Here are all the fantastically amazing entries posted during November, 2007

Anti-Gay Pastor Threatens To Take Over Microsoft

November 30th, 2007

Microsoft Judgement

Ken Hutcherson, pastor of an evangelical megachurch and a former NFL linebacker, has resolved to take over Microsoft. A sisyphian task with even the soundest motivations! What rationale could be behind this decision?

Here’s what the pastor had to say:

There are 256 Fortune 500 companies alone pouring millions upon millions of dollars into pushing the homosexual agenda.

Microsoft stepped out of their four walls into my world so that gives me the right to step out of my world into their world. They tried to turn their policy into state policy, making their policy something I had to submit to. And my playbook [the bible] tells me you don’t submit to sin.

Microsoft, like many companies, has a diversity policy to protect their gay and lesbian employees. This includes an internal organization, the Gay and Lesbian Employees At Microsoft (GLEAM), as well as support of state legislation protecting employees from harassment and discrimination.

This has infuriated Ken, who used his single share in the company to crash a shareholder’s meeting and warn the company of a “firestorm like you have never seen,” adding that he was their “worst nightmare.”

Reportedly, CEO Steve Ballmer will counteract this dire threat by buying the United States of America and amending its corporate laws to forbid crazy pastors from buying shares and disturbing meetings.

Anti-Gay Group Bans Diversity Book From Schools

November 28th, 2007

The Gay Ring

A teacher’s resource book has been removed from staff rooms in the Waterloo Catholic District School Board after an anti-gay group, Defend Traditional Marriage and Family, lobbied to have it pulled.

The book, entitled Open Minds to Equality, advises on how to deal with ageism, sexism, and homophobia in schools. While the resource was available for teachers to consult, it was not required reading, nor accessible by students directly.

Jack Fonseca, a spokesperson for Defend Traditional Marriage and Family, was thrilled by his lobbying victory:

[The removal] will make it more difficult for the book to get into the hands of teachers who might’ve been misled by the flawed lessons within.

So, what “flawed lessions” might these be?

Prior to the censorship decision, Fonseca was unable to present anything demonstrative of his rhetoric, only saying that the book “could have the effect of encouraging students and teachers to view the gay lifestyle as being morally neutral,” and adding “they will have been led to reject Jesus.” In an open letter, however, the group said that “the effect of this book is to indoctrinate teachers and children to accept and celebrate homosexuality under the guise of ‘diversity’ and ‘equality.’”

It’s clear from the language used by Defend Traditional Marriage and Family that they are incapable of distinguishing a “morally neutral” presentation of homosexuality from one that “indoctrinates” and “celebrates” the “rejection of Jesus.” When convinced, however, that there is no such thing as gay people—only straight people who are sinning—that’s enough for them to expend great effort ensuring teachers do not even have the option of consulting resources to help them deal with issues that gay students face.

What a sad state of affairs. It’s no wonder Catholic teachers feel they must hide their student compassion from these groups.

Incidentally, of the lobby group’s executive members, only 6 indicated that they support the Catholic School Board on the voter list, and none of the 11 members have their children enrolled in the system. Could all this hoopla over a rarely-consulted resource book be ostensible rhetoric for a larger anti-gay agenda? I think I’ll let Catholic board spokesperson John Shewchuk’s jugement stand on this one: “It seems fairly obvious this group isn’t as concerned about Catholic schools and Catholic education as they would have local Catholics believe.”

The board has kept the book available in a central teacher’s resource library.

Nicaraguan Law Spells Trouble For Canadian Refugee

November 26th, 2007

Deportation

Alvaro Orozco, a gay refugee facing deportation to Nicaragua, is struggling to remain in Canada after his home country has started the process to decriminalize gay sex. While the reversal of Nicaragua’s invasive and discriminatory law is ultimately good news for gays in the country, homophobia and violence remains a problem.

