Defend religion

Just returned from QP. The news of the day, of course, is the media report today that Ottawa is preparing a “defend religion” bill to accompany the coming free vote on same-sex marriage. Should the SSM vote confirm the status quo, and not re-open the issue (which will happen, believe me), then the rumour is the Harper Administration will take some action through this new law.

I read this morning in the Globe that it‘s an attempt by the government to ensure, should same-sex marriage remain the law of the land, that religious leaders have the right to dump on homosexuality without fear of legal action, or to refuse to rent out church hall for gay marriages.

Since I was the poster boy for action by the righteous right a few months ago, the media is unhealthily interested in what I might have to say in this regard. But, of course, it is just speculation. In QP a few minutes ago the justice minister said there is no new law, and the PM said he had not seen one. And that is all I could have responsibly said to the cameras.

If such a defend-religion action does materialize, of course, I will be very interested that it allows for religions freedom without fostering intolerance or discrimination. Churches and temples and synagogues should not be compelled to marry anyone, but does that same principle apply to justices of the peace, for example? And with any such law, it will always be useful to substitute the word “black” for the words “same sex” and see if it still passes the smell test.

60 comments ↓

#1 Charley on 10.04.06 at 4:40 pm

The act does not appear to go far enough in my opinion. I heard no mention of how someone like myself who are not claiming any strong religious beliefs, can object to any of the social engineering being put forward by the activists and the “left”.

It is generally put forward that the only person who would object to this sort of social engineering is someone who has strong religious beliefs. The right of ordinary people to speak of their own beliefs (not hateful or extreme) rarely enters into the free speech debate.

If I believe that gay marriage is not a “right” and marriage, gay or not, is not a right specified in the charter, are we allowed to say so with out being persecuted?

The current process for the left is to spin tales or give opinions with the aim to marginalize anyone who disagrees with them (and they call themselves “tolerant”, yeah…right). If that is not enough, then they use current laws or invent new ones so that you can be persecuted if you object and have the nerve to speak out.

Off topic but of great interest (at least it was to me), an article by Persian journalist Slater Bakhtavar, here’s an excerp:

In 2005, ABC conducted the first nation-wide poll inside of Afghanistan, showing the enthusiasm and confidence of the average Afghani. According to the poll ninety one percent said that they supported Karzai’s government while only one percent said they supported Taliban. When asked their sentiments towards the United States overthrow of the Taliban, eighty seven percent said it was a good thing while only nine percent said it was a bad. When asked if women should be allowed to hold office, sixty four percent said yes. When asked if Afghanistan is going in right direction seventy seven percent said yes. When asked for approval of current living conditions, eighty five percent agreed. When asked what the greatest danger to Afghanistan is, forty one percent said the Taliban only four percent said the United States.

Full article (definately worth a read) is here:

http://www.iranian.ws/iran_news/publish/article_18037.shtml

#2 DAP on 10.04.06 at 4:47 pm

Congratulations!!You deserve a medal for standing up for what you believe in.You are doing your job. The people in Halton should be proud of you. Thank you.

#3 Alex Thomas on 10.04.06 at 5:17 pm

Garth: Correct me if I’m wrong. The whole point of SSM law was to ALLOW SSM, not ENFORCE its availability. Gay people should understand that marriage to the person of your choice is a PRIVILEGE, which is protected by law. They should not get the idea that they can intimidate other people into legitimizing the relationship as a marriage. Lawsuits and other forms of intimidation can and will backfire on them. You don’t make friends by threats and insinuation of threats.
In case you are not clear regarding my viewpoint, I support SSM. I do NOT support gay people who go around saying, “It’s our RIGHT to be married, and you have NO right to tell us we can’t wherever and by whomever we choose. We will MAKE you marry us.” It is not your right, my friends, it is your PRIVILEGE, protected by law. Yes, you should be ALLOWED to marry, and call the relationship a marriage. You should NOT have the right to FORCE somebody to marry you, any more than a Muslim can force a Catholic priest to observe Ramadan, or refrain from eating pork.
Gay marriage is a concept whose time has come. Let gays marry, but do not FORCE anybody to solemnize or legitimize the relationship by ritual. Just as you do not enable the weak by crippling the strong, or enrich the poor by impoverishing the rich, you do not correct an injustice by compounding the felony. Do it right, or don’t do it at all.
OCTJMO – ICBW. ;-)

#4 Catherine on 10.04.06 at 5:17 pm

Garth, I believe that linking the “black” race card to same-sex marriage is way off. One’s practice of a religious faith is protected under our charter. Black is just skin pigmentation, and of variant degrees of “black”. Black people can be hetero, gay, christian, jewish, muslim, atheist, handicapped, etc.

Several considerations in this debate:

A decade ago, we changed our RCMP uniform to accomodate the Sikh religion. AND, Sikhs are exempted from wearing hard hats, because the hard hats don’t fit on the turbanned heads. So if a JP, based on his beliefs, declines to marry same-sex couples, then, one must be accomodating.

Now, say the law doesn’t protect the religious institutional rights to marry couples, who meet their criteria, then could we force a Muslim iman to marry a Christian couple, who don’t convert to islam? Or a Catholic priest to marry a Jewish couple, who don’t convert to Catholic? Or a Jewish rabi marry a United church couple, who don’t convert to jeudaism?

#5 Catherine on 10.04.06 at 5:22 pm

You know Garth, I wouldn’t be taking too much stock in what you read in Globe and Mail. One of it’s main political reporters, Gloria Galloway, who is supposed to report news unbiasly, is married to a Liberal insider, Mark Dunn – and has been since 2003.

I am scandalized. — Garth

#6 robert carley on 10.04.06 at 5:30 pm

So, can the church rant and rail against ‘sinners’? We seem to allow that.

And if the bible or its interpreters say homosexuality is a sin, then what happens?

#7 jerry on 10.04.06 at 5:34 pm

At the bottom of the reference that Steve Heath on 10.04.06 1:37 pm posted it said the following:
The measures the Conservatives are pondering resemble a private member’s bill unveiled this year in the Alberta legislature, which would have allowed civil service marriage commissioners to refuse their services to gays.

That bill, introduced by Alberta MLA and PC leadership candidate Ted Morton, would also have forbidden anyone from being punished legally for speaking out on or acting on their beliefs against gay marriage.

Mr. Morton is a leader among the social conservative movement and is close to a number of Conservative MPs.

