One reason why I won’t vote Conservative

04.12.05

I hadn’t intended to spark a political debate with my post below about the futility of a quick election. But since it evolved into one, I might as well explain that one of the reasons I won’t vote Conservative is because of things like this:

Members of the Canadian Parliament on Tuesday voted down an opposition attempt to derail the minority Liberal government’s bill to legalize gay marriage.

The New Democratic Party and most Bloc Quebecois MPs joined with a majority of Liberals in voting 164-132 against a motion to block legislation to legalize gay marriage nationally. The Conservative Party motion called for no second-reading of the bill unless it included language that reaffirmed the traditional definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.

My Canada affirms equal rights for all citizens regardless of religion or religious beliefs, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation. My Canada doesn’t look to enshrine discrimination in any form in legislation. My Canada is flawed, but at least it’s trying. And the Conservatives do not reflect my Canada in their persistent, singular focus on an issue that’s meant to get votes from one group by denying rights to another.

No, this isn’t the most important voting issue for me. It won’t even make the top ten. But it is a shining example of how the Conservative pandering to the social right-wing is not going to get them elected anytime soon. Memo to Harper: Elections are won in the middle.

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Puck 11.30.-1 at 12:00 AM

For that matter, I wouldn’t mind moving away from the Judeo-Christian idea of using religious dogma to govern. Even the name of your system is derived from religions.

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2 DaninVan 04.13.05 at 3:22 PM

Fine, then vote NDP or support an Independant, anything but these arrogant greedy bastards that are bound and determined to break this country up.

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3 segacs 04.13.05 at 3:30 PM

NDP??? NDP???

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4 Jonny 04.13.05 at 4:55 PM

the Conservatives have liberal on the backfoot, they shouldn’t pull any punches. This issue has the potential to put the conservatives on the backfoot.

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5 DaninVan 04.13.05 at 5:39 PM

Well, run yourself then, Sari. I’d vote for you, seriously, I would.

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6 DaninVan 04.13.05 at 5:40 PM

…ummm..maybe that telemarketing thing could be a boatanchor.

😉

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7 John Palubiski 04.13.05 at 7:06 PM

Ok, stating that elections are won in the *middle* means we’re in agreement. In addition, my Canada represents much the same values that you’ve outlined in your second last paragraph.

But the middle that you speak of Sari; just where is it, exactly?

The article you link to states that some 3000 gay couples have been married since the law courts in seven provinces and the Yukon cleared the way. I’d wager (well not my mortgage!) that this figure will remain quite stable; the 3000 newlyweds representing the only *groundswell* we’ll probably ever see.

And 3000 gay couples do not a middle make.

You’re to be commended, Sari, for your concern about gay rights, but legislation and supreme court rulings have done just about all they can do to accommodate gays. In the end, all that this legislative tweaking can do is to establish a even playing ground for everyone. After that it’s entirely up to the individual.

Canada probably counts more than 3,000,000 gays and lesbians, and although the banquet-halls be rented, the invitations sent, and the flowers ordered, very, very few gay couples have actually come forward to avail themselves of their of their hard-won right to marry!

Why is that?

And just where is the middle, anyhow?

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8 segacs 04.13.05 at 9:01 PM

*Shakes head*. Where to even begin here?

There are only about 360,000 Jewish people in Canada. So does that mean that protecting equal rights for Canadian Jews is not in the “middle” because there aren’t enough of us to be in the majority?

Ensuring that gays and lesbians have the right to marry doesn’t mean they are compelled to marry, any more than the rights of straight people to marry compells us to do so.

Rights aren’t a numbers game. Saying it represents the “middle” to pick on a minority just cause you outnumber them is bullying, plain and simple.

The people who remain against gay marriage seem – from what I’ve seen – to do so for 2 reasons: either they feel somehow “threatened” by it (for what reasons, I can’t fathom), or they believe in the bible literally (in which case I feel like asking them why they don’t keep slaves for 7 years and when the last time was that they wore cotton and linen together).

Gay marriage shouldn’t be just a special-interest issue; it’s an issue that affects us all if we believe in equality and if we claim to be against discrimination.

I’ve posted extensively on this; for more, search the archives.

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9 DaninVan 04.13.05 at 9:47 PM

“… last time was that they wore cotton and linen together.”

Huh? What’s wrong with cotton and linen together?

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10 segacs 04.13.05 at 11:19 PM

Er, that should be *wool* and linen. That’s what happens when you type quickly and don’t check. Sorry.

Here for more info on that bizarre biblical edict.

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11 DaninVan 04.14.05 at 1:36 AM

Ok, now I KNOW you’re messing with my mind!
I can’t remember the 30+/- ways to wire a 3way switch; I’m sure as hell not going to try and commit THAT to memory.
How ’bout polyester and wool?

