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

Slappy Holidays, Everyone!

December 24th, 2007

Gay Christmas Gift

Hey kids!

Well, I’m taking a short break for the holidays.

On behalf of this abstract collection of electronic bits called a website, have an exceptionally fantastic holiday! And, for those that celebrate it, may your Christmas be joyful and gay… in a homosexual way, if applicable.

Take care, folks!

Anti-Gay Activist Must Pay Fine

December 21st, 2007

Religious Freedom Violation! Religious Freedom Violation!

Bill Whatcott, a hysterical anti-gay activist, male nurse, and former mayoral candidate, must pay a $17,000 fine for violating human rights after an appeal of a 2005 ruling was denied.

Whatcott was fined two years ago for what the human rights tribunal called “a clear pattern of practice of disregard for protected rights.” The complaint was launched against him in retaliation of a mass mailing that called gay people pedophiles and child molesters. He was found guilty to having incited hatred, but refused to pay the fine (and unwittingly raised money for some truly worthwhile causes).

As the mere thought of gay people being right makes all of Bill’s eye capillaries burst, he has vowed to bring his case to the provincial appeals court.

Incidentally, Bill was in the news earlier this year for his unusual campaign to run for Mayor in Edmonton’s October municipal election. His platform was based almost entirely on an anti-gay agenda, but included promises to alter zoning bylaws to prohibit abortion clinics, dismantle Edmonton’s hate crime’s unit, and end all funding for animal shelters and the arts.

He lost spectacularly.

NDP Dumps Transgendered Candidate

December 19th, 2007

The Transgendered Lawyer

The federal New Democratic Party has dropped their only transgendered candidate, Ms. Micheline Montreuil, from her Québec City riding.

Party officials contend that Ms. Montreuil’s dismissal was over her tendency to play solo instead of work as a team for the next election, but Montreuil—a lawyer—claims she was dumped from the party over her gender identity.

Raymond Guardia, the co-chair of Québec’s election planning committee, said that’s utter nonsense:

If [gender identity] was an issue in our party, then she wouldn’t have been nominated in the first place.

What we have witnessed since her nomination is that she has been a bit of a lone player, and as we get ready for an election, we need candidates who aren’t playing alone.

Frankly, I believe Raymond. While I don’t want to understate the very real discrimination that transgendered people face on a day-to-day basis, Ms. Montreuil has a history of blaming work-related problems on her gender identity and it strikes me as unlikely that the NDP—of all parties—would dump a candidate over this.

Here’s what Ms. Montreuil told the media:

They just said I do not fit in the NDP anymore. They also told me [that] many people who wish to be a candidate for the NDP do not wish to have their name associated with the name of Micheline Montreuil, because I am transgendered.

Would an image-conscious political party that prides itself on inclusion, diversity, and tolerance outright say that? And to a lawyer? Colour me skeptical.

Ms. Montreuil was awarded $40,000 by a human rights tribunal last month after she wasn’t hired as a grievance officer for the Canadian Forces back in 2003. She also won a case in 2004 after the National Bank didn’t hire her as a customer service rep.

Santa’s Potty Mouth Shuts Down Canada Post Program

December 17th, 2007

Assy and Homophobic Santa

Canada Post has temporarily shut down their Write To Santa program—a volunteer-run promotion in which children get a personalized response to their wish list from Santa at the North Pole. The program, which has been in effect since 1982 (Heck, I remember writing to Santa as a kid), relies on thousands of Canada Post volunteers adding a hand-written message to a form response in any of the world’s languages.

The unfortunate shutdown is an emergency response after some peculiar responses were sent on behalf of the jolly gift-giver. Here’s what was sent to a two-year-old and ten-year-old child in Ottawa on Friday:

Your mom sucks dick and your dad is gay.
P.S. This letter is too long, you dumb shit.

Ho Ho Ho-ly crap! Sounds like Santa has officially snapped from the holiday stress—and he managed to pepper in some homophobia while being a total ass to Children. Class act, that Santa.

Canada Post is horrified. 10 cases of Santa’s foul-mouthed responses have been reported and the company has advised parents not to open Santa’s letters in front of children. Behind the scenes, an internal investigation is underway and each unsent letter is being opened, inspected, and re-sent. A volunteer tracking system is also being developed to prevent this sort of incident from happening next year.

Now, remember kids: The tracking program won’t be ready for a while, so once this year’s program is re-started, it won’t be too late to get your own traumatizing reply from Santa! Send your Christmas wish-list to:

Santa Claus
The North Pole
Canada, H0H 0H0

Tip o’ the hat to unrepentant old hippie.

Sea of Pink Sweeps The Nation

December 14th, 2007

Pink Tidal Wave

There was a story back in September about a grade 9 kid who was bullied and called homophobic names for wearing a pink shirt on the first day of school.

The next day, two of his classmates campaigned online and arrived with dozens of pink shirts, turning the school into a “sea of pink.”

