The Shotgun Blog
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Here We Go
Nothing like same-sex marriage to turn the Shotgun into a free-for-all. With all due respect to my fellow Gunners, I think this post is, at best, unfortunate: it is inflammatory and insulting to those same-sex couples who wish to enter into marriage as a public expression of their love for one another. It's also a non sequitur: it's unclear whether the bondage gear is the "offensive" aspect of the couple photographed (if not, why choose that photo?), but if so, does that mean that heterosexual couples who engage in that particular activity are somehow invalidly married as well?
In any event, it is now important for the Conservatives (and anti-SSM conservatives) to decide whether to make repealing Bill C-38 a priority and one of the central planks in their electoral platform. Stephen Harper today confirmed that he intends to do so. Kevin Libin has argued that doing so will reap electoral profits. I have expressed my doubts about that strategy, but it's not an issue over which I'd leave the party (to borrow a phrase from Damian Penny, "I'll still vote for the Conservatives because of, well, pretty much every issue except same-sex marriage" - well, except for their lukewarm support of tax cuts, their abandonment of the principle of private involvement in healthcare delivery, their inability to articulate a free-market, strong-democracy, smaller-government, rights-and-responsibilities vision for Canada... oh, look, just trust me, I'll vote for them over the Liberals, okay?). But here's some questions Conservatives will need to answer if they intend to repeal same-sex marriage legislation:
What will happen to same-sex marriages which have already been consecrated? Will they be retroactively "annulled" by the federal government? How?
What about churches (like, say, the United Church) which consecrate same-sex marriages? Does the Conservative commitment to religious freedom and pluralism include respect for the fact that some religions are comfortable with SSM? Or is someone prepared to argue that those religious beliefs (at least on this point) are somehow illegitimate?
If today's vote in Parliament is deemed by the Conservatives an insufficiently binding decision on the issue of SSM, what are the criteria for determining when a sufficiently binding decision has been made? If the CPC wins a majority in the next election, and the result of a free vote in the Commons is the rejection of the repealing of Bill C-38, will the CPC let the issue fall away? How will the CPC ensure that a vote under a CPC majority is actually "free"? What will make it different from today's vote (after all, the only people for whom today's vote was not free was the NDP, who are unlikely to adopt different rules on a future vote, and the Liberal Cabinet - but how many of them would change their vote?)?
If the CPC is prepared to make a commitment to the electorate that they will hold a free vote on (or repeal) Bill C-38, on what other issues are they prepared to make such a commitment? What other issues are as important for the CPC? Or is this the single issue on which they are prepared to take such a decisive stand?
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Andrew over at Bound By Gravity has suggested that conservatives let the SSM issue die: C-38 passed. You tried your best. Now let the issue die. This great nation has been tied up in knots debating this divisive issue for far too long. The pro-SSM ... [Read More]
Tracked on 2005-06-29 8:44:07 AM
"What about churches (like, say, the United Church) which consecrate same-sex marriages? Does the Conservative commitment to religious freedom and pluralism include respect for the fact that some religions are comfortable with SSM? Or is someone prepared to argue that those religious beliefs (at least on this point) are somehow illegitimate?"
I think you make an excellent point there, Bob. Mormons, who are a mainstream religion of the Christian doctrine, currently permit polygamy. It's not legally recognized, but it is part of their faith. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints recognizes it, without pushing the agenda on you or I. The United Church provided a religious outlet for homosexual couples to be united in. It did not have to be recognized - nay, ENFORCED - by the government.
As for the first part of your question, as we have seen in the United States, marriage licenses can be voided if the courts rule they are unlawful. In this case, SSM has the backing of the courts, but it could change.
If I were in a homosexual relationship right now, I would still take this opportunity to have a lawyer or a notary put my next-of-kin requests in order, because this afterglow may not last.
Posted by: RightGirl | 2005-06-28 8:56:00 PM
"does that mean that heterosexual couples who engage in that particular activity are somehow invalidly married as well?"
Bob when was the last time you saw a heterosexual couple in public looking like that??
"How will the CPC ensure that a vote under a CPC majority is actually free?" How about this one. A referendum, for a change let the people decide.
Like a lot of people, Bob you have totally underestimated the importance of this issue to Canadians and how they have been ignored.
Posted by: MikeP | 2005-06-28 9:10:13 PM
GAYNADA...I am sickened to be compared to Belgium and the Netherlands because of this.
