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The Canadian Progressive: Norwegian King Harald’s amazing speech in support of diversity, religious tolerance [VIDEO]

Last week, Norwegian King Harald V gave one of the most powerful speeches ever heard in support of racial diversity, refugees, religious tolerance and LGBT rights.

The post Norwegian King Harald’s amazing speech in support of diversity, religious tolerance [VIDEO] appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

. . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Norwegian King Harald’s amazing speech in support of diversity, religious tolerance [VIDEO]

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Bishops and Reality

Seldom do Alberta’s Bishops allow reality to interfere with their preconceived ideas.  In fact, where Calgary’s Bishop Henry is concerned, the idea of reality seems to exist in another dimension entirely where LGBT rights are concerned.  In h… . . . → Read More: The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Bishops and Reality

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Bishops and Reality

Seldom do Alberta’s Bishops allow reality to interfere with their preconceived ideas.  In fact, where Calgary’s Bishop Henry is concerned, the idea of reality seems to exist in another dimension entirely where LGBT rights are concerned.  In his latest tirade, carrying the grandiose title “TOTALITARIANISM IN ALBERTA IV“, is so profoundly riddle with ignorance, hyperbole and outright paranoid thoughts that it deserves a more detailed tearing down.  

Despite the differing signage, ranging from “Flush Bill 10” to “Everyone Can Pee,” the issues are not just about bathrooms, plumbing and urination, parental rights, safety of children, how people feel, GSAs and an imperfect