Here are all the fantastically amazing entries posted during August, 2009
Hey kids! My flight arrived in late from a super gay wedding (That’s gay as in happy; all weddings are gay!), so there’s no new post today. Things will be back to normal on Wednesday, though!
It looks like the transgender community is being left in the dust after some government-approved language changes at Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and the Canadian International Development Agency. All occurrences of “gender equality” in policy documents have been replaced with “equality of men and women,” leaving out everyone in-between.
Lindsay Mossman, a campaigner at Amnesty International, said the change is more significant than it may seem:
[Equality of men and women] is language that was used in development circles years ago. Language has progressed for reasons and moved forward and the Canadian government doesn’t seem to be reflecting [that].
Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon (henceforth known as Alien Matters Manager Orderance Trebuchet) confirmed to the press (henceforth known as the ironing) that some of the wording changes did, indeed, signal a change in policy, although he wouldn’t confirm whether this change was one of them. If this is a policy change, it has implications for immigrants and refugees, as well as funding decisions for GLBT organisations. Sneaky sneaky!
- Gay Rights Groups Decry Language Changes [Embassy]
Not long after Alberta’s decision to eliminate all forms of gender reassignment surgery from its public health care, Manitoba has followed suit, calling it an “unnecessary treatment” and citing savings for the economy. The surgery would affect only an estimated 20 Manitobans per year.
The Manitoba Health Department had previously suggested to the government that the province completely fund all forms of gender reassignment surgeries on the grounds that it dramatically improves the lives of people who suffer from a recognized disorder. A document prepared by the Health Department described the necessity clearly, but was dismissed by Gary Doer’s NDP government:
Manitoba has no standards of care for Gender Identify Disorder in spite of the fact that internationally accepted standards exist. Coverage is denied on the basis that treatments are cosmetic, experimental or not medically necessary, contrary to all available evidence.
Ontario had previously tried to delist gender reassignment surgery from its public health care, but was forced to re-introduce it by the Human Rights Commission ten years ago.
- NDP denies request [Winnipeg SUN]
Looks like there’s even more evidence that us gays control the weather! A Minnesota pastor has announced that a tornado which terrorized Minneapolis last week is the direct consequence of an effort to allow the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to bless celibate, gay couples who vow to remain “chaste, monogamous, and lifelong.”
Pastor John Piper said that city’s downtown Lutheran church had its steeple damaged because “Jesus Christ controls the wind, including all tornadoes,” emphasizing that all destruction was a sign that the church needs to “turn from the promotion of behaviours that lead to destruction.
The church was amidst discussions to possibly bless and acknowledge gay parishioners, so long as they do nothing to express each other’s love physically. The measure passed on Thursday with exactly the two-thirds majority required, and not one vote more.
Now, you all better stay on my good side or—so help me—I’ll summon some moderately strong winds to topple over your patio furniture. Mark my words, you will be inconvenienced!
- Baptist Preacher Says Minneapolis Tornado was Message from God [Digital Journal]
Twenty years ago today, Alain Brosseau was walking home from his job waiting tables at the Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa when he was attacked and killed by a group of men because they thought he was gay. He wasn’t.
To mark the tragic event, the Ottawa community is organising a show of solidarity called Walk The Bridge In My Shoes. It begins tonight at 7pm, starting with the viewing of a 1996 documentary at the National Art Gallery and concluding with a walk down the Alexandra Bridge, where Brosseau was dropped head-first onto a pile of rocks. Organisers encourage all participants to bring cell phones or flashlights to light up the bridge, while the Ottawa and Gatineau Chiefs of Police meet mid-way for a symbolic exchange.
Twenty years ago may seem like a while, but gay bashings are still a reality and you don’t need to be gay to become a victim. These incidents will not go unnoticed; homophobia needs to be nipped in the bud.
- Ceremony to mark 1989 fatal gay-bashing [CBC News]
A Lesbian couple in Vancouver is complaining to the media after a bus driver told them the city’s Sunday family special didn’t apply to lesbian couples.
Vancouver public transit allows up to two adults and four children to board a bus using a single FareCard, but when Ashlee Gowriluk and her girlfriend tried this, they say they were told this only applied to opposite-sex couples. Even when Gowriluk called the transit authority with her cell phone confirming that the Sunday special applies to any two adults, the bus driver refused to acknowledge the policy, instead driving off announcing that he would never stop for them again.
A spokesperson for Coast Mountain Bus Company, the operator of public transit in Vancouver, said the company is investigating the incident. Not being happy with a mere investigation, Slap Upside The Head is starting a petition demanding that all drivers be replaced with adorable, bus-driving robots.
Hey kids! I’m taking a day off after an amazing Pride weekend here in Montréal. Fret not, though! Regular posting will resume Wednesday.
Masturbation and “homosexual activities” will significantly increase the body’s susceptibility to Swine Flu—at least according to Dr. V. M. Palaniappan, a Malaysian practitioner of complimentary therapy.