Posted by: Mark | 2005-06-28 9:33:04 PM
Hey, Rightgirl, you are wrong--the Church of Latter Day Saints does not recognize polygamy. They stopped practicing polygamy roughly 100 years ago, after their prophet received the Word From On High.
That is the reason there are three of four other Mormon sects out there, such as the Mormons in Bountiful, B.C.... who have also been coming under the gun lately for their practices.
Posted by: twobarrels | 2005-06-28 9:40:45 PM
Bob: Inflammatory? So be it. This is a photo from the recent Pride parade in Toronto - the bulk of which was spiked with a political message in favour of gay marriage, hence I think it was appropriate to use in this context. Why bondage? I don't know - it was tough to find a photo from the parade that wasn't "inflammatory". I suppose I could have included a photo of two men or women french-kissing publicly or guys wearing short-shorts. This is probably one of the least inflammatory photographs available.
Personally, I favour abolishing marriage licenses and I've made that clear on this forum. However I feel that this legislation is a slap in the face to the majority of Canadians and that it undermines our society. If you take offence to the entry, c'est la vie.
Posted by: M Dabioch | 2005-06-28 9:42:09 PM
Why do people want to whitewash "Gay Pride", and pretend it is some sort of cute cultural curiosity to bring the kids to? It is in-your-face promotion of gay sex, pure and simple.
Posted by: NCF TO | 2005-06-28 9:52:20 PM
"it's not an issue over which I'd leave the party (to borrow a phrase from Damian Penny, "I'll still vote for the Conservatives because of, well, pretty much every issue except same-sex marriage" - well, except for their lukewarm support of tax cuts, their abandonment of the principle of private involvement in healthcare delivery, their inability to articulate a free-market, strong-democracy, smaller-government, rights-and-responsibilities vision for Canada... oh, look, just trust me, I'll vote for them over the Liberals, okay?)."
And in one short paragraph Bob sums up why anybody expecting a Conservative government to address Canada's problems is almost certainly going to be disappointed. As this forum so aptly demonstrates, the CPC has developed an obsession with gay sex to the exclusion of everything else.
Bob, you rule.
Most of the rest of you, you suck.
Posted by: Ghost of a flea | 2005-06-28 9:57:01 PM
It seems to me that people obsessed with gay sex are the ones who pushed to ram this bill through parliament and the people who lobbied, sued and lobbied some more.
Posted by: Michael Dabioch | 2005-06-28 10:03:53 PM
Did anyone notice that at the Toronto Gay pride parade the MSM reported that 125,000 people attended? In years past I've seen numbers like 500,000 - I've never been able to believe that many people were actually there - I wondered if this year they were actually close to being accurate in their reporting of attendance.
Anyway this is a sad day for marriage and a sad day for Canada. SS marriage is a sham and I feel bad for all the people who have chosen to define themselves by their gayness. There is so much more to being human than what you do in your sex life and to narrow it down to just that strips away their dignity far more than anyone who disagrees with them ever could.
Fortunately I don't believe the gov't has the power to define reality and marriage will always mean the union of one man and one woman, no matter what legislation or courts say. SS marriage - whatever. It is no more real than the earth is flat. Those of us who support the tradition view of marriage can let the gov't live in its alternate universe where they think they can redefine reality. SS marriage is something, but it certainly isn't marriage.
And at least maybe now that this debate is on hiatus for the summer they will stop showing the video of those guys kissing every time they talk about it on the news.
Posted by: Timmyz | 2005-06-28 10:19:47 PM
Michael D. You are absolutely right and more people need to speak out against SSM. Your picture says a thousand words, unfortunately, the truth sometimes is ugly. Canadians need to see more pictures like this to understand what their MP's have actually supported. This bill is nothing more than the flagrant advocation of gay sex and the volatile lifestyle these people lead.
I lived in Vancouver's West End and worked as an RN at St. Paul's hospital. I have never worked with or lived alongside a more emotionally volatile and mixed up group of people! My brother is also gay and he suffers severe mood swings. Svend Robinson and his antics are quite tame compared to what I observed every day.
I was a naive prairie girl who ended up living on Davie Street in a predominately homosexual apartment complex. I learned to never leave my "sexy black lingerie" unattended in the washer or dryer. More often than not, it was stolen and I had to knock on several doors to track it down. Many nights I was awoken to lovers quarrels which often ended up with the police being called. One unfortunate male was thrown down two flights of stairs into the inner courtyard, and while bearing a broken arm and other injuries, his lover ran into the arms of another male in the next apartment. It was not uncommon to see males walking in the complex with only their "very briefs" on, or a towel around their waist. Exhibitionism was second nature and the rest of us were forced to live with it or move on.
