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The Harper government's 'commitment' to gay rights

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The Harper government's 'commitment' to gay rights

In the past few days, there has been some level of attention paid to the fact that the Conservative government has been advocating on behalf of gay rights in places like Uganda, while at the same time trying to put limits on things like same-sex divorce in Canada.
 
Embassy magazine’s look at the issues notes that the Harper government’s support is at the lowest-common-denominator level (stop killing gays or throwing them in jail). Meanwhile, Matt Gurney at the National Post took that piece and went so far as to chastise the people who still say the government has a homophobic hidden agenda, but with all these wonderful things the Harper government is doing for gays, can’t we lay that to rest?
 
Well, yes and no. On the one hand, I don’t believe Harper is homophobic, nor the people immediately around him. It’s not just that John Baird is one of his most loyal ministers, or that Harper has a lot of time for out lesbian Senator Nancy Ruth, or that his wife, Laureen, loves gay men. These things are all true, and according to Nancy Ruth, Harper believes simply that sexuality is a private matter and leaves it at that. So be it.
 
But while Gurney cites things like the government's declaration that same-sex marriage will remain the law of the land, the pledge to help more queer refugees, or going to bat for decriminalizing homosexuality in the Commonwealth, Gurney doesn’t look at the substance of these moves.
 
Yes, same-sex marriage remains the law of the land, so long as you were married in Canada and meet the residency requirements for divorce, and Gurney ignores the fact that Harper has opened up a legal can of worms when it comes to the recognition of all marriages abroad.
 
Moves to restrict the kinds of refugees accepted to only those recognized by states or the UNHCR marginalizes a large number of other queer refugees, primarily from Africa. As well, Jason Kenney’s much-touted pilot program with the Rainbow Refugee Committee on funds for private sponsorship is more of a back-patting exercise. It looks like it’s doing more than it is, given that groups like Rainbow Refugee have a more urgent need for capacity building, something these funds cannot be used for.
 
And then there’s the promotion of gay rights abroad. It’s one thing to say to the president of Uganda that he needs to stop the bill that would further criminalize queers in his country, but it’s quite another to actually give aid dollars to queer rights groups in those countries. And while Gurney says that this is a “walk before you run” approach to rights, it doesn’t acknowledge that “stop killing gays” is a far cry from a more profound message that queer rights are human rights.
 
It also ignores the “love the sinner, hate the sin” connotations of the message. Don’t kill the gays, but don’t promote their full equality either. That’s certainly a message that resonates with the evangelical base that does still exist within the Conservative party and that can’t be dismissed as a “hidden agenda.”
 
Above all, Gurney’s dismissal of criticisms of Harper’s record on queer rights ignores the fact that there’s a lot more to those rights than same-sex marriage. There is also a wide gap between having rights on paper and being able to enjoy them substantively.
 
Sure we have marriage equality in Canada, but we’re still seeing homophobic and transphobic violence, the lack of access to services – most especially in the health sector – and there still exists a huge urban-rural divide when it comes to queers in this country. It’s easy for city dwellers, both gay and straight, to think that the accepting environment they know extends across the country. It doesn’t.
 
There are still problems for queer communities in this country that Harper’s government has done nothing about. The majority of the Conservative caucus, including Harper himself, voted against the bill to extend human rights protections to trans people. They say that bullying is an issue but won’t offer any solutions. AIDS service organizations are starved for funds. They steadfastly refused to equalize the age of consent in this country.
 
Relying on the fact that they haven’t repealed equal marriage, their back-patting on refugees and their bare minimum advocacy abroad starts to look more like a pinkwashing job to say, “See! We’re totally not homophobic!” Until you scratch beneath the surface.
 
There may not in fact be a homophobic hidden agenda, but this government still has a long way to go before it can claim that it’s actually doing something substantive for the queer community, both at home and abroad.
 