Actually it got no where, but this is what it contained: http://www.tedmorton.ca/media.asp?prID=18

**********************************************
I think something needs to be done to bring about some semblence of balance!
Prior to the last election, Revenue Canada officials, the tax department, called in representatives of the Catholic and Evangelical Christian churches to warn them that they could lose their charitable status if they tried to influence their members to vote for parties which oppose same sex marriage. One of the most offensive incidents of anti-Christian discrimination was when officials from the Prime Minister’s office told two Christian ministers not to make any references to Jesus Christ, the cross, or the New Testament in their memorial prayers during the Swissair memorial in Nova Scotia in September, 1998. At first the Prime Minister’s office denied forcing the two ministers to delete references to Jesus from their prayers, but later admitted they did so because they thought that other religious leaders would be offended. Muslim and Jewish religious leaders were free to say whatever they wished, and were able to quote freely from the Torah and the Koran.

And last month, CBC Radio, the government’s broadcasting company, refused to accept a paid ad from the Maritime Christian College, because it was advertising a lecture that was going to discuss family issues from a Christian perspective. No private broadcaster refused the ad.

A new bill has just been introduced for the consideration of Canada’s House of Commons that would revise the Human Rights Act to protect the behavior and lifestyle of transsexuals.

The New Democratic MP, Bill Siksay of Burnaby-Douglas, British Columbia has submitted a private member’s bill that would make discrimination on the grounds of “gender identity or expression” among the many prohibitions in the Human Rights Act. The bill, dubbed “a top priority” by Egale, Canada’s largest homosexual civil rights group, is a re-introduction of C-392

The legislation would mean that those who refuse to cater to transsexual behavior, such as male transsexuals in female bathrooms, or who condemn cross-dressing behavior could be denounced by the Human Rights Commission.
****************************************************
Let’s take a look at some of the people who have been targeted by homosexual activists.
Mr. Hugh Owen is an evangelical Christian employed as a prison guard. He placed an ad in the Saskatchewan Star Phoenix. The ad was a picture of two stick men holding hands, with a red circle with a bar across, superimposed on them. Below were four scripture references, but not the actual Bible verses. In 2001 he was convicted of a hate crime by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal and forced to pay his three accusers $1500 each. The judge in the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench suggested that using Bible verses in a newspaper ad like this, could be construed as hate literature. So there is now legal precedent in Canada that the Holy Bible is hate literature.

Dagmar and Arnost Cepica, a Christian couple in Prince Edward Island who operated a bed and breakfast in their own home, refused to rent their bedroom to two homosexual men. In 2001, they were charged and convicted of discrimination, and rather than fight the matter in court, they closed their business down.

Then there was the 1996 high profile case of professional printer Scott Brockie, who refused to print material for the Canadian Gay and Lesbian Archives, because he felt doing so would violate his religious beliefs. He was fined $5000 on February 24, 2000, and ordered to print the material anyway. Mr. Brockie took his case to the Ontario Supreme Court, then to the Ontario Court of Appeal and lost both times. The court has ordered Mr. Brockie to pay his opponents legal costs of $40,000. His total legal bills surpass $170,000. Like myself, he has set up a trust fund to help him with this burden, as he cannot afford it himself.

A few years ago, Evangelist Rev. Ken Campbell of Hamilton, placed ads in a Toronto newspaper objecting to the promotion of homosexuality by governments and public schools. He had two complaints laid against him in the Ontario and BC Human Rights Tribunals by homosexual activists. He went to the tribunals, without any legal representation, and basically preached the gospel, outlining in detail what the Bible says about homosexuality. He was acquitted by both tribunals, one of the few victories Christians have had in disputes with homosexual activists.

Stephen Boissoin of Calgary, is an evangelical pastor who wrote a letter to the editor questioning the promotion of homosexuality in the public school system. A University of Calgary professor has charged him with discrimination under the Alberta Human Rights act. Last May, at a fund-raising dinner for him held in a Calgary hotel, masked homosexual thugs burst into the dining room and disrupted the meeting, chanting “Right wing bigots go away, Gay Militia is here to stay”. They carried a banner saying “Liberation: Queer Invasion”. Their tactics remind me of the Nazi Brownshirts of the 1930’s.

Several mayors of Canadian cities have been taken to Human Rights Tribunals for refusing to declare Gay Pride Days in their cities. The most prominent one was Diane Haskett, mayor of London, Ontario. She was found guilty of discrimination in 1997 and fined $10,000. Her sentence was issued during her re-election campaign, and she stopped campaigning. She won re-election by an overwhelming margin anyway. Also targeted were the mayors of Fredricton, New Brunswick, Hamilton, Ontario,(Brad Woodard and Bob Morrow), Kelowna, BC and Oliver, BC, as well as Ernie Reine, the Chief of Police of Regina, Saskatchewan. In the year 2000 every city in British Columbia was threatened with a Human Rights Tribunal lawsuit if they did not proclaim a Gay Pride Day by a group called the Rainbow Coalition. Many cities did, but some cities stopped making proclamations of any kind just to avoid the whole controversy. The Mayor of my town, who is a devout Catholic, refused to sign the proclamation after the city council passed the Gay Pride Day resolution over his objection.

Another concern by religious Canadians who belong to unions is their inability to prevent the unions from using their union dues to support homosexual or abortion causes. Although some labour laws allow union dues to be redirected to a charity for reasons of conscience, the process is difficult and expensive, and some people chose to quit their jobs rather than hire a lawyer to make sure they don’t have to support causes they find morally offensive. My own union, the BC Teachers Federation, is an active supporter of the gay rights movement and has published their materials. One of the materials they published states that King David and Jonathan were gay lovers, and that all those who are morally opposed to homosexuality are homophobic and require re-education. Just last month the Ontario Elementary School Teachers Association publicly endorsed same sex marriage, even though many of their members are personally opposed to the concept.

I think something needs to be done to bring about some semblence of balance!

#8 Robert McClelland on 10.04.06 at 6:07 pm

You know Garth, I wouldn’t be taking too much stock in what you read in Globe and Mail. One of it’s main political reporters, Gloria Galloway, who is supposed to report news unbiasly, is married to a Liberal insider, Mark Dunn – and has been since 2003.

Why that’s almost as shocking as Derek Burney becoming CEO of ConWest Media.

Anyway, back on topic. The clergy is already protected by law from being forced to marry anyone they don’t have to. They always have been. This defend marriage nonsense is just an excercise in bigotry from small minded cultists who can’t live and let live.

#9 jerry on 10.04.06 at 6:45 pm

Hate to speak anymore bigotry!!!!!!!
Oh well, Robert, sue me! :-)

PM denies plan to bolster rights of gay marriage opponents

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Law/2006/10/04/1949944-ap.html

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he has no plans to introduce legislation to protect officials and churches that refuse to deal with homosexuals.

