OK, kiddo! Here are all the fantastically amazing posts tagged with Federal NDP
Canada has a new, openly gay MP this week after a byelection on Monday filled Jack Layton’s old seat with the NDP’s Craig Scott. Congratulations, Craig!
I’ve got some particularly cool news today!
The federal New Democratic Party, Canada’s official opposition, unanimously adopted a resolution over the weekend to revoke the charitable status of unscientific “ex-gay” organisations, including Exodus Global Alliance.
The resolution, which was presented and adopted the NDP’s 2011 policy convention in Vancouver, should be welcome news to anyone, but it’ll be music to the ears of most Slap readers. The resolution’s introductory speech, prepared and delivered by Matthew McLaughlin, the party’s outgoing LGBT co-chair, explains it nicely.
Delegates, an investigation published in September 2010 by [the] LGBT news blog Slap Upside The Head revealed that Exodus Global Alliance, an ex-gay organisation, enjoys registered charity status with the Canada Revenue Agency. Ex-gay organisations claim that gay, lesbian, and bisexual people can be made straight. They take advantage of LGB people, often in vulnerable family situations or at grips with depression and self-hatred, and browbeat them—saying that LGB people never live happy lives, that we are unhealthy and unwhole, and that we never experience love and that the only hope lies in their therapies. [...] We see that they are selling snake oil with benefits given to them by the Canada Revenue Agency at present.
Indeed, a plea to take action against Canada’s phony ex-gay charities has been a recurring theme on this site ever since I heard about New Zealand’s rejection of Exodus’ charitable status; I discovered that not only had Canada granted it, but that Exodus has been enjoying registered charity status in this country for years.
Ex-gay organisations, like Exodus, abuse already troubled gay people, often for political means, telling them that being gay is inherently dangerous and can be “overcome,” like addiction. The idea that sexual orientation is changeable, however, is rejected completely by every professional medical, psychological, and psychiatric organisation without dissent. This includes the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Medical Association, and many more. In fact, they’ve all gone on record to state that ex-gay therapy—attempts to change sexual orientation from gay to straight—is psychologically harmful and should never be practiced. This well-studied conclusion, based on mountains of evidence, is also supported by simple common sense. Ex-gay organisations simply teach gay people that their inherent traits are evil, scolding their “patients” for not being able to overcome it, resulting in serious psychological harm that often leads to depression or worse. Organisations that ex-gay advocates trot out as dissenting opinion are usually religiously-funded organisations with either explicit or guarded political ties.
Luckily, people have caught on to this important issue. hundreds of letters have been sent to the Canada Revenue Agency, emails have been delivered to MPs across the country, and a petition has been launched to help add a visible metric to this important issue—all in hopes that things would change.
And the NDP has heard us—in a big way.
Applause broke out during Matthew McLaughlin’s speech when he mentioned that New Zealand had rejected Exodus’ charitable status; the NDP’s new LGBT deputy critic and sitting MP, Dany Morin, stood and urged all delegates for their support; finally, Kaitlin Burnett, a member of the party’s LGBT caucus, spoke passionately in favour of the resolution, which passed unanimously to great applause. Everyone who worked hard to bring this resolution forward within the party deserves a great deal of thanks.
But we’re not done yet!
If the CRA doesn’t adhere to their own policies and pull Exodus’ charitable status immediately (and there hasn’t been any word that this is happening), legislation will need to be introduced. The NDP is clearly willing to make this happen, but they need to hear from you. Let them—and all other MPs that would have to vote on possible legislation—know that this is a priority for you. If you haven’t already signed the petition, or written a letter to the CRA and your MP, please do! It’s more important than ever right now.
Something’s definitely happening here, thanks to all of you. Let’s keep it up!
So, there’s an election happening in Canada. If you live here, I’m sure you’ve been following it very closely and consequently have lost most of your hair due to exasperated tugging. If you live outside of Canada, you’re probably still up to speed since the international news media incessantly reports on Canadian politics, just like they do for the United States. (Snicker.)
Now, with 308 seats up for grabs and most of the major parties running a candidate in each riding, there should be some queer representation out there. And, indeed there is! According to Xtra, here’s how it adds up:
At the top of the list, we’ve got the New Democratic Party (led by Jack Layton) which has 10 openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual candidates. Next up is the Green Party (led by Elizabeth May) with 5. The Liberal Party (led by Michael Ignatieff) comes in third place with 3. And, to the surprise of no one, the Conservatives (led by Dillwad McHamsterface) are dead last with zero.
These numbers are exactly what I’d expect. The NDP have always had a pretty good record in supporting equal rights for GLBT Canadians, alongside the Greens who also include equality in their platform. The Liberals are mostly supportive, with some division within the party, and the Conservatives, bafflingly, fight against equal rights with clockwork consistency, often even trying to strip these rights away. It’s no wonder then, that GLBT Canadians with political aspirations are largely associating themselves with the NDP and Greens.
Will any of these translate into seats? That’s a different question—and it’s up to you. Yes, you. Well, unless you don’t have Canadian citizenship, in which case please don’t vote in this election. That’d be illegal.
We’re getting heard, kids! The Quebec section of the federal New Democratic Party officially slapped into action over the weekend, unanimously adopting a position to revoke the charitable status of gay “curing” organisations in Canada.