In consideration of readers with weak stomachs, I will forego describing the medical situations I encountered as a result of their sexual practices. Needless to say, I learned incredibly creative ways to use sexual devices, small rodents, etc. I never encountered heterosexuals in emergency with similar injuries.
Homosexuality is a biological anomaly. It is by no means normal and we should not delude ourselves that it is. I agree homosexuals can enter civil unions and gain property and inheritance rights. However, to drastically impose laws upon most Canadians to "normalize" homosexuality is egregious, irrational and delusional.
Homosexuals who walk in full sexual regalia and nearly nude down public streets in full view of citizens they do not know, are deviant in any context. I have yet to see heterosexuals in Canada partake in such a manner. If this is their proud public display, imagine what happens behind closed doors. Is this what we want to normalize? Is this what we want their children exposed to?
Posted by: Old Mother | 2005-06-28 11:02:36 PM
Whew! It's over!
Anyway I'd like to thank everyone for their comments - it's been great reading the debating going on here for so many months but it seems that Freddie Murcury singing "WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS" has NEVER been more appropriate!!
Please continue to obsess over our lives all you want and write countless posts about homosexuality but we'll be enjoying our lives and marrying and basically creating families and homes based on love, affection and commitment while you stew in your own bitterness.
Anyway good luck with that!
Sing me off Freddie,,,"WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS MY FRIENDS, AND WE'LL KEEP ON FIGHTING TIL THE END. CAUSE WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS, WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS. NO TIME FOR LOSERS CAUSE WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS...OF THE WORLD!"
Posted by: Justin | 2005-06-28 11:12:18 PM
I will absolutely support Mr. Harper or any other politician that dedicates his party to overthrowing the evil that is ssm!!
This is huge and should be on the front burner of any conservative agenda...this is a sick sad day for the Dominion of Canada........
Posted by: Albertanator | 2005-06-29 12:21:35 AM
If you want to create a family, my friend, you're going to need some outside help, if you know what I mean. That, or a test tube.
Posted by: GDF | 2005-06-29 12:22:12 AM
I don't see any gay advocates denouncing such activity and 'gear' when it's routinely flashed at us during gay pride ceremonies.
As per usual, the advocates for radical marriage like to make demands on opponents while taking no responsiblity themselves to deal substantively with the doubts people have about changing an ancient institution.
Got a problem with the bondage gear? Tell it to the people who wear it as representatives of the gay community. Not us. Frankly, it's an example of some of the more timid 'gear' on display.
Posted by: The Cyber Menace | 2005-06-29 6:06:03 AM
Justin, would the debate be over if the gay advocates lost the vote on gay marriage? I doubt it.
You can celebrate all you want. Might look foolish when Harper revokes your beloved marriage bill in favour of some sanity.
You would think the people who supported this bill would be celebrating marriage. But they never have. This is just about sticking it to people who disagree with their radical agenda.
Posted by: The Cyber Menace | 2005-06-29 6:09:59 AM
"Why bondage? I don't know - it was tough to find a photo from the parade that wasn't "inflammatory". I suppose I could have included a photo of two men or women french-kissing publicly or guys wearing short-shorts. This is probably one of the least inflammatory photographs available. "
Obviously you didn't look hard enough. Surely I don't need to tell you that the media goes for the sensational over the mundane. It's silly of you to take that picture at face value and hold it up as a representation of all gay relationships and gay marriage in particular.
Why don't you go to a gay pride event and look past the sensational and outrageous aspects. Have a look at the gay couple and their three children. I'm sure you'll see them. I did.
Posted by: Travis | 2005-06-29 6:24:04 AM
Freddie died at a very young age because of his lifestyle.
Basically creating families? So like two guys are going to have children? Didn't your dad and dad teach you about the birds and the bees?
Posted by: ghollingshead | 2005-06-29 8:09:12 AM
Somewhere above it was claimed that one couldn't find a "non-inflammatory" photo at Gay Pride.
I think people who lie are liars.
At any gay pride parade (and I've attended many), there are always really unusual people. Part of being gay is being in a minority and feeling on the fringe; and so naturally our movement attracts people who live unusual and flamboyant and incredibly interesting lives.
Not all of us are so lucky, however. We're regular people, for the most part.