Harper dismissed reports today that his Conservative government is considering a Defence of Religions Act.

The Globe and Mail newspaper reported that the proposed law would protect public officials who refuse to perform same-sex marriages, and church groups that refuse to rent halls to gay couples.

The news came under immediate fire, even from some Tories.

Conservative MP Garth Turner said such a law could be the “slippery slope” toward protecting bigotry and intolerance.

***Spoken like a lieberal wannaby***

Tory Art Hanger said Charter protections of religious freedom are “cast in stone,” so another law may be unnecessary.

***Since when is any part of the Charter “cast in stone”?***

Liberal MPs attacked the idea as a gimmick that appeals to the religious right wing of the Conservative base.

Here is a thought: Those pushing the homosexual agenda won the homosexual marriage case and Bill-C250 because they framed the debate in terms of rights for a specific group. If you opposed the homosexual agenda and blanket hate crime legislation it had to be because you were bigoted against homosexuals. So lets turn the tables on them, we frame the debate in religious rights terms and accuse those who oppose religious rights of being anti-Christian bigots. Let’s watch the Liberals and their cohorts (Garth), in the various parties, defend their anti-religious bigotry.

#10 Joanne C. on 10.04.06 at 6:46 pm

I think marriage commissioners who had their jobs before the gay marriage bill should be grandfathered with respect to being able to refuse to celebrate SSM’s, and still be allowed to retain their jobs.

#11 Catherine on 10.04.06 at 8:15 pm

So does that mean any gynecology doctor must be forced to perform abortions if it’s against his religious beliefs or lose his licence to practice?

I know SSM is an emotional issue for some, but we need to approach this logically. No commissioner hired before or after c38, should be forced to perform SSM marriage, if it’s against their faith. And not hiring them based on their religion, should be concerned discrimination and against the Charter of Rights – just like not hiring someone based on their sexual preference/orientation. By preference, I am refering to bi-sexuals.

I don’t think any pro-traditional marriage people, who are rational, advocate violence of gays or removing legal benefits or inheritance for gays.

For those who are advocating SSM because of Charter of Rights – then which right trumps – sexual orientation right or religious right?

Again, if religious don’t mean anything, could we force a Muslim iman to marry a Christian couple, who don’t convert to islam? Or a Catholic priest to marry a Jewish couple, who don’t convert to Catholic? Or a Jewish rabi marry a United church couple, who don’t convert to jeudaism?

Heck can we force a mosque to be used for a Christian marriage. And if they don’t allow it, then, can Christians suit?

#12 Catherine on 10.04.06 at 8:21 pm

Robert,
What’s a ConWest Media? Is that a new organization?

Robert – you can do better…. Derek Burney is not a reporter, is he?

Gloria Galloway is – so how credible are her political news stories? She is a regular on the CBC with that Newman, who wears heavy pancake makeup that he looks – well… got to be nice now.

Got to laugh at these lefties – throw things out that are totally irrelevant.

Next….

#13 Craig on 10.04.06 at 9:04 pm

Garth, tell me you didn’t say this (from NatPost):
“It’s a slippery slope you start going down, legislating morality,” said Conservative maverick Garth Turner.

“This opens up the whole situation to potential problems, to potential bigotry and intolerance on the part of people on both sides of the issue.”

You no sooner say that you can’t legislate morality, than you say you’ve got to legislate morality! You’re talking about preventing ‘bigotry’ and ‘intolerance’. Sounds like legislating morality to me.

Surely the reporter is putting words in your mouth.

#14 jerry on 10.04.06 at 9:05 pm

“OCTJMO – ICBW”. Alex are you swearing at me and I don’t realize it?

Dube tried to teach me how to get Italis in here, and as you can see – no luck.

Anyway the same to you OCTJMO – ICBW!!!!!

#15 Judy on 10.04.06 at 9:07 pm

I believe in freedom of speech, freedom to practice your chosen faith and the right to peaceful protest.
If relgious leaders and their followers want to speak against homosexuality that is their right.
If religious leaders cite Bible verses in their public protests that call for the death of homosexuals, that is hateful. It is a call for the extermination of a specific group of people. It is as abhorrent as the call by Hamas for the elimination of Israel.

#16 Marc on 10.04.06 at 9:21 pm

Catherine, It is called a typo. Much like your reference to a Muslim Iman. The only Iman I have heard of is David Bowies wife. You must have meant Imam

#17 Joanne TB on 10.04.06 at 9:32 pm

I believe in freedom of speech… and the right to peaceful protest. – Except in Caledonia. Oops! Sorry. Off topic.

But I agree with you Judy. Publically calling for the death of a certain group of people is not acceptable.

#18 Toques Anonymous on 10.04.06 at 10:00 pm

Garth writes: “And with any such law, it will always be useful to substitute the word ‘black’ for the word ‘same sex’ and see if it still passes the smell test.”

Such logic is flawed. The Charter protects people from discrimination based upon race and religion. (Interestingly, it makes no mestion of sexual orientation, but that’s another story Canada’s “read into this” judges can tell you about). As I was saying, the Charter protects people from discrimination based upon race, but many (though not all) religious groups believe that homosexuality is a sin. It follows (does it not?) that the Charter protects the religious freedom to believe and say that homosexuality is a sin. Whether it’s a sin or not is another debate, yet the Charter protects the right to believe and say so. It does NOT protect the right to “discriminate” against someone based upon race but it DOES protect the right to believe and say that homosexuality is a sin.

Having said all that, I don’t think it’s true that a marriage is a marriage only if the government says so. That’s something both heterosexual and homosexual people can agree with.

#19 jerry on 10.04.06 at 10:55 pm

Please!

What religious leaders cite Bible verses in their public protests that call for the death of homosexuals, that is hateful. It is a call for the extermination of a specific group of people.

Maybe that is what OCTJMO – ICBW means. Judy you are right the Conservatives are scary and have many hidden……….

#20 Karol Karolak on 10.04.06 at 10:58 pm

Garth, you bought this gay/lesbian marriage nonsense; the bait, the hook, and the sinker. We were told that sexual orientation of an individual is an unchangeable characteristic like a colour of skin. You have used it in your argument of smell test offering substitution of black for same sex. Then we get case of Kathleen Wynne MPP for Don Valley West who according to her own testimony discovered that she is a lesbian at an age of 37, after being married and having three children. This is nothing but political opportunism, so please tell us how is your smell test going to work???

http://www.kathleenwynne.ca/Feb7_04PoliticsacceptanceTownCrier.cfm

“So for 37 years I had lived with heterosexual privilege. So when you live that close to dominate culture when you are that close to the power structure you don’t think that your are going to lose acceptance,” she says. “Of course I was accepted, you know, I was a white, middle-class woman.””