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12 John Palubiski 04.14.05 at 3:25 PM

Sari, I cited the number of gay weddings merely to put things into perspective.

Of course rights DON’T depend on numbers.

Of the nearly 3,000,000 gays and lesbians in Canada, only 3,000 were married, and if memory serves me, some of these 3,000 individuals were actually from the States.

Not a groundswell, but a short straw fire

It’s an issue pushed by a tiny clique of ageing boomers motivated by a deep sense of self loathing.

In fact, Gays who promote this so-called cause only do so because they havn’t got a clue as to what being gay is all about.

I’ve NEVER felt any desire to *get married*, still don’t and probably never will.

Do I hate myself? Not at all!

Am I attacking the tenors of gay marriage out of resentiment or frustration?

No mamm!

I do so because I’ve taken the time to think it through; I do not support this *right* because I understand who and what I am.

Sari, promoting some shadow parallel institution of marriage would amount to a betrayal of my ontic status.

Besides, it’s bit beneath me!

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13 John Palubiski 04.14.05 at 4:35 PM

One more thing, expanding the definition of marriage will utlimately leave gays and lesbians more vulnerable and marginalized.

What adavantages could possibly be acrued by following the likes of Svend Robinson, one of the country’s biggest boosters of gay marriage?

The “ring” incident gave all of us a brief glimpse into the guy’s state of mental health.

And what kind of “judgement” did our intrepid human rights activist display when he and fellow comrades formed a human chain………..
around Arafat’s bunker!

To boot, he didn’t utter a SINGLE word, murmured nary a complaint about the appalling treatment gays are forced to endure all over the Arab world.

Go figure!

Like I said, this guy is Canada’s #1 champion of gay rights and gay marriage

The pink template from which all other gay rights activists were struck.

And people expect me to heed his word?

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14 DaninVan 04.14.05 at 4:53 PM

I’m thinking Sari’s wishing she hadn’t brought this subject up…;)

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15 segacs 04.14.05 at 5:11 PM

John, let me see if I understand you: because you, personally, do not feel the desire to get married, you believe that other people who do feel that desire are misinformed, “don’t understand” themselves, or are trying to defend what you call a “so-called” right?

The personal truly is the political with you, isn’t it?

I’m straight and I’m not married. Does that mean I should call any of my married friends misguided? Does that mean I should lobby to get rid of the right to marry for all straight people just because I personally do not want to get married at this time?

A right should exist even if only one person wants to take advantage of it. Sometimes it’s that one person who sparks change by daring to ask for a right.

If “only” 3,000 black people signed up to vote in the American South when civil rights were passed, would that make you feel that it was a “so-called” right that wasn’t worth defending?

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16 John Palubiski 04.14.05 at 8:04 PM

Sari, i don’t want to labour the point……I,ll start sounding “trollish”

Nor do I wish to be a bother or a burden.

Is polticis personal with me? Sometimes yes and sometimes no.

I,ll skip the prose and lay down my points.

1) Gay marriage doesn’t enhance the position or the social security of gays.

2) Expanding the definition of marriage may have some very unpleasant and unexpected side-effects; polygamy is a good example.

3) Gay marriage undermines the pillars (family) of one of the rare civilizational systemes ( Judeo-Christian) that has allowed a space for gay men and women throughout its history.

4) Being pro-gay means reinforcing the cornestones of that civilization and, at the same time, enlarging the “gay space” this wonderful culture has provided.

5) Gay marriage may, in the long run, have a negative impact on women’s rights and their overall position in society. If one-man/one man, then why not one-man/three- women?

6) The “right” for gays to marry has absolutely no connection with the civil rights momvements of the 50’s and 60’s. There is a qualitative difference between being brutally murdered because of skin colour and being denied a marriage license because one is gay.

7) Civil unions provide all the requirements (financial/inheritence) that gays need.

8) I PROMISE I will NOT bore you any more with this topic! :o)

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17 segacs 04.14.05 at 8:20 PM

Well, since you promised nicely…

1) The same argument could be made for “traditional” marriage – you could say that common-law marriage has the same position and social security. But millions of people still get married all the time. I guess some people really do feel that marriage enhances their position or their social security.

2) That’s the strangest argument that I keep hearing from the right. Says who? Just because we allow marriage between two *people* doesn’t mean we’re expanding the definition to include unions between a fish and a bird. The slippery slope argument is a logical fallacy that really has nothing to do with this debate.

3) That’s nonsense on top of bullshit (with all due respect). Since when has “Judeo-Christian” (and by the way, I hate that term, there’s nothing Christian about Judaism) society “always” had a space for gays? Only in the last 20-30 years or so. And how exactly will gay marriage “undermine” straight marriage? My parents won’t be any less married if Adam and Steve down the street can tie the knot. Besides, our society needs to stop confusing religious values with civil rights. Sure, some of our traditions historically came from religion, but that doesn’t mean that’s a *good* thing. An atheist or a non-Jewish person or a non-Christian or anyone who just doesn’t buy into the whole “no gay marriage” religion thing shouldn’t have their right to marry restricted because of a religion they don’t belong to or don’t practice.

