Here are all the fantastically amazing entries posted during September, 2008

Study: Gun-Toting Canadians Don’t Like Gays

September 29th, 2008

A study conducted by Wilfred Laurier University has found that gun-toting voters held the same opinions on controversial topics than non gun owners—with exactly one exception: Same-sex marriage.

Using data donated by Ipsos Reid, researchers noted that of the 5,954 gun-owning Canadians polled, same-sex marriage was the only topic that gun owners opposed in numbers significantly higher than the rest of the Canadian population. Despite their similarities in opinion on other topics, gun owners were also 10% more likely to vote for the Conservative party, which has historically opposed gay rights.

Interesting stuff! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go pick out some lead curtains.

Gay Conservative Candidate Resigns

September 26th, 2008

Chris Reid, one of very, very few gay Conservatives, has resigned his candidacy in the riding of Toronto Centre over some pretty odd comments.

In a now defunct blog entitled Political Thoughts from a Gay Conservative, Reid said the gay community was intolerant and only capable of “promoting promiscuity, drug usage, and prostitution” and declared that Canadians had become “a castrated effeminate population” because they don’t carry concealed handguns:

[Concealed handguns are] the only proven way to reduce violent crime and murder. If women and gays really wanted to stop being victims of hate crimes, they’d be in support of this, but judging from discussions, they’d rather be helpless and rely on government.

Oh yeah, Toronto Centre would be so into this. The only proven way to reduce violent hate crimes: thousands upon thousands of handguns!

Tip o’ the hat goes to Montréal Simon for the story.

Social Justice Course Yanked By Religious Groups

September 24th, 2008

Religious groups in Abbotsford, B.C. have successfully lobbied to gut a high school social justice course of all gay rights content, and even cancelled the course altogether in most of the district’s schools.

In a letter to the B.C. Ministry of Education, the Abbotsford School District ostensibly suggested that the optional course was “too challenging” for senior high school students, saying it would be “more suited for second- or third-year sociology students.” More revealing, the board said they were concerned that teachers might inject a “personal bias” in their lessons, causing students to be “more biased and less tolerant of opposing beliefs because of misinformation.”

Anti-gay lobbyists had protested the course since it’s inception, first falsely informing parents that it was a mandatory subject (it’s an elective) and later encouraging parents to sign a petition to get the course pulled. The controversy was due to content on the topics of homophobia, heterosexism, and other gay issues.

While most of Abbotsford’s schools cancelled the course before any students were able to sign up, W.J. Mouat Secondary didn’t get the memo in time and had to gut the course of gay content instead, leaving the 90 students that had signed up to take the course confused and angry.

A spokesperson for the ministry of education said that schools aren’t required to offer the course, but disagreed with Abbotsford’s assessment, saying that no other schools had a problem with the subject matter and that last year’s trials of the course were successful.

Abbotsford will reportedly replace the ministry’s course with a new, environmentally-friendly one that teaches kids how to recycle diversity books into bibles.

Study: Gays Are Not Inherently Unhealthy

September 22nd, 2008

A study of over 400 gay and bisexual men by the University of Minnesota has shown that internalized homophobia, and not simply being gay, leads to poor mental and sexual health.

Results are to be published in the esteemed medical journal, Dr. Obvious’ Journal of Obviously Obvious Obviousness.

Still, the study is actually pretty important because it runs counter to the claims of anti-gay lobby groups who repeatedly assert that gay people are somehow inherently miserable—spotlighting some ill-defined (but always destructive) lifestyle that all gay people are supposed to share. As an actual gay person, I can say that’s just nutty; so, while my official reaction to this study is an enthusiastic “well, duh“, it is kind of nice that someone went through the menial task of putting it on the record. And put in such a blunt way, as Dr. Simon Rosser, one of the researchers, demonstrates:

Given the debates in many religious denominations about homosexuality, and in society about homosexuals and civil rights, [this research] is also timely. In particular, the old advice to gay men to fight, deny, or minimize their homosexuality likely only increases depression, greater isolation, and poorer sexual health.

So, there you have it. Love yourself for who you are, and you’ll be better off for it. And, as a small aside, why not start with some delicious gay pasta, courtesy of the McGill Daily?

Italy’s Gay Policemen Come Out En Mass

September 19th, 2008

Gay policemen in Italy are staging a mass coming-out in protest of anti-gay discrimination in the force.

A spokesperson for the event, Nicola Cicchitti, called the protest a way to counter “creeping discrimination” in the force, where officers often feel the need to stay closeted to avoid ostracism and forced transfers.

Organizers started the event after a gay officer was sanctioned by the force after winning a gay beauty contest posing in uniform for the Mr. Uniform category. Next year he’ll reportedly avoid this by entering in his second-favourite category: Mr. Casual Autumn Wear.

Those Wacky MPs

September 17th, 2008

Now that it’s election time, Xtra has a great list of crazy MPs that maybe should have worn their muzzle just a little tighter in the past few years.

I won’t spoil all the fun, but the list includes such gems as Cheryl Gallant:

The danger of having sexual orientation just listed [in hate crimes legislation], that encompasses, for example, paedophiles.