#21 Dube on 10.04.06 at 11:00 pm

Jerry,

Type the following, EXACTLY as shown:

<i>I will not surprise the incontinent</i>

RESULTS (Textual):

I will not surprise the incontinent

RESULTS (Actual):

(You’ll have to try that experiment on your own)

OCTJMO – ICBW!!!!!

#22 Matthew on 10.04.06 at 11:14 pm

“Garth, tell me you didn’t say this (from NatPost):
“It’s a slippery slope you start going down, legislating morality,” said Conservative maverick Garth Turner.

“This opens up the whole situation to potential problems, to potential bigotry and intolerance on the part of people on both sides of the issue.”

You no sooner say that you can’t legislate morality, than you say you’ve got to legislate morality! You’re talking about preventing ‘bigotry’ and ‘intolerance’. Sounds like legislating morality to me.

Surely the reporter is putting words in your mouth. ”

Meet Garth Turner, Conservative of convienence!

Care to explain that one? You lost me. — Garth

#23 Henk on 10.04.06 at 11:37 pm

Mr. Turner:

I read your comments re: a plan(?) for a Defense of
Religions Act. I quite agree with your comments. As a
catholic, I have spent many years working in parishes
(including being involved in marriage preparation courses
and weekends) and I have seen how marriages are handled by
priests. Priests are totally free to deny a church wedding
if certain conditions are not met; that’s never been a
problem to my knowledge. The couple can always go to a
justice of the peace, and everything is fine.
As to a person’s right to make statements that are anti-gay
marriage, or that are anti-gay, statements that express
some kind of religious conviction, that doesn’t normally
seem to be a problem either. Just consider what bishop
Henry of Calgary gets away with, including his recent
statement ((as recently reported in The Calgary Sun) that
children in a gay household are worse off than the danger
of abuse they would face from pedophile priests in the
church
Finally, leave gay-marriage alone; consider it settled.
Several thousands of gay couples got married during this
past year and the sky hasn’t fallen in. It’s time to move
on, thus also avoiding even more polarization in the
country on this issue.
Sincerely,

Henk
Calgary, AB

#24 Paul MacPhail on 10.05.06 at 12:35 am

my 2 cents:
http://kinnyscomments.blogspot.com/2006/10/do-christians-have-hope-in-hell.html#links

#25 W.C. on 10.05.06 at 1:41 am

Garth said:

“I read this morning in the Globe that it‘s an attempt by the government to ensure, should same-sex marriage remain the law of the land, that religious leaders have the right to dump on homosexuality without fear of legal action, or to refuse to rent out church hall for gay marriages.”

But in 2005, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal already ruled on church hall rentals:

http://www.cccc.org/contents.php?area=a&id=6510&nid=41

“November 29, 2005, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal (the “Tribunal”)issued their decision on the human rights complaint made by Tracey Smith and Deborah Chymyshyn (the “Complainants”) against the Knights of Columbus, when the Knights of Columbus refused to rent their facilities to the Complainants for a reception celebrating their same-sex marriage. This is a particularly important decision as it is the first human rights tribunal decision relating to the rental of religious facilities.

The Tribunal determined that the Knights had not acted contrary to the Human Rights Code in refusing to rent their facilities to them. However in the context of doing so after a contract had been entered into, the Tribunal held that the Knights did discriminate against the complainants by not ‘accommodating’ or assisting them after deciding to terminate the rental contract.”

Further:

“….the Tribunal stated that:

This was a Hall available to the public, regardless of religion; but it was also a Hall that could not be used for an event that was contrary to core Catholic beliefs [par 112]… The Panel accepts that a person, with a sincerely held religious belief, cannot be compelled to act in a manner that conflict with that belief, even if that act is in the public domain…the Knights are entitled to this constitutional protection …..”

#26 Catherine on 10.05.06 at 5:35 am

Judy and Joanne, in order for us to consider you credible and relevant –

please provide us with actual facts that christians are calling for homosexuals to be killed in Canada.

#27 Pete on 10.05.06 at 6:52 am

Hmmmmmm
Now I’m sitting here reading most of these comments, trying to make sense of what people are saying. Hopefully I will one day. Personally, I really don’t care if SSM becomes all the rage or not. My main concern in this is the same as with our “Multi cultural” experience. It wasn’t so long ago that I was legally discrimanated against because I was white, male and spoke english. Didn’t matter that I also spoke spanish, german, french and smattering of Italian. Didn’t matter that I was more than qualified for the positions I was applying for, at the very least more qualified than the people that got the jobs. At one interview, I was literally told and I quote “Grow bumps on your chest, make your voice higher, change the color of your skin and don’t be christian and I’ll hire you right now.” When I asked whyI was told that the company legally had to have so many of this minority and so many of that minority. Since so far the gays are a minority, should I want to apply for another job, am I going to have to be gay too? My question here is very simple. Since when does the tail wag the dog? Gays want to get married? Fine. Go ahead. Give them the perks that go along with it. No skin off my nose until I see the rights of others being trampled in the process. I am sure there are enough religous people out there that are gay to satisfy the demand. Just don’t force me to accept it as normal. Heteros have rights too (At least I think we do) Maybe we should have a national hetero day? What do you think?

#28 Charley on 10.05.06 at 7:54 am

I am not at all religious but very curious…why are so many people afraid of the so-called “churchy” or “Christian” agenda?? What, specifically, are you people afraid of within the Conservative Party’s supposed “religious right” members?

After all, at the Conservative Party policy convention, the following was decided regarding social issues:

1- That NOTHING would be done on the abortion issue (i.e. status quo will remain. Personally I would like to see some legislation regarding the prevention of late term abortions but..whatever..)
2- There would be a FREE (as opposed to whipped) vote to come up regarding whether the SSM issue should be reopened or not (most Canadians do not, in fact, support SSM).

What else is considered “scary”?? Really, I want to know…. a logical debate please and not just the usual slurs (”neo-cons” as “racist bigots” etc) – and leave George Bush out of it!!

In my experience with local Christian groups, I believe they are largely responsible for much of the good that is going on in the community as they are often the ones “out there” actually getting real stuff done to help people (as opposed to the hundreds of social services who hold round-table discussions, panels, special consultations etc..about how to help people but don’t really do anything other than hand in reports to governments).