Matt McLauchlin, president of the NDP’s LGBTT Commission, put it wonderfully in their press release. “It’s unacceptable,” McLauchlin said, “for the government of Canada to offer any support to a group whose aim is the elimination of homosexuality and bisexuality.”
“This [charitable] status must be immediately withdrawn and the Canada Revenue Agency must be vigilant to ensure that ex-gay groups never again receive such advantages,” he continued.
The Slap Into Action campaign started here in September, and since then letters have been sent to the CRA, politicians, and media personalities—and signatories include all kinds of people including medical professionals in the fields of medicine, psychology, psychiatry, and of course concerned people like you!
Keep sending your letters, let your MP know, let the CRA know, and keep spreading the word!
NDP MP Bill Siksay, fresh off of introducing the trans-friendly Bill C-389, has introduced a new bill that would ensure gender reassignment surgery is available and covered by our health care system.
Gender reassignment, though poorly understood by the general population, can radically improve the lives of transgendered individuals at a negligible cost to the health care system.
This bill would have been unnecessary, except that Alberta delisted sex reassignment surgery from public health coverage in April, claiming that it was necessary to help save the economy. Alberta officials supposedly wrote a report containing all the facts to back this claim up, but the dog ate it. Plus, there weren’t any working pens or pencils in their house. And they didn’t know it was due today, anyway.
- NDP MP Bill Siksay calls for coverage of sex reassignment surgery [The Georgia Straight]
NDP MP Bill Siksay, one of Canada’s first openly gay MPs, is once again introducing a private member’s bill to add transsexual and transgendered people to the list of minorities protected from hate crimes.
This is the third time the bill has been tabled, and Mr. Siksay has high hopes that it will actually be debated this time. The bill had been killed twice before it had an opportunity to be debated due to the dissolution and prorogation of parliament in previous sessions.
Persistence is key! Here’s hoping it gets some attention this time around.
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.
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.
- NDP dumped her for being transgendered, lawyer says [The Record]
- NDP pulls two Quebec candidates from roster [Toronto Star]
- Transgendered lawyer dumped as NDP candidate [Globe and Mail]
The federal New Democrats have called for a boycott of Jamaican musicians Elephant Man and Sizzla. Both are currently touring in Canada, though several venues have canceled performances and refunded tickets after the nature of their lyrics, which calls for the murder of gays, was brought to their attention.
NDP MP Bill Siksay said that these sort of performances have no place in Canada:
I hope that fans of Jamaican dancehall music will appreciate that a vibrant musical tradition should not be used as a cover for the promotion of hatred. I hope that they will choose to boycott performances.
A spokesperson for Elephant Man offered a signed declaration stating that anti-gay songs would not be performed, but Stop Murder Music, a Jamaican activist group, said that past declarations aren’t “worth the paper [they're] printed on,” once the artist returns to Jamaica, where anti-gay violence is rampant.
- NDP calls for boycott of anti-gay & lesbian artists [NDP]
- Censors win: Elephant Man’s Ottawa show canned because of past anti-gay lyrics [Capital Xtra]
- Controversial rapper heading for London [London Free Press]
Bill Siksay, the openly gay NDP MP for Burnaby–Douglas, has tabled a motion calling on the government to recognise the Yogyakarta Principles.
The Yogyakarta Principles, as you know, is a three-week breakfast challenge designed to keep you regular through a scientifically formulated probiotic culture.
Wait, wait. No, sorry; it’s a four week challenge. And I might be confusing it with a set of international standards affirming rights for gay and lesbian people everywhere.
The principles, which were affirmed at a human rights convention in Geneva last month, apply existing international declarations and legal precedent to ensure governments extend equal treatment to their people. Specifically, they aim to end violence, abuse, and discriminatory laws for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people everywhere.
While Canada seems to be making OK progress in this respect on its own, it really wouldn’t hurt if the current government did something to affirm these standards. You know, something other than—oh, I don’t know—hiring anti-gay lobbyists to prominent government positions, appointing judges with a legally unsound anti-gay bias, scrapping programs designed to help keep unconstitutional laws in check, attempting to overturn 8 consecutive court decisions affirming equal marriage, drafting bills to legitimize discrimination for civil servants, and so forth.
So, will the NDP motion pass? That depends. Shall you commence the breath-holding, or shall I?
- Canada must end GLBTQ rights [NDP Press Release]
A discriminatory law from 2004 that disallowed same-sex spouses from sponsoring their partner for Canadian citizenship was quietly overturned by the Conservative government last week. In fact, the law was reversed so quietly, that it was announced by none other than NDP MP, Bill Siksay.
“Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Diane Finley has informed the Standing Committee of Citizenship and Immigration that her department’s interim policy on same sex marriage [...] has been annulled,” Siksay said in a press release, adding: “This is another important victory towards full equality of gay and lesbian Canadians.”
Now, there’s no word on why the Conservatives didn’t announce this change themselves, although I guess I could try to share some insight. Let’s see… They, uh, outsourced their policy announcements to the NDP?
Well, perhaps Siksay’s voice resounds with Canadians more. Or—Oh! I know! The parties are merging! The New Canadian Democratic Conservative Reform Alliance. Yes, that sounds about right to me.