Alvaro seeked Canadian citizenship after escaping Nicaragua at the age of 12 because his father beat him for being gay. His Calgarian adjudicator, Deborah Lamont, ordered his deportation, insisting that Alvaro failed to prove he was gay.

El-Farouk Khaki, Alvaro’s lawyer, said that repealing a gay sex ban won’t ensure the safety of his client:

The reality is that many queer people around the world still get persecuted in countries where homosexuality is not necessarily illegal. You have to take a look at societal attitudes and the police.

For more information on Alvaro and what you can do to help stop his deportation, read Ed Lee’s two-part guest post on Slap, which includes a plea from Alvaro himself.

Alberta Premier Reviews Anti-Gay Candidate

November 23rd, 2007

Ed Stelmach Reviews Craig Chandler

Can I hear a “Whaaaa?

Alberta’s Conservative Premier, Ed Stelmach, is reviewing a party candidate’s nomination over anti-gay remarks.

Craig Chandler, who won the Calgary nomination of Calgary-Egmont this month, was sanctioned by the Human Rights Commission in January over a hateful, anti-gay letter published on his website and by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council for a libelous tirade against a gay man on his radio program.

Still, something’s askew. For those of you unfamiliar with Alberta politics, being reviewed by the provincial Conservative party for anti-gay remarks is pretty darn odd. Just last year, a private member’s bill that would have permitted civil marriage commissioners to deny their public services to gays and forced teachers to send out parental warnings before acknowledging the existence of same-sex marriage was defeated only through strategic means. Stelmach even awarded the private member that introduced the bill a cabinet position.

Now, I know things have changed in Alberta since the King Ralph days, but am I the only one that thinks this review could potentially amount to martyrdom?

Mind you, I suspect Ed simply wants to strategically distance himself further from Chandler’s potentially party-harming views. I’d certainly still be reeling from what Chandler wrote on his official political blog back in August: “To those of you who have come to our great land from out of province, you need to remember that you came here to our home and we vote conservative. […] This is our home and if you wish to live here, you must adapt to our rules and our voting patterns, or leave.”

More Churches Bless Gay Couples

November 21st, 2007

Blessings for (almost) everyone!

Montréal and Niagara are the two latest Anglican churches to approve the blessing of same-sex couples within the past month, defying a national decree to disallow such blessings.

The Canadian Anglican Church decided in June that same-sex blessings are compatible with core church doctrine, but decreed that they be banned anyway. This mixed message has caused a bizarre rift in the church, with several priests being ejected for blessing couples. That may sound a little drastic, but I’m assured that there’s nothing quite like blessing a loving couple within the parish community to undermine years of goodwill, charity, and other selfless services to the Church.

Bishop Leaves Canada Over Gay Marriage

November 19th, 2007

Leaving Canada

Don Harvey, an Anglican bishop, has become so distraught over gays being able to marry in Canada that he has decamped the country entirely. His destination: Southern Cone, a province in South America where gay rights are presumably unlikely to advance for several hundred dozen fiscal years.

Oh Don, whatever shall we do without you?

In related news, a choleric 7-year-old from Manitoba has run away from home after her parents insisted she eat her vegetables.

Where’s Mark?

November 16th, 2007

Road Slap

If you’re reading this, it means I wasn’t able to find Internet access in time for today’s post. Well, that—or I’ve met an untimely demise.

In the meantime, here are some of my personal favourite Slaps in the past year:

Have a great weekend, kids!

Tidbits From The (Pink) Road

November 14th, 2007

Road Slap

Well, I’m on the road—gone to Atlanta, U.S.A. for a lovely few days of unbearable boredom, followed by a trip out west to see family before flights get expensive.

Hey! Let’s do the news roundup thing!

Québec’s “gay baby” campaign, featuring a picture of a newborn with a “homosexual” hospital armband, has been imported to Europe. While the campaign was praised in Canada, LGBT groups in Italy have criticized it for correlating homosexuality with disease. Conservative groups in Italy have also criticized the ad, presumably for, oh, not condemning gays to the sulfurous caverns of purgatory.