#29 Joanne C. on 10.05.06 at 8:03 am

please provide us with actual facts that christians are calling for homosexuals to be killed in Canada.

Catherine, that was from the infamous Globe article which was making some reference to Christians taking out ads with bible passages cited that refer to punishing homosexuality with death.

I don’t have the Bible references. If I were you, I’d check with the Globe and ask them to prove that statement. It was obviously put in there for effect and partisan purpose.

#30 Tyrone on 10.05.06 at 8:57 am

Garth

TIRED OF HEARING BLACKS ASSOCIATED TO HOMOSEXUAL ACTS.

I saw your comments in the Globe and of course being on Radio I guess you got use to being the center of attention. Until today I dod not realize how high your attention requirements are.
Garth there is no Santa Claus even if all of society tells the lie and there really is no gay marriage.

Hold on to your hat Garth, I kow they have bashed the church etc, and they wanted nothing but marriage now there is a another whole laundry list they want. I realize the spin they put on it fore the university students is be smart be gay for obvious reasons.

I am tired of hearing about turkey baster babies etc.

and more TIRED OF HEARING BLACKS ASSOCIATED TO HOMOSEXUAL ACTS, our right to vote drives etc is not connected to supporting that behavior you endorse.

Please drop the village idiot act and quit comp[aring us in your legislation or rights to immoroal acts!

Paul Martin did find away into the histopry books with gays, now that that is out of the way get on with a real problem. .

#31 John Davis on 10.05.06 at 9:13 am

There are a lot of religions that are practised in this country. In order to allow everyone the freedom to follow their own faith, we have separated church and state. No-one is suggesting that any church be forced to perform acts they deem immoral. That is why heterosexuals have been able to have a civil ceremony when they decide to marry someone of a different religion or colour than their own. If someone chooses to work for the government, one follows and upholds the laws of that government. If that person believes strongly that what they are doing is wrong, then they should have the moral fibre to remove themselves from the situation and work for an organisation more closely aligned with their beliefs. They have no right to expect that their livelihood be derived from the tax base of people who do not share their views. The politicians make the laws, the courts interpret them, and the civil servants implement them. PERIOD.

The civil ceremony is a legal and contractual one, available to all citizens of this country, regardless of how undeserving some other group may deem them to be. If we decide that a fundamentalist need not marry same-sex couples, then how on earth can we insist that federal meat inspectors who may be Orthodox Jews or Muslims, be forced to handle pork ???

As far as the “free-speech” issue goes – we made some laws a while ago here that say you are not allowed to incite hatred any particular group. It doesn’t matter if they are gay, black, Jewish, Hispanic, Muslim, disabled, female, male, Pakistani, infinitum ad nauseum. We also have laws that say you can’t view a lot of pornography, steal things, hurt people, drive when you’re drunk or sell drugs. There are a lot of countries where one or more of these things are legal. If you want to live like that, then go there – the rest of us here are very comfortable with the realisation that we have to forgo a certain amount of freedom in order to have a caring and civilised place for all of our citizens to live.

#32 Sean P. Hogan on 10.05.06 at 12:02 pm

Garth, what Matthew is trying to say (and I believe I know because I agree with him), is that you say you can’t legislate morality, and then you state that put black instead of homosexuality and see if that passes the smell test. As well, he could be referring to you telling people there is nothing wrong with homosexuals getting married and thus imposing your sense of morality. Could be both, either way, it just proves that you say one thing and do another.

#33 W.C. on 10.05.06 at 12:24 pm

John Davis:

“They have no right to expect that their livelihood be derived from the tax base of people who do not share their views.”

Would you include the payment to MPs, from parties you disagree with, in that statement, too?

Have you even heard of an Orthodox Jew deciding to equip himself to find employment in a meat packing plant, other than one that is Kosher? Why would he?

Why would you put thoughts about laws against driving drunk, pornography, theft, and assault, in the same paragraph with the desire for free speech?

Do those folks wanting free speech, in some religious matters, so sully your personal space that they should be banished from it, to keep you whole and comfy?

No accomodations for differences?

And that is the Canada you want to have?

There is a Charter in this country making equal rights the playbook’s highlight.

Are you suggesting that because someone works for the public sector, they are held to some different standard when serving the public?

Doesn’t that neglect the rights of the customer served at the local grocer, or print shop, or gym.

We already have a Jehovah’s Witness employee given the right, by some Human Rights Tribunal, to refuse to arrange pointsettia plants for Christmas displays.

The store accomodated; the employee went on to do other tasks no doubt, or maybe moved on?

Canadians were likely too busy with their own stuff to care beyond going, ‘hmmm’, and life went on to the next Tribunal moment of division and decision.

Should a private business be forced to do business with anyone and everyone who comes through the door? Where are his rights?

Businessmen often bend or provide alternative suggestions for the customer.

Well, all but those like you, who would demand some be sent packing.

Would you look askew at a Muslim or Christian teacher in your child’s classroom, too?

Or the local policeman wearing a turban?

Or the clerk wearing a cross?

There is nothing simple in trying to keep things simple, so that the delicate in society are not offended by the complexities of real-life societies.

What you hold as the place Canada needs to become, should make more than a few Canadians UN-comfortable.

#34 Irate Tolerant on 10.05.06 at 12:29 pm

It was last sunday I believe that an obligatory blonde news reader, gushingly reported that the Holy Month of Ramadan was upon us. No mention was made of Yom Kippur, or of Sukkot, or of Shemini Atzeret, or of Simchat Torah; all of which are concurrent with Ramadan. As I can’t be certain at this time, I hesitate to name the network, but then how much difference is there among them.

Anyway, “happy holidays” to all loyal Canadian Muslims and may you enjoy the “autumn break.”

#35 Judy on 10.05.06 at 1:42 pm

Catherine: I did not say that. I said Christian leaders were reinforcing the Bible’s loathing for homosexuals by reading Bible passages that call for all homosexuals to be put to death.
If that kind of quotation is to be condoned and protected by a “defence of Religion” law , than I am opposed so such law.
Acknowledging your dislike for a different life style choice is one thing, citing Bible verses and its ensuing endorsement of annhilation of homsexuals is hate.

#36 Catherine on 10.05.06 at 2:05 pm

Joanne, by you quoting the Globe that christians want to kill homosexuals, you only make youself look ignorant. Please do not quote a third party “news”…. Please provide us which Christian group/organization actually stated that. If you can’t find the source, then, do yourself a favour and stop propagating un-truths. All you’re doing is making yourself not credible.