 
 
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Comments

John Baird on QuAIA
Here's another opportunity for Xtra and the gay Left to attack John Baird: he commented on their favourite cause, QuAIA, in a recent interview with the Jerusalem Post. See: http://www.jpost.com/Features/FrontLines/Article.aspx?id=256285&R=R44
Baird is quoted as saying: I think we have seen a new anti-Semitism emerge around the world – delegitimizing the state of Israel... There was a political issue in Toronto where they have quite a large gay pride parade, and they had a “queers against Israeli apartheid” float. Outside of Israel, what is the record of any of Israeli neighbors on those [gay] issues? This is not to say that everyone who protests Israel is anti-Semitic, but everyone who is anti Semitic certainly protests, or tries to delegitimize the state of Israel, and we can’t be silent about that.
Gay Canada
Prima Facia Charter Challenge FL01-11127 in Cultureville 2012 aka CalGAYry has proven Gaps in Legislation discriminating against the LGBT community exist. Furthermore these gaps widened/eroded with Stelmach's rushed amendments.... Failed nazi feminist Justice Minister Alison Redford had the chance in 2005 to close these gaps with lawyer Lillian Riczu who has recently LOST and APPEALED the decision of Justice Bensler. Their blatant abuse of process, discrimination and negligence has torn apart a Legal parent and guardian from their child after 5 long expensive years on the back of liars DJR and DD. Candice Speck and illegal son Nathan will face ongoing difficulty. The AHRC has FAILED twice to help due to appointment of directors by Redford. Their Nazi agenda is exposed, their negligence is apparent. Federal Justice Minister Nicholson who has opposed LGBT RIGHTS speaks out of FEAR. Dakota Hart has self represented and won, yet forced to move to Ontario where the battle against HATE, Discrimination and Family Values continues as he fights a lone battle uphill against HARPERS conservative agenda. IT DOES NOT GET BETTER in fact IT GOT worse with AHRC DISMISSALS adn DENIALS. May 16th is the appeal by Govt and DEFENDANTS lawyer Edward McCann from sobey boden lenz.The College of alberta psychologists who only recently admitted being gay is still a mental illness category in 2010 has admited the unprofessionalism, discrimination and bias of an ethics chair and well noted author Dr. Terry Pezzot Pearce. THIS IS ALL FACTUAL dax hart facebook profile and kaelTsarvek twitter profile previously fitnessexecdwh has details. Harper's commitment to GAY RIGHTS is written in backroom deals in NAZI anti gay anti family funds. Access to justice is impossible an CONSERVATIVES like Redford SHould be held culpable for over $500,000 damages including loss of LEGAL PARENT/CHILD relationship. How many more CDN families and HUMAN RIGHTS violations does it take for LGBT community to step i
Paid Hacks?
Mk_ultra_again

Do you have evidence? Also saying this is an attack on our liberal Democracy and freedom of Speech. Also when did Steven Harper even take away our rights?
Harper Hacks
Probably the only thing more shameful than anti-gay harper are his paid hacks who keep trying to convince how gay friendly Harper is and how there is no secret agemda even though there obviously is one.
I find...
by assuming everybody is a Nazi or Islamist until proven to be otherwise is the wisest approach. But then again, the yellow stars and the pink triangles and those who wore them inform me I should do no less.
from Dale's regular blog
http://www.globalnews.ca/pages/story.aspx?id=6442563274 and http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/irwin-cotler/gay-marriage-canada_b_1205231.html?ref=canada
What anti-gay agenda?
More discussion of the left's paranoia:

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/01/24/baird-promotes-tolerance-for-gays-in-clever-effort-to-hide-anti-gay-agenda/
More Tory Support of Gays
http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/01/23/john-baird-points-finger-at-gay-rights-abuses-in-african-caribbean-countries/

Go, Tories, go! Perhaps it's time the Canadian left start examining its own history of surrendering gay human rights in favour of multiculturalism and Islamic fascism. Women aren't the only group honour killed and silenced in Islam.
Who cares what lib-tards think?
The new Conservative majority government is the sanest and ablest government Canada has had in generations. Gay have equal rights, the country's interests are back in the hands of Canadians, and illegals, gay and straight, will get booted, like they deserve.
Jason Kenny is doing a great job!
Why are you being a tool for the Islamists?

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