Garry Breitkreuz:

In the 1950s buggery was a criminal offence. Now it’s a requirement to receive benefits from the federal government.

And who could forget Harold Albrecht:

Same-sex marriage will succeed in wiping out an entire society in just one generation.

For some added fun, guess the party from which most of them hail. OK, I’ll give you a hint: it’s not the Green party… or that yogic flying one.

Hit Song Banned In US Over Supposed Gay Subtext

September 15th, 2008

Chasing Pavements, a hit song by UK artist Adele, has reportedly been banned by some radio stations in the United States over bizarre claims that the mellow pop song is actually a gay anthem.

Adele, speaking at the Nationwide Mercury awards last week, expressed disappointment over the whole incident, insisting that there’s absolutely nothing gay in the song:

Some weirdo on the Net wrote that Chasing Pavements was about being gay, which isn’t true at all. Because of that some radio stations in the States wouldn’t play it.

Adele said that the controversy started after an anonymous user posted an entry at Urban Dictionary, a slang dictionary website to which anyone can contribute definitions. The term “chasing pavements” was not on the site until after the song was released, but is now defined as something… err, not terrifically fitting for such a laid back ballad. Weirder still, there’s nothing in the rogue definition that is necessarily gay-related, making me wonder why all this gayness entered the picture in the first place.

Still, those of you who want to hear this filthy, filthy song can catch it on YouTube.

Research Shocker: Gays Don’t Vote Conservative!

September 12th, 2008

The Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy has released the shocking conclusion of a 36,000-person political study: Gay people don’t vote for the Conservative party!

I’ll… give you a moment to absorb that.

The report, made from data donated by Ipsos Reid, states that only 7.3% of gay men and 10.4% of lesbians voted for the Conservatives in the last federal election, compared to 40.7% of straight men and 32.4% of straight women. More interestingly, though, the study revealed who they did did vote for. Gay men were more likely to vote Liberal, at roughly 40%, while lesbians generally voted for the NDP in the same percentage.

The Tories, who have been completely shaken by these results, have vowed to win back the gay community by purchasing more fashionable and better-fitting sweater vests for all of Harper’s future anti-gay press releases.

Conservatives Run Gay Candidat—What?

September 10th, 2008

Vancouver’s Lorne Mayencourt, a gay Liberal MLA with a strong record of supporting AIDS research and anti-bullying campaigns, is running for a seat in the federal election as a… Conservative candidate?

Yes, after vehemently opposing equal marriage rights, fighting against adding gays to protective hate crimes legislation, axing the minority protections in the court challenges program, appointing an anti-gay lobby member to an influential government job, appointing a Supreme Court Judge that had formerly called equal marriage unconstitutional, and even drafting a bill that would make it legal for public servants to discriminate against gay people, the Tories have welcomed an openly gay MLA from a provincial Liberal party.

While I don’t take this as evidence that the Conservatives are no longer hostile toward gays, I do think it would be nice to have a gay influence among the Tory seats. If it came down to it.

Church Predicts Brimstone For Katy Perry

September 8th, 2008

A tiny church in Backlick, Ohio has drawn some ire from local residents over its illuminated sign out front: “I kissed a girl and I liked it. Then I went to hell.”

The text is, of course, a reference to a hit song by Katy Perry, though I’m not sure why they don’t share the world’s enthusiasm for mass-manufactured pop music. When asked about the sign, Reverend Dave Allison said that the message shouldn’t be a shock to anyone, saying that the sign was posted “as a loving warning to teens.”

Aw, gee. That really makes you feel loved, doesn’t it?

Vatican Orders MP To Leave Parliament

September 5th, 2008

The Vatican has ordered a Bloc Québecois MP, Rev. Raymond Gravel, to quit his post in Canadian parliament and return to being a Roman Catholic priest. Vatican officials indicated that Gravel’s support of same-sex marriage and women’s rights were the cause of the order.

This isn’t the first time The Vatican has ordered a public official to leave politics. From a Globe and Mail article: (emphasis mine)

In 1984, the Vatican also ordered Rev. Robert Ogle to give up his New Democratic Party seat in the House, in a bid to avoid a blurring of lines between the secular and spiritual worlds.

You heard it here first, kids: The Vatican always abstains from debating or influencing public policy!

Rev. Gravel expressed disappointment at having to leave politics, but said he had no choice but to comply, as being a priest was his first calling.

Schools Demand Signed Declaration For Gay Students

September 3rd, 2008

Four schools in Auckland, New Zealand, have barred students from taking same-sex partners to the prom unless they sign a contract declaring they are homosexual, according to the New Zealand Human Rights Commission.

Sarafin Dillon, an education officer for Rainbow Youth, was disappointed by the reports, saying that forcing students to sign contracts would only increase “the ridicule and the whispers” that gay students face.

A spokesperson for the schools responded by nervously wielding a torch and backing into a corner, stuttering “Reveal yourselves! Where are you? Show yourselves! GAAAAH!