#37 Richard on 10.05.06 at 2:30 pm

Can somebody tell me where in the Bible it is said that homosexuals should be put to death. I am fairly conversant re: the Bible and I don’t recall that piece of Scripture which calls for homosexuals to be put to death. By the way, Judy, the Bible does not “loath” homosexuals. It is written in Leviticus that a man shall not lie with another man as a woman lest there be an abomination. God also forbids adultry, stealing, murder, lying, envy, etc. and I recall the Bible saying that such people should be put to death. Judy – have you ever read the Bible or are you just surmising or making this up as you go along? Do you not ever tire of being shot down?

The Bible does tell us that God judges and that we should not (as you do, all the time, Judy). The Bible does teach tolerance and compassion. So, dearest Judy, open your eyes, read or at least consult a knowledgeable source before you go off on one of your tangents.

It may interest you to know that the Bible is not the only Scripture to condemn homosexuality. Either you have a hate on for Christians or you belong to another religion which is anti-Christian. Grow up Judy – you sound like an ill-informed, truculent pubescent.

#38 Richard on 10.05.06 at 2:32 pm

Whoops – I made an error – I forgot the word “not” in “I recall the Bible saying that such people should be put to death”. It should have read “I do NOT recall…”.

#39 Charley on 10.05.06 at 4:33 pm

It seems like everybody is out to “beat up on Christians” these days while nobody dares utter even a minor critisism of Islam (except on the blogs) even though it is most definately warranted – talk about hypocracy!!

#40 ThePolitic.com » The Christians Are Coming, The Christians Are Coming! on 10.05.06 at 5:42 pm

[...] uld bemoan social conservatives.  They’ve even inducted the MP for Toronto-Wannabe, Garth Turner, to supply them with endless quotes from a “Conservative&#8221 [...]

#41 KG on 10.05.06 at 7:04 pm

Jerry
Regarding “Brownshirts” etc
I am not sure that I advocate the Gay radical group disrupting a fundraiser … If you know anything about the Brownshirts then you will know that this little party spoiler is nothing remotly the same!
But if you want balance I would say that perhaps Rev. Phelps needs stop crashing funerals! That is not becoming of anyone let alone a Christian!
Thankfully Ottawa banned this guy from coming into the country.
This “imbalance” goes both ways … What needs to happen is Religion needs to stop defining morality and “walk the walk” instead of judging and preaching.This is why Christianity has such a bad name! Jesus did not judge anyone except the money traders in the temple … He walked the walk! What a concept! Try it and you will be surprised how people will respect you and Christianity in general.

#42 Marc on 10.05.06 at 7:22 pm

Charley, What is there to criticize about Islam? People can talk about the hardline fundamentalists but Islam is a religion that preaches peace. Indonesia is the worlds biggest Islamic country and in my opinion based on the people I have met they are very friendly and accepting people.

#43 KG on 10.05.06 at 8:37 pm

Catherine

Go to Rev. Jerry Phelps website. This guy is calling for the death of every Homosexual on the planet +++ Do a google search on this guy.
There is your credible evidence. I am sure you have heard of this person … If you can imagine that a person would have this kind of mindset! Anyhow there ya go!

#44 Stephen on 10.05.06 at 9:04 pm

Garth,

First, I’m not a ‘christian’ so you won’t have to worry about a religious perspective in my email to you today; however saying that, I am a believer in the Lord our God and His Son Jesus Christ. The Holy Bible is not just the realm of the religious do gooders, but it is for all mankind.

Secondly, I’m a former Conservative politician myself, who felt the wrath of the ‘politically correct’ who cower behind lies for fear the truth may offend some.

You are quoted today as saying on Canoe.ca in reference to creating a law to defend the rights of those who oppose the perverted concept of gay marriage, “Such a law could be the ‘slippery slope’ toward protecting Bigotry and Intolerance.”

Garth….just who’s rights are you protecting now a days? The poor down trodden minorities, or the majority, for whom a democracy is supposed to work for? Same-sex marriage is wrong and for that I’m proud to say I’m a bigot. (I was also the only politician in Oshawa who stood up and declared that if elected, I would ensure the City of Oshawa would NOT issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Obviously, even those who confess the Lord have no problem in ignoring His truth either.) I’m also intolerant of these minority perverts who desire to teach my kids that all manner of sin in the eyes of the Lord our God is okay and there is nothing to worry about. Especially when these freaks such as the US Congressman Foley of Florida, displayed his lack of tolerance and perversion to minors in encouraging them to play out un-natural physical relations with a grown man.

It may be politically advantageous for you to smear true Conservatives Garth, and I’m tolerant of that, but you also must be tolerant of opposing views like my own and many millions of others, who will not under any circumstances, accept the continued denigration of Canadian Society by a group of organized perverts who care nothing for others.

The Charter of Wrongs (Rights) should be scrapped and we must as a nation return to the Lord our God, or Canada and our brother nation the United States, will face judgment such as you have never seen.

But please Garth, don’t take my word for it. Take the word of the only one who’s word gave mankind Life, Jesus, the Lord our God.

In His Service,

Stephen
Formerly of Oshawa, Ontario
Lexington, South Carolina

#45 henry on 10.05.06 at 10:03 pm

Jerry, Since when does CBC Radio air any advertisments?

#46 jerry on 10.05.06 at 10:14 pm

Ya…. KG while looking up some “stuff” on this Rev.??? Phillips (not to great a character) I ran across this > http://www.article8.org/docs/news_events/glsen_043005/black_book/black_book_inside.htm
Not to great to teach Grade 3 kids with, I think it was. I could be wrong. Hopefully this wasn’t the little black book being discussed on this site.
Religion needs to stop defining morality
(well there was the italics test)

I think the Bible would define morality. (example)
Romans 1:27 (Amplified Bible)
27And the men also turned from natural relations with women and were set ablaze (burning out, consumed) with lust for one another–men committing shameful acts with men and suffering in their own [a]bodies and personalities the inevitable consequences and penalty of their wrong-doing and going astray, which was [their] fitting retribution.

Footnotes:

Romans 1:27 Webster’s New International Dictionary offers this as a definition of “selves.”

Well I want to push “say it” so I cam see if the italics worked.

#47 jerry on 10.05.06 at 10:17 pm

Well what do you know!!! DUBE is brilliant!!!

#48 John on 10.05.06 at 11:09 pm

“useful to substitute the word “black” for the words “same sex” and see if it still passes the smell test.”

I don’t know Garth. I substituted your name for the phrase “fat, snotty, self righteous, left wing bag of shit” and they both smelled the same.