Canadian Blood Services met with students at the University of Western Ontario to clarify their policy to permanently bar gay male blood donors. Apparently, instead of “traditional” blood, gay men feature a different, incompatible circulatory fluid: homo-bismol.

A special Remembrance Day wreath honouring Canada’s gay veterans was laid during Ottawa’s ceremonies on Sunday. Instead of poppies, the wreath featured pink carnations. Next for the wreath-laying organization: trademark the carnation image and legally threaten anyone else who tries to honour war dead with the flower.

Until Friday, kids!

Remembrance

November 12th, 2007

Remembrance Day

Today is the day after Remembrance Day.

Each year, I reach a greater understanding of the necessity to remember that which I’ve never experienced. I’ve been spared the terrors of war, thanks to those who chose not to be.

I’m forever grateful.

Corner Gas Creators Pitch Gay Gumshoe

November 9th, 2007

Gay Film Noir

It’s Friday; let’s go for some fun news today!

The creators of Corner Gas are in talks to televise a series of novels about a gay detective in Saskatoon. The show, tentatively titled Quant, is based on the popular Russell Quant mystery novels, written by Canadian author Anthony Bidulka. Bidulka is understandably ecstatic:

I’m thrilled that CTV saw enough merit in the books and idea behind the Russell Quant character to take us to this new level. I have no idea whether or not this will amount to a whole hill of beans but I have fingers crossed and am enjoying the journey.

Strangely, Breakthrough Films does not mention anything about the main character’s homosexuality in their online press release, but Bidulka doesn’t appear concerned that the producers will turn his detective straight. The character’s gayness is an important theme in the novels. “That’s the selling feature,” Bidulka noted.

Good luck to all involved in the project!

Until Monday, kids!

Town Hall Cancels AIDS-Awareness Tribute

November 7th, 2007

Truro Ninja

The town of Truro, Nova Scotia, has backed out of an agreement to fly an AIDS awareness flag on World AIDS Day later this month.

Truro, in case you forgot, is the town that refused to fly a Pride flag in August. The Mayor rationalized that decision with his famous press announcement: “If I have a group of people that says pedophiles should have rights, do we raise their flag too?”

Unlike the Pride flag fiasco, the town previously agreed to fly the AIDS-awareness flag, but is now backing down. The town says their newly-formed policy to fly government flags only supersedes any existing agreements.

No flags for anyone. Yeah, that ought to solve the issue.

Wikipedia Cleared Of Gay Defamation

November 5th, 2007

Wikipedia War

Three French nationals have lost their defamation lawsuit against Wikipedia. The three sued Wikipedia for 69,000 euros each after an article about them claimed they were gay activists.

Wait… Being called a gay activist could be worth €69k in reparation? I know the case lost in France, but it’s gotta be uncontested in Canada! If I’m play my cards right, Cha-ching!

Cambodian PM Publicly Disowns Lesbian Daughter

November 2nd, 2007

First Daughter

Here’s a tidbit delivered to recent school graduates by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday:

My daughter has married a woman. Now I just asked the court to cut her out of the family.

I was disappointed. I can educate an entire nation, but I cannot educate this adopted daughter.

How sweet of him to demonstrate unconditional love so succinctly.

Mr. Sen added that, while the media and educational forums taught him that it’s OK to be gay, when his daughter came out of the closet he “didn’t know what to do.” In Cambodian prime minister and nation-educator terms, that means “you’re outta the family!”

My thoughts are with the daughter—adopted daughter—during this no doubt painful experience. Everyone deserves love, and I’m happy she’s found it despite the cost. Keep that chin up, kiddo!

As for Mr. Sen… He obviously isn’t terrifically keen about the gays. I wonder how he feels about all those Cambodian babies adopted by gay couples everywhere. Though, from his personal record, I guess he doesn’t care about adopted babies that much.