves. (Though, I suspect the envelopes are just a matter of convenience, as duct-taping the pamphlets into balls, dipping them into vats of self-curing synthetic compounds, then soldering them shut in elegant steel sarcophagi locked by puzzles requires unaffordable resources.)
Of course, in fairness, I haven’t seen the pamphlets so I can’t verify whether or not they’d qualify as hate mail under Canadian law. It’s my strong belief that—barring the incitement of hatred—every Canadian has the right to speak their mind. But, to the person that crafted the fliers… Dude, seriously, that can’t be your excuse…
Sending lengthy, unsolicited homophobic pamphlets half-way across the country? Talk about misplaced zeal! Just because you have the right to do something doesn’t make it the right thing to do, bucko!
A National Marriage Circus! Sounds like fun! I can’t wait to see all the clowns and animals… Oh—wait, no. I misread something…
The anti-gay lobby conglomerate, Defend Marriage Coalition, held their long-planned “National Marriage Caucus” on Parliament Hill yesterday, and boy, was it one long day of gay-despising fun! There were clowns and animals and… Yes, I know it says “caucus.”
The lobbyists started the day off with some anti-gay press releases, followed by some scheduled one-on-one anti-gay time with MPs to exchange delightful bits of oft-repeated, Pro-Family Approved™ demagoguery. This included:
- Holy Crap! Our religious freedoms have been revoked!
- Man Alive! Gay marriage was, like, forced through! Was there even a debate?
- Great Caesar’s Ghost! Don’t you care about children’s rights?!
- Sweet, Merciful Manta Ray! My own marriage has been destroyed!
- Heavenly Carton Of Fancy Molasses! My family turned gay and burst into flames!
- Holy Floating Wad Of Fluff! For The Love Of All The Soil In The Ecosystem! Heaven Shining Upon The… Actually—I think that was the gist of it.
So what does this near-prohibitively expensive day of lobbying mean for us Canadians? I guess we’ll just have to curl up in the corner and wait nervously until that fateful day in December when parliament gathers to—ooh! My pumpkin cookies are ready!
- Gay marriage critics, supporters, lobby MPs ahead of free vote [CBC News]
- Lobby groups tussle over same-sex bill [Globe and Mail]
Hmm… I wonder what our favourite Surrey school board trustee, Heather Stilwell, is up to? The last time we checked up on her, after all, she was announcing that a gay-friendly school curriculum would directly cause student absences and a “loss of confidence in the community.”
Well, now it appears she’s grudgingly accepted that diversity lessons are coming. Good stuff! Although, it also seems she has a new goal: to protect like-minded parents from the terrifying horrors of having their child discuss gay role models in a positive light.
During last week’s school board meeting, Stilwell motioned that the board demand the government “clarify” the Alternative Delivery Policy with respect to gay-friendly class discussions. The policy states the conditions under which parents can withdraw their children from the curriculum and—much to Silwell’s chagrin—not liking the gays isn’t specifically listed. That, she thinks, means it’s all up in the air, requiring clarification.
No one seconded her motion.
Gee, that’s a bum deal, Heather. I totally understand where you’re coming from, though. Heck, I’m in a similar situation myself! For some time, I’ve wanted to graft Silly String™ dispensers onto the prime minister’s fingertips. That way, whenever he shakes his children’s hands goodnight, they’d be delighted with happy bursts of rainbow colour! But the laws don’t specifically state if I can sedate the prime minister for the purposes of Silly Stringification. That should be clarified. Anyone second this? Anyone?
- School board fails to back Stilwell [Peace Arch News]
A Manitoba civil marriage commissioner is appealing to the Queen’s Bench after his commissioner’s license was suspended for denying public services to a same-sex couple. Kevin Kisilowsky claims that by having to serve all people equally, his religious freedoms as a Christian were horribly violated. The poor dear!
Interesting stuff, though! I wasn’t aware that Christianity forbids followers from providing non-religious civil services to gays! “Thou shalt refuse thy job to the gayeth ones.” Hmm… I guess that means I had better look around extra carefully for someone to renew my drivers license this week.
- Gay-marriage foe takes fight to court [Winnepeg SUN]
Well, after all the recent federal news, I think it’s about time I gave some attention to small town Alberta!
Remember Cardston (population: 3,500)? It’s the little town with big aspirations to ban same-sex marriage. Well, after the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass (population: 6000) refused to hear them out last April, they haven’t given up! In fact, they’ve taken their plea all the way to the capital city of Edmonton (population: 1,016,000)! Such a big trip!
The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association met in Edmonton earlier this month for their annual convention, and Cardston was more than thrilled to propose their ban in front of all the mayors in Alberta! Though, unfortunately for Cardston, Edmonton Councilor and AUMA Chairman Ed Gibbons just didn’t seem to want to discuss the proposal:
This is not the type of issue municipalities typically deal with, nor should they. Why are we talking about it at the convention?
Councilmen were also quick to point out that municipalities don’t have the authority to ban same-sex marriage, which is entirely federal jurisdiction.
Poor Cardston… You tried so hard. Oh well, I suppose there’s always next year’s conference!
- Alberta towns divided on gay marriage [Canoe.ca]
Ah, Halloween! That time of year when the undead drag their rheumatic limbs through the streets, assorted ghouls knock door to door, and the conservative campaign for a new Alberta premier kicks off…
Ted Morton, incidentally, is taking a shot at premiership. And what do you suppose is one of his top-two campaign promises? Why, a re-RE-introduction of Bill 208, which has now failed to make it through parliament twice! The bill, if passed, would remove all legal consequences for those “acting out on their beliefs” against same-sex marriage. (Restaurant waiter? Don’t like gays? Well, no need to serve ’em!)
