Well, here in the Land of the Freezing, we've had what I consider to be a breakthrough in the field of human rights: same-sex marriages.
TORONTO - Ontario's attorney general says the province will obey the law and register same-sex marriages. The Ontario Appeals Court ruled Tuesday the definition of marriage was invalid, and ordered the city of Toronto to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples.
Unfortunately, this isn't as clear-cut as it should be. First of all, the decision wasn't made by the government - it was made by the courts. Judges in the Ontario Provincial Court decided Tuesday that 'All Canadians should have the right to marry.' Too true. Unfortunately, the government has been waving too much on the issue. And who can blame them? If they say 'yes', they'll be labelled as breaking up the idea of the family unit, and lose all the votes from conservatives and bigots. If they say 'no', they'll be labelled as conservative reactionaries and they'll lose a lot of Western and a significant number of Central votes.
Secondly, there are those - significant numbers of them - that want this appeal to be appealed. And if it is still upheld by the appeals court, or if it is later upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada, it could still be overridden by the notwithstanding clause - a necessary evil, though one that can backfire.
Oddly enough, it is the BBC which has the most telling article on this divisive issue.
And Derek Rogusky of Canada's Focus on the Family group, writes in the Globe and Mail that the Ontario decision " has devalued the institution of marriage".
Devalued the institution of marriage? How on earth can it be devalued any more than it already is? I point to stars like J.Lo, and the myriad of other Hollywood glamour kings and queens. These people have each married and divorced more people in their lives than I've ever dated - I'm no Cassanova, sure, but even if I were, that statement would still be true for some.
The sanctity of marriage is a sham, and has been for years. Divorce is rampant, cheating, spousal abuse, it's horrible. People get 'married' in casinos in Vegas ('By the powers invested in me by the Nevada Gaming Commission...' -- The Simpsons) ten times in a week. You can't tell me that letting a man marry another man is going to do more damage to the outdated institution of 'marriage' than Hollywood.
"We have long opposed same-sex marriages, believing marriage is the unique union between a man and a woman," says the Toronto Sun in an editorial.
Marriage between a man and woman has been a historical necessity. From hunters and foragers to husbands, from nurses and cavemakers to wives, human society has formed a bond between the sexes to help us survive. But that is no longer necessary. Women don't need to depend on men anymore, now that they have rights of their own. Single parentage, though I don't encourage it, is accepted as one way of life, not necessarily wrong. Men who just leave their wives don't get off scot free. There are institutions in place to protect those that marriage itself is designed to protect.
Personally, this reminds me of another rather large debate of this past century. I was told recently, by a friend that I thought was at least somewhat open-minded, that the purpose of gay pride parades was to 'flaunt it' in our faces. Gay people, he insisted (and his sister backed him up on this) think they're 'better than us', that 'we should all be gay' (he was very adamant about this 'fact'). This, I can't help but think, is preposterous - ludicrous talk that smacks of bigotry and a refusal to think, let alone understand. These people, the whole family, cheer a Member of Parliament named Elsie Wayne, who shouted in Parliament that gay people should 'get on with their lives, and shut up about it'.
I wonder if Elsie, who is getting on in years, and has undoubtedly seen large parts of the past century unfold, would have said the same thing of the african americans of years past who wanted 'equal rights' as homosexuals do. Should these people have '[gotten] on with their lives', instead of bothering their governments? Should they have 'shut up about it'? Hell no.
Likewise, are Black Pride parades because 'they' think they're better than 'us'? Is it because they want everyone to be black? Does Michael Jackson have it all backwards? Could it be more preposterous? Not really.
What these people don't seem to understand is that homosexuality is not a choice. One is born with the sexuality they are born with, and you can either accept that, or you can choose to live the other way, whatever that may be, either gay men who are in denial (or are living a lie for conveniance), or women who have been abused in their childhoods and prefer women to men because of their trauma, or whatever the case may be. If you are born as the 'man's man', then so you shall be. If, like me, you prefer the fairer sex, but have some 'feminine' attributes yourself (I have a very girlish figure, if I do say so myself, and I pay a lot of attention to my hair), then hey, roll with it. If you prefer the company of a woman or a man, no matter which you are, then so you are, as long as you are being true to yourself.
So why is it so wrong? Why can't people just accept that some people are different? Personally, the idea of gay sex disgusts me - but then, so does the idea of eating liver. Being a cunning linguist, however, is something I would encourage to everyone (personally, I enjoy it).
What it comes down to is this: I don't have a problem with gay sex or gay marriages, as long as they don't involve me (well, lesbian sex/marriages I wouldn't mind being involved in, but that's another matter). So why can't the conservatives 'get on with their lives, and just shut up about it?' After all, the only people infringing on others' rights are them.