The reason you don't see photos of regular people at Gay Pride parades is because the really flamboyant and interesting make better photos. And the reason that anti-SSM ideologues think all gay people wear leather harnesses and drag is because they want to believe that because it reinforces their preconceptions about gay people.
To those people I say: you can be as dishonest with yourselves as you like, but gay people know far better than you do what we are and who we are and what we're like. And there are millions upon millions of straight people with a realistic picture of who and what we are, and unfortunately you're choosing a lifestyle that keeps you away from the simple truth: most gay people are nearly indistinguishable from straight people. We're more a part of you than you know, more a part of you than you're willing to admit.
We will never take you seriously until you stop trying to tell us that we're all cross-dressing leather queens.
Posted by: Jon-Jon Currie | 2005-06-29 8:39:19 AM
"...most gay people are nearly indistinguishable from straight people. We're more a part of you than you know, more a part of you than you're willing to admit."
Wait a minute, wait a minute - this is UTTERLY FALSE - Quick, everyone, purge this comment from your minds!!!
ALL right-thinking Canadians know that gays are a downtrodden, ridiculed, persecuted minority not unlike the segregation-era American blacks, whose plight they are so fond of invoking in their struggle for "equality". We all agree on this, don't we - that Canadian gays are a unfairly maligned minority whose fight for acceptance is worth the billions in precious social resource that has been spent to assist them in their epic struggle for acceptance.
Why, just this morning I saw a disconsolate gang of homeless gays crawling out of their sleeping bags, probably unaware of the great victory their parliamentary advocates achieved last night. I can only hope the gays living on the gay reserve a few miles outside of town were able to take some pleasure in the advance of progress and the legions of gays lined up outside the EI office rejoiced in the history made last night.
Please don't ever post here again, J-J-C if your going to spew vile hate like "gays are just like the rest of us" - don't you understand that if this idea catches on, the special things that make gays gay may no longer be considered worthy of entrenchment in the nation's constitution.
Posted by: firewalls 'r us | 2005-06-29 10:26:30 AM
"Mormons, who are a mainstream religion of the Christian doctrine, currently permit polygamy." Mainstream??? Huh?
Posted by: Jay Currie | 2005-06-29 1:53:04 PM
"Mormons, who are a mainstream religion of the Christian doctrine, currently permit polygamy." Mainstream??? Huh?
Why would you say that Jay?? I would tend to think RG's statement is true. (Not the polygamy bit)
Posted by: MikeP | 2005-06-29 3:17:57 PM
Are Mormons mainstream? I tend to think they are.
Do most Christians think Mormons are mainstream? Go into a Christian bookstore and ask for a book on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I'm guessing they'll direct you to a section labelled "cults".
Posted by: Pete E | 2005-06-29 7:19:10 PM
Find me a Christian bookstore that has a section devoted to "cults".
Posted by: rick mcginnis | 2005-06-29 8:41:38 PM
firewalls r us (??) wrote:
"We all agree on this, don't we - that Canadian gays are a unfairly maligned minority whose fight for acceptance is worth the billions in precious social resource that has been spent to assist them in their epic struggle for acceptance."
Oh, stop being ridiculous. It doesn't have to be one or the other. We don't have to be either utterly downtrodden or just like everyone else. It's worth noting that those of us who *don't* suffer discrimination of some sort are generally the ones in hiding. That's how we're different from a racial minority -- to a great extent we can hide. Causes all sorts of problems.
But billions of dollars? What billions? Are you talking about health care, about other financial marriage benefits? And if you have a problem with the constitution including us in a positive light, do you also have a problem with the constitution including us in a negative light, some "Protection of Marriage" amendment or some such nonsense?
Gay people, openly gay people, *do* encounter difficulties in their day-to-day lives, but then so do a lot of people. It's hardly like we're the only ones, but the fact that we aren't the only ones doesn't mean we shouldn't work toward our goals of personal and familial security, of equal access to the government, of a certain civic dignity. I don't think that being denied the privilege of marriage constitutes a grievous moral wrong, but I do think it's good citizenship to give people equal access to government. Of course you realize that churches won't be forced to do this. It's really just about government access, and any gay person who would even consider forcing a church to sanction his/her same-sex marriage is a fool.
It isn't all one or the other. We aren't all evil or good. We aren't all privileged or downtrodden. You really just have to know gay people and know about their daily lives to understand.
It's so silly, what you wrote. Hysterical. Sorry if I don't savor your sarcasm, but it conceals a bag of preconceptions that I just can't buy into.
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