The bill also includes specific clauses that would force teachers to send out “parental warnings” before discussing gay issues, and allow civil marriage commissioners to deny their public services to gays.
Now, I’m not entirely sure why Teddy thinks 208 will survive legislature the third time around, but I gotta give him some anti-gay credit for persistence. And for those of you unsure of what to be for halloween, I’m delighted to announce that a Bill 208 “undead” costume pattern is in the works! In preparation, please put bury some ancient parchment for a week; instructions will follow.
- Morton promises to change the status quo [Pincher Creek Echo]
The Anglican Church has suspended a retired Archibishop for blessing a same-sex couple at their wedding. Although the wedding took place in a non-Anglican church and the marriage certificate was signed by a different, non-Anglican minister, Archibishop Terrence Finlay was suspended for officiating over Mary Rowe and Sandra Morris, his longtime friends.
Gee, from what all the anti-gay groups were saying earlier, I thought same-sex marriage was supposed to be a terrifying slippery slope—forcing priests to marry gay couples left-and-right. Who’d have thunk that it’s the priests who’d be forced to refuse their blessings?
And just think! If we get that new Defence of Religions act that Justice Minister Vic Toews promised (because religions are having such a hard time), then a Justice of the Peace or civil marriage commissioner can refuse their officiation, too!
Whoops! Watch your step here, folks; it’s icy!
A counseling centre providing meeting space for gay rights organisations? What is the world coming to?!
The obsessively anti-gay lobby group Defend Traditional Marriage And Family publicly denounced the Catholic Family Counseling Centre, which has been providing space to the equal rights organisation Tri-Pride for over three years, for “going against the teachings of the church.”
A spokeswoman for the CFCC responded with shock, reminding the anti-gay lobby that the counseling centre is a non-denominational, inclusive facility, and that the word “Catholic” appears in the agency’s name simply to honour the priest that founded it. She then re-assured Tri-Pride that they will continue to be welcomed at the centre’s facilities.
Of course the anti-gay group started furiously backpedalling, ranting about some sort of semantic responsibility with the word “Catholic.” And why not? I mean, ignore for a moment that gay people can be devout Catholics too. Couldn’t you understand the confusion—even though the CFCC’s website mentions that it is a non-denominational agency in capitalized, boldfaced letters as its first sentence? After all, “non-denominational” is a very big word, and flipping through a dictionary can be… Well, you know how those “pro-family” types are when it comes to depth of research.
Well, it’s Thanksgiving in Canada, so there’s no new news for today. But enjoy the holiday; it’s a good one!
And for those of you living stateside, here’s a little Canadian trivia: We celebrate Thanksgiving today, leaving Halloween until American Thanksgiving. Christmas is celebrated on Easter, and Easter on Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day doesn’t actually exist in Canada, but I hear there’s no Jour Du Lemur Volant down south, so it evens out.
Well, until Wednesday, folks!
Justice Minister Vic Toews confirmed in an interview this week that the government is planning to introduce the “Defence of Religions Act.” The new act would permit a civil marriage commissioner or a justice of the peace to refuse their public services to gays without consequence.
Oddly, as soon as the popular media picked up on the story, Prime Minister Stephen Harper pooh-poohed the notion, saying that the government is “determined to protect the rights of gay and lesbian citizens.”
Uh… Determined, eh? That, coming from a government that is committed to re-voting on same-sex marriage. A government that happily kneeled to pressure from the anti-gay lobby to delay the vote past its promised timeline. A government that recently appointed a new ontario judge who represented anti-gay groups in a bid to declare same-sex marriage unconstitutional. A government that completely axed its most important (and gay-friendly) equality program despite a massive budget surplus. A government that just appointed the president of Canada’s most hysterical anti-gay lobby group as their newest Chief of Staff. Gee, that sounds pretty determined there, Stevey.
But, don’t worry, folks! Harper says he’s not scary! Although, come to think of it, I don’t recall him saying the same about the rest of his party…
- Tories plan to protect same-sex marriage opponents [Globe and Mail]
- PM denies plan to bolster rights of gay marriage opponents [Canada.com]
Conservative Environment Minister Rona Ambrose quietly appointed the president of a notorious anti-gay lobby group as her new Chief of Staff last week.
Darrel Reid, former head of Focus on the Family Canada, actively lobbied against equal marriage and the adding of sexual orientation to the list of minority groups protected from hate crimes in Canada. And now he has a spiffy new environment gig!
So, where does Darrel’s new-found love of the environment come from? My guess: There are no gay trees. Although, come to think of it… Don’t hermaphroditic organisms only mate with the same gender?
Ted Morton—who seems to be recovering quite nicely from his anti-gay bill‘s delightfully brutal slaying—has now set his sights country-wide, urging MPs to ban same-sex marriage. At a press conference last Thursday, Morton announced that “the evidence is absolutely overwhelming that same-sex marriage is not a basic human right.”
Morton then provided all press attendees with a list of peer-reviewed studies backing up his claim, putting the issue to rest once and for all.
Nah, I’m totally kidding! He couldn’t provide jack squat.
Instead, Morton, surrounded by religious group representatives, re-iterated the same ostensible “protect the children” demagoguery. But, you know, that’s just as good as real scientific studies. Well, in Alberta.
Now, for the sake of our children’s future, could someone, uh, please repair the broken motorized sidewalk at Beaudry Métro station? It’s been idle for, like, two months. Thanks.