4) I’m not pro-gay or pro-straight, I’m pro-human. I believe that everyone should have the same fundamental rights no matter what. They can choose to do with them as they wish.

To be continued – I have to go into a meeting.

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18 segacs 04.14.05 at 9:50 PM

5) Again with the slippery slope arguments. How are you making the leap here? Are you implying that adding basic rights for one group will subtract basic rights from another? Sounds like baseless fear-mongering to me.

6) The civil rights movement was about getting people to see that people were all fundamentally equal regardless of skin colour. How would you think of someone who said, okay, we’ll stop lynching black people, but they don’t really *need* the right to vote. Similarly, this is a movement for civil rights regardless of sexual orientation. Anything less than equal rights means that we’re still discriminating. Until we can wrap our minds around that fundamental principle of equality, discrimination will remain.

7) Civil unions like common-law marriage also provide the same tax beenfits to straight couples. But millions of people disagree and choose to get married all the time. So either we do away with civil marriage altogether (in which case we’re essentially reversing millions of marriages), or we extend the same right of marriage – which does have meaning to many people – to anyone who wants it.

John, gay or straight, I pretty much tell opponents of gay marriage the same thing: you don’t want to have a gay marriage? Fine. Nobody’s forcing you to. But extending the right to those who do want to is no threat whatsoever to those who don’t.

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19 DaninVan 04.14.05 at 10:21 PM

*Boggle* “I hate that term, there’s nothing Christian about Judaism..”
That’s not true of the obverse; most everything about Christianity derived from Judaism

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20 segacs 04.14.05 at 11:30 PM

So instead of “Judeo-Christian”, the more honest term is “Christian”. That’s what people mean when they say it, so why not just say what they mean?

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21 Puck 04.14.05 at 11:42 PM

“A right should exist even if only one person wants to take advantage of it.”

That is a pretty odd way of looking at it. Rights are determined by the majority. A person who exercises a right that no one else has is called a criminal.

As to John Palubiski, there must be something about marriage or Harper wouldn’t be fighting so hard against it.

Your main argument seems to be that it undermines societies morals (leading to polygamy). Like rights, a society also determines its morals. The morals of our society include democracy and open discussion of the way society works. Part of that is re-examining our “pillars” and making sure they aren’t keeping some people down while holding the rest up. They don’t have to be dying for us to do that.

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22 DaninVan 04.15.05 at 3:16 AM

Sari; because ‘Christianity’ is simply the last chapter in a 5 millenia saga. Post-Judaic would probably be a more accurate description of the last chapter as it more or less corresponds with the diaspora. Since we share 3 or 4k years of common history and Christianity was born of Judaism with all its teachings, it would be counterintuitive to drop the “Judeo” reference. We certainly share the 10 commandments…and ignore them with equal abandon.

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23 John Palubiski 04.15.05 at 5:04 PM

I’m breaking my promise….and it’s all YOUR fault!

To Puck; you say that it is up to society to determine its morals, and you then state that we should abandon religious dogama when it comes to governing.

But Puck, if we abandon religious dogma, then what yardstick do we use to determine morality ethics? Teh two when divorced from any fixed transcendant source quickly degenerates into crass utilitarianism. Today’s *right* becomes tomorrow’s *wrong*.

It’s a bit like setting off across the Atlantic ….minus a compass.

DaninVan, the term “Post-Judaic” works fine for me. I used the term Judeo-Christian simply because its what most poeple employ when refering to our culture’s moral underpinnings. I do NOT use the term in a gratuitous manner in order to muscle-in on someone else’s theological territory. Obviously, there are many, many difference between the two faiths.

Sari, your points of view are well taken! You write your responses with mucho energy and “umph”. It’s a debate that’s fun to discuss, but one that will never be resolved in a comm-box!

Besides, I’m feeling a little
“ascared” !

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24 segacs 04.15.05 at 5:23 PM

But Puck, if we abandon religious dogma, then what yardstick do we use to determine morality ethics? Teh two when divorced from any fixed transcendant source quickly degenerates into crass utilitarianism. Today’s *right* becomes tomorrow’s *wrong*.

Oh man, where to even begin with this one?

How about here?

(Edited because I decided I actually hate that old university paper I wrote on the subject; better to just direct you to one of the sources).

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25 John Palubiski 04.15.05 at 6:42 PM

Darn! Can,t access it! I’ll check it later….when I’m on another computer

“Net Nanny”, you know!

Gee Sari is the link full of abscenities, or what?! :o)

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