#49 KG on 10.06.06 at 8:21 am

Stephen
For someone who say’s they are not a Christian you sure sound like one.
“Walks like a Duck … Talks like a duck … Surprise it’s a duck…”
You have adapted well to your new home …The typical red neck wacko quotes like …!
“…I’m also intolerant of these monority perverts…”
“…Same-sex marriage is wrong and for that I’m proud to say I’m a bigot…”

And the icing on the cake!
“The Charter of Wrongs (Rights) should be scrapped and we must as a nation return to the Lord our God, or Canada and our brother nation the United States, will face judgment such as you have never seen.”
Stephen, I must say done in true Carolina spirit. We are thrilled you are living in the Carolina’s … Promise me one thing …Stay there!
After your last election foray in Oshawa there is little appetite for the Christian Taliban in Canada.
God Bless!

P.S – All of the people on this Blog that are always complaining about Christians being picked on … This is the reason that Christanity has a bad name and reputation. The venom being spewed by our dearest Stephen is heart-stopping.

#50 KG on 10.06.06 at 8:24 am

Jerry
Go to this website and you will see Rev. Phelps on his home turf.

http://www.godhatesfags.com

#51 KG on 10.06.06 at 9:08 am

Stephen

The only absolute truth in your post was the opener!

“… First, I’m not a ‘christian’ so you won’t have to worry about a religious perspective in my email to you today …”

The rest of it is pure Carolina crap!

“Same-sex marriage is wrong and for that I’m proud to say I’m a bigot.”

“The Charter of Wrongs (Rights) should be scrapped and we must as a nation return to the Lord our God, or Canada and our brother nation the United States, will face judgment such as you have never seen.”

One thing I must say is that you are clear regarding your morals and they are based on a God of hate and selective love. This reminds me of the Taliban and other such groups. They have hijacked religion to suit there needs and agenda.

At least the good people of Oshawa made it clear regarding people like you Stephen. There is no room in a democratic, civilized country for people that have your beliefs and depth of hate.

PS: The Christians on this Blog that complain about being picked on … This is the reason. This guy says that he is NOT a Christian but emulates Christian language, uses the Bible for his own agenda etc etc …
This is how religions are hijacked!
No wonder “Christian Taliban” has been coined!

#52 jerry on 10.06.06 at 11:19 am

KG

Saw that.

Posted more about him on the Yukon thread as nobody seems to be talking about the Yukon.

#53 W.C. on 10.06.06 at 11:27 am

KG…are we still talking about Canada?

Phelps is on his own, and not even a Canadian. He is chastised at every turn by Christian leaders in his country.

That is the function of legitimate everyday religion, too. The leaders have warned people about his opinions and his ways.

Surely only the very gullible will be drawn in by him. Surely.

Adding him to the discussion about rights for folks, who chose not to participate in SSM, or any facet of it, says more about another kind of hijacking.

Anyone can get married now in Canada.

That right isn’t going to be taken away we suspect.

But it also isn’t going to be quite as fully accepted as you might like, and that is where the pinch is felt, I also suspect.

That is the other side of rights in this country.

And it is those employees, involved in the function itself, that we are discussing.

Getting back to the topic about what those folks rights are, in this country, what do you have to offer?

#54 Judy on 10.06.06 at 2:46 pm

Richard; Leviticus 20/13:”If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them”.

This is from the “warnings against immorality” section of Leviticus.
This is the verse used by Christians fundamentalists to incite hate against homosexuals.

#55 jerry on 10.06.06 at 11:05 pm

Judy

Maybe you are the only christian fundamentalist around here using that verse to incite hate against homosexuals.

Christians hate the sin and love the sinner!

#56 Doug on 10.07.06 at 12:37 pm

Garth Turner, MP:

I have heard reports in the media that the Conservative party plans on tabling a piece of legislation called the “Defence of Religion” Act to enable religious groups to espouse their prejudicial, offensive views on gays and lesbians. I am not gay but I would not support this kind of American, neo-conservative legislation that would allow discrimination against one group of people. I also believe that gay and lesbian people are born that way and their orientation is a not a matter of choice.

You ran in my riding as fiscal conservative and I voted for you on that basis. You did not mention anything in your election campaign about a “Defence of Religion” Act. Is this the secret agenda of the Harper conservative government that many in the media said existed?

I want to know how you would vote in the House if this piece of legislation is ever put forward. If you do support it , I want to make it clear that I will not be supporting you in the next election. It is an insult to the people in this riding who supported you. It is also an insult to all moderate Canadian conservatives who are more interested in fiscal responsibility rather than American style hate-mongering.

#57 Charley on 10.07.06 at 8:00 pm

See, this is what I mean…where are the rights for those who oppose SSM (which are likely the majority in Canada by the way)?

As soon as someone states their opposition they are “bigots, right-wing nutbars, neo-cons, pro-American religious right” etc, etc..

We have just as much right to oppose SSM as you people have to support it, for whatever our reasons may be!!

And you call yourselves tolerant – HA! HA! Just read the spewing venom from KG calling Stephen a “Christian Taliban” – why because he’s killing thousands of women and gays?? No, because he happens to believe that being gay is unnatural (which I totally disagree with but there are many religious people out there who DO agree).

Why are our oppoing opinions on this issue of SSM “wrong” and your’s are “right” – who says??

I would love to see a national referendum on this issue once and for all – put it on the ballot at the next election!! End it once and for all!!

For the above poster who asked about my Islam comment, I suggest you check out the http://www.religionofpeace.com website for some interesting information on Islam. Islam is not only a religion but also a political and social structure which has, at it’s base, some questionable components.

#58 KG on 10.08.06 at 9:40 am

Charley
Just a little correction regarding my “Christian Taliban” remark.
If you read the last paragraph you will see that I did not say Stephen is the Christian Taliban. I indicated that phrase was coined because people with his kind of beliefs are not dealt with by mainstream Christians in an effective way.
Just because Christians have not killed like the Taliban have, does not mean SOME (very few) Christians don’t have that as part of there agenda. Rev. Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church of Kansas has made that very clear. He wants to kill fags! Check his website Charley if you don’t beleive me. Google search “westboro baptist church”

My intent was to show that this is the way religions are hijacked by extreme elements. Stephen even opened his remarks by saying he is NOT a Christian. But he used language that may appeal to certain Christians. He uses “church language” This is how religions are hijacked.
The come in and say thay are NOT christians and before you know they are in control of the “Christian apparatus” and use it for there own purpose.
This is what the taliban did in Afghanistan. They are a terrorist organization with no religious affialiation at all, they just use the “Islamic apparatus” to control the people. Religion is an easy way to do that …. And it works!

