Something is Totally Wrong
This post was written by MJ on 15th June, 2003
Give us your tired, your poor, your fabulous homos yearning to breathe free
Alberta will defy the Canadian federal government‘s decision to not appeal recent court judgments and refuse to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples, says Alberta Justice Minister Dave Hancock.
The Alberta move is a [warning: blatant bias ahead!] last-ditch effort to preserve inequality in Canada’s bastion of intolerance. Premier Ralph Klein — surely preaching to his party’s rural, fundamentalist core — had earlier promised to pull out the notwithstanding clause, that lovely part of our national constitution which allows tin pot dictators provincial premiers to override court decisions that disturb their redneck delicate sensibilities. (See sign laws, Quebec.)
So, given Alberta’s obvious discomfort with its more fabulous residents, I’d like to extend an invitation for Alberta’s gay and lesbian community to move to Montreal. Here, you can marry, raise your family, and redecorate; hell, you can walk down Ste-Catherine’s at high-noon with nothing but a pair of ass-less chaps and a smile, for all most of us care. Here, your freedom, your joie-de-vivre, everything except your Liza Minelli bootlegs will be celebrated as an addition to our humble community.
(Does the above trade in the usual stereotypes about gay men and women? Sure, but no worse than the thinking of the western dinosaurs in Premier Klein’s cabinet.)
Seriously: Montreal’s economy increasingly relies on creativity, cosmopolitanism, tolerance, culture; Alberta’s economy depends upon sucking the decayed sludge of million-year-old swamps out of the ground. Where would you want to live?
(Premier Klein’s move proves again that Canada’s conservatives are conservatives in name only. Otherwise, they would have embraced the Prime Minister’s move, which effectively legislates the government out of the bedroom’s of the nation. As I understand it, all Ottawa’s planned legislation will do is open up the official definition of marriage to include same-sex couples. As this CBC report notes, “Churches and other religious groups will be able to decide whether they want to sanctify such unions.” Fine: Same-sex couples will have just as many rights as hetero-sexed couples to apply for and receive a marriage licence. But if churches want to continue their closed-minded, out-of-date, bigoted ways traditions, that is their right. Churches that will not sanctify same-sex unions will have taken another step out of the Canadian mainstream.)