Dr. Palaniappan says that his 33 years of research shows that heat friction brought on by homosexual activities will turn the body “hyperacidised,” increasing opportunities of infection by H1N1, the virus causing Swine Flu. Palaniappan emphasised, however, that intercourse between opposite-sex partners was “absolutely safe,” presumably because heterosexual sex is less hot.
Hey, who am I to question science?
Now, if you didn’t get this news in time and are worried that your body has become hyperacidised with acidosity brought on by ultragayification, Dr. Palaniappan does have some advice. Drinking coconut water twice daily, he says, may help counteract the acidity caused by gay friction.
Thanks to all of the Slap readers who sent in this bit of ridiculousness!
Here’s an odd bit of donut drama. Tim Hortons, Canada’s largest fast food chain, (yes—even bigger than McDonald’s) was spotted officially sponsoring an anti-gay political rally to be held in Rhode Island, U.S.A. next week.
National Organization for Marriage, the anti-gay organisation responsible for last spring’s silly ad campaign equating gay marriage to a violent storm, had approached Tim Hortons to sponsor a push for heterosexual-only marriage. Tim Hortons, oddly, obliged—apparently violating their own policy:
Tim Hortons does not sponsor individuals, those representing religious groups, political affiliates, book endoresements or traveling sports teams.
Thankfully, a few hours after word reached the online world, Tim Hortons quickly pulled their support entirely, releasing a statement and minimal apology, offering regret for any misunderstandings.
Quick and sweet. Just like a timbit.
David Popescu, the fringe candidate from Sudbury who declared that all gay people should be killed while speaking in front of high school students at a candidate’s debate, has been found guilty of inciting hatred under Canada’s criminal code.
Popescu, already a sentenced criminal for striking his elderly mother in 2003, tried to shield his immoral actions behind a cowardly veil of religious beliefs, saying that he’s just acting the way the bible wants him to. Thankfully, the courts do not accept that uttering death threats and inciting hatred toward an entire population is OK because one interprets their religious texts as such.
- Popescu guilty of promoting hatred [Sudbury Star]
The American Psychological Association has finished a two-year review of their 1997 policy denouncing reparative, conversion therapy for gays. The final verdict: “There is no evidence that sexual orientation change efforts work.”
This latest investigation, launched in 2007, reviewed over 80 studies on the subject of gay conversion therapies published between 1960 to present. The 183-page conclusion, which was released on Wednesday, states that “contrary to claims of sexual orientation change advocates and practitioners, there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation.”
The APA removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in 1973, and has warned that any attempt to change sexual orientation can be harmful to the healthy development of individuals. With this latest report, the APA also condemns non-professionals who portray homosexuality as a developmental disorder, saying that they should instead “increase family and school support and reduce rejection of sexual minority youth.”
While the report is all well and good, this exhaustive review really just reinforces what medical professionals have already known for years: gay conversion therapies don’t work because there’s nothing to cure. Whether you’re gay, lesbian, straight, or anything in-between, you’re every bit as worthy of love as anyone else!
Kari Simpson, an anti-gay lobbyist, has lost her Human Rights Complaint against the B.C. Education Ministry, which she claimed had not done enough to help schoolchildren who “suffer from homosexuality and other dysfunctional sexual orientations.”
The amusingly dumb complaint argued that B.C. schools were actively denying students access to “sexual re-orientation therapies.”
No such students joined in on her class-action complaint.
The reparative conversion therapy that Kari refers to, incidentally, has been discredited and condemned by the entire professional medical community, denounced as being actively harmful to healthy development of individuals. Organisations that have gone on record to oppose the ineffective practise include The American Psychological Association, The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Medical Association, The American Counselling Association, The American Psychiatric Association, among several others.
When I first wrote about Kari’s complaint in March, I said that she likely knew all of this and intended to lose her own complaint, setting herself up for a ridiculous form of martyrdom to a tiny, but obsessive audience of anti-gay activists. Sure enough, she wasted no time playing the victim card, announcing that the decision has laid “the groundwork for a case of systemic discrimination,” and that the Human Rights Commission “conveniently assisted” her to that effect.
Essentially, the complaint—in addition to wasting time and resources from people who have real human rights complaints to launch—was just a selfish attempt to leverage attention and spread the weak myth that gay people don’t exist; that they’re just dysfunctional straight people who need help escaping their sin.
It’s the same, failed strategy with these anti-gay lobbyists. Kari feels no need to stop and reflect on why no student covered by her class-action complaint enthusiastically joined the endeavour, because she knows that no such student exists. It’s all just pretend compassion, used for selfish, political ends.
Albanian Prime Minister, Sali Berisha, has proposed the nationwide legalisation of same-sex marriage last week. This would be a massive step forward for the country, where homosexuality was illegal as recent as 1995.
The move has surprised even gay rights groups, who had been fighting in smaller steps—most recently calling for laws against workplace discrimination.
Of course, there will still be a lot of work to be done in order to change deeply held misconceptions about gay people in Albania, but if all goes as it should, soon the country will achieve a level of equal rights matched only by the awesomeness of their flag!
Hat tip to Slap reader “Northern Piper” for the story!