#59 John Davis on 10.10.06 at 10:19 am

REPLY REGARDING POINTS RAISED BY W.C. :

Just to clarify my position…

1. “Would you include the payment to MPs, from parties you disagree with, in that statement, too? ”

No. MP’s are paid to represent the views of their constituents. It is their job to put forward various positions on a subject for debate and resolution, thereby creating an Act or Law. It is the job of the courts to deal with challenges to these laws as they arise, by interpreting them in accordance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and historical precedent.
It is the job of the public servant to administer those laws and interpretations. It is not the job of the public servant to attempt to circumvent the process and ignore or refuse to perform parts of the job that they may personally not agree with.

2. “Have you even heard of an Orthodox Jew deciding to equip himself to find employment in a meat packing plant, other than one that is Kosher? Why would he?

No – never heard of it. Perfect illustration of my point. A person holds strong religious beliefs that prevent him OR her from performing tasks that comprise part of the job. Hence, they seek employment elsewhere. I applaud and respect them for the strength of their convictions. They are living their faith.

3. “Why would you put thoughts about laws against driving drunk, pornography, theft, and assault, in the same paragraph with the desire for free speech?”

I support free speech, regardless of how much I may disagree with what is being said. I despise those who attempt to incite hatred against any particular group (including fundamentalists). I place the incitement of hatred in the same category as assault, drunk driving, etc. because the results are the same. People are physically harmed and killed. The Texans who dragged a black man for miles behind their car weren’t born with a hatred for other races. They were taught to think that way.

4. “Do those folks wanting free speech, in some religious matters, so sully your personal space that they should be banished from it, to keep you whole and comfy ?”

Not at all. I welcome rational and intelligent debate. I support the criminalisation of hateful rhetoric. There is a difference. To my knowledge, there is no widely practised religion that holds hate or extermination of any particular group to be one of its core principles. However, there are thousands of self-styled interpreters of religions that do advocate such extremes. We need to recognise the difference, and as a society, encourage free speech while stifling hate. It doesn’t matter how much we dislike some other group. We are all in this world together and we might as well learn to get along with each other.

5. “Are you suggesting that because someone works for the public sector, they are held to some different standard when serving the public?”

Absolutely! 100%! YES! For the simple reason that there is only one government for everyone. Businesses have competitors. If Company A chooses to adopt certain policies that a customer finds offensive then that customer can make the choice to do business with Company B. The company that is least offensive to the greatest number of people is the one that will earn the greatest profit. There is no such choice available for a citizen when enacting with the government. Services are to be provided equally to each and every Canadian regardless of race, creed, sex, colour, orientation, age, ability, or marital status.

6. “Would you look askew at a Muslim or Christian teacher in your child’s classroom, too?”

No – where did that idea come from? I would like my child to be as informed as possible about everything in the world, including the various religions – But I would strenuously object to any teacher telling my child that their own religion was the only true one. That is a decision that my child needs to make for themselves.

7. “Or the local policeman wearing a turban?”

No – I personally could not care less if the policeman (or woman) wears a turban, a dress, or runs around naked, as long as they are easily identifiable as a member of the police force and perform their jobs as required.

8. “Or the clerk wearing a cross?”

As above – it is none of my affair what the clerk chooses to wear. I would object if the cross-wearing was accompanied by a sermon of any kind, on any matter not having to do with the purchase I was making.

9. “There is nothing simple in trying to keep things simple, so that the delicate in society are not offended by the complexities of real-life societies.”

Certainly not simple, but here is a maxim that goes a long way … do unto others as you would have them do unto you …

Before you engage in some action that involves another human being, imagine how you yourself would feel if you were in their place. As the core topic of this comment section is SSM, imagine how you would feel if everybody else in the world was allowed to enter into a legal contract that offered numerous benefits, socially, mentally, physically and financially, but you weren’t allowed to because you were a little different than they were. Wouldn’t that be a nice feeling to go through your life with? Think about that. And just in case you want to suggest that same-sex orientation is not a “little” difference, ponder this: there are roughly 683,000 hours in our lifetimes, of these, the average person is going to spend about 3,900 making love. That is a smidgen over one half of one percent of their life. That’s about as little a difference as there can be, don’t you think ?

10. “What you hold as the place Canada needs to become, should make more than a few Canadians UN-comfortable.”

Well geez, all I can say to that is “right back at ya”, but we need to just concentrate on the positives and try to accomodate each other. Or, as was the case with Stephen who posted above, if we find the stuation so intolerable, move to an area where our outlook is more in keeping with the norm. As much as I despise his views, he had the guts to realise that he was out of step and that his convictions were so far removed from those of the general population here, that he needed to move elsewhere to find similar mores. We all have that option. We either choose to accept and develop what we have together, or we leave and find more accomodating and comfortable surroundings. Me – I am very happy here with my family and my society. Lots of little things to complain about, and it’s not a perfect country, but I do believe that it’s pretty near as perfect a country as exists anywhere.

#60 matthew o'Connor on 10.18.06 at 7:38 pm

I have no idea whether anyone has said something similar but here goes… Substituting the word “black” is not the same! Black is a term referring to a concrete fact, the significance of that fact differs to many but nonetheless, it is a “concrete” concept in reality. Marriage is a human created and defined concept – a figment of mans creative mind(if you will). A lexicon uses certain words to mean certain things and this has direct ramifications on thinking and communication. One cannot simply destroy the meaning of a word and not expect a backlash of confusion and frustration. Marriage is an historically religious term and through religion came to be a legal term. Make no mistake; it is a very religious term to many. If we are to respect peoples’ religions as well as their cultures and skin-colours we should be careful not infringe on the rights of many religions and their belief structures. The term, “marriage” is sacred to many and should be maintained as such. To remove the bad taste from this issue, a simple move would be to make all unions “civil” and only legally called a Civil Union, be M+M, W+M, or W+W. Leave the religious ceremonies separate from Law and let the marriages take place where the will (out of the hands of the state).

Crazy, how this has played out and ridiculous that it has come to this juncture. Words, and therefore thoughts, are not controllable by the state and we should never attempt to do so. Fairness and legal equal rights are the goal, NOT equalitarian thought cleansing with the aim of destroying individual thoughts and rights.

To each their own – in their house, their car, their church, their language. But, in the public space we simply need a common, fair and just set of principles to prevent the impedance of freedom – NOT to promote good feelings.