Heartwarmingly enough, the campaign seems to have spread! Hundreds of students at Balfour Collegiate in Regina Saskatchewan donned their pinkest garments this week in protest of homophobia and bullying. Micheil Rothwell, a grade 10 student, said the event was sorely needed:

This is really important today because everywhere people think it is OK to make homophobic remarks. They think it is OK to say, “That’s gay.” But we are here today saying that it is not OK. We are not going to tolerate it anymore.

It’s only been 10 years since I graduated from high school, and I’m impressed by how much attitudes have changed. Mind you, I went through the Catholic system, which is a tad behind the times; there, books are still considered dangerous.

On Free Speech and Hate Speech

December 12th, 2007

Free Speech or Hate Speech

Late last month, the Alberta Human Rights Commission ruled that an anti-gay letter written by Stephen Boisson, a former member of the Concerned Christian Coalition, violated provincial human rights codes.

Now, I wrote about what I thought about the case when it was brought in front of the commission, and clarified those thoughts a little a few weeks later in a very special mail bag segment. Now that the case is concluded, I thought I’d share some more thoughts.

I’m not sure how easily understood this is unless you are one of the people threatened by the letter, but being called “as immoral as pedophiles, drug dealers and pimps” and then having a call to action issued against you as open-ended as “take whatever steps are necessary to reverse the wickedness [of the] homosexual machine” is scary. Unlike Boisson, I firmly believe that being gay is neither a choice nor an alterable trait and support activism that seeks equal rights grounded by this view. From this perspective, the letter is somewhat of a doom sentence. If my “wickedness” can’t be reversed, what remaining steps are left to stop me? Would anyone take the letter’s instruction to heart? Perhaps someone did, as a violent anti-gay attack occurred two days after the letter was published.

But what about from Boisson’s perspective? He doesn’t believe gay people exist: only straight sinners. Did he really call for the violence that occurred after his letter’s publication? There’s only circumstantial evidence linking the two, though the letter probably helped foster an environment where a physical attack was considered an appropriate action by the perpetrators.

Here’s the tricky thing. The letter was strongly worded, but vague—a meticulously constructed plan to assert territory in a legal grey area. Whether or not it calls for outright hatred and violence depends on the reader’s interpretation.

Ethically speaking, should the letter have been written? Absolutely not. It was an unnecessary and consequential assertion; a total confusion of one’s right to do something and the right thing to do.

Should one be fined for writing such a sufficiently vague letter, though? I’m still conflicted—not that it matters much. The issue has been decided, hasn’t it?

A Gay Ol’ Retirement Home

December 10th, 2007

Retirement Home

Retirement homes aren’t always the most welcoming environment for elderly gays. Homophobia and rejection are common, and Dean Malone and Darren Stoltz have decided to help put an end to it.

The two business men run Plum Living, which provides in-home care for aging gay and lesbians. Their business has been so successful that they are now planning to build a luxury care home for retired gay folk. Malone said the project is getting lots of support:

We told people about the meetings through our little network of people and word of mouth and expected maybe 10 or 15 people to show up. We got more than 50 people at each meeting, so I think this is something that the community wants.

Adorable! I may still have some years before I’m eligible to live there, but I wonder if they’ll offer a pride-flag crocheting course?

More Anglicans Leave Over Gay Blessings

December 7th, 2007

Church shut down

Two more parishes have split from the Canadian Anglican Church over same-sex blessings. The churches will now serve under an orthodox Argentinian archibishop who wholeheartedly opposes blessings for gay couples.

Reverend Archie Pell, a member of one of the breakaway congregations, was ecstatic over the move:

We are thrilled to be embraced by a God-fearing Province that allows us to remain fully Anglican and fully in communion with the worldwide Anglican Church. We no longer have to feel alone.

Alone… You mean like the gay people of faith who no longer have a place at your parish, Reverend?

University Plastered With Homophobic Messages

December 5th, 2007

Hateful Fliers For Campus Security

Campus police at the University of Windsor have issued a security alert after several homophobic and racist messages were found across campus. While the content of the messages is a mystery, it was disturbing enough for the Office of the President to issue an open letter to the university community:

There have been [incidents that] deeply concern us involving abusive language and intimidating behaviour towards gay students at the Faculty of Law. The University of Windsor is committed to fostering an inclusive campus […] however, considerable progress must be made before we are able to realize such an environment.

What, no attempt at sugar-coating the university’s progress on their vision of an diverse and tolerant campus? Why, that could only mean there’s a delightfully ironic twist somewhere here!

Yes, it turns out that one of the racist incidents mentioned in the letter involved members of a campus social justice community committed to “diversity and equity and the education of future generations of young people.”

I’d say the university’s vision needs work.

Tory Candidate Booted

December 3rd, 2007

Craig the Independent

It’s official. Craig Chandler, Tory nominee for Calgary-Egmont, has had his candidacy rejected by Premer Ed Stelmach over anti-gay human rights violations.

Undeterred, Chandler vows to run as an independent.

And with that, an Alberta tory has been ousted over anti-gay views. Do do do do do do do do…

(That was supposed to be the theme to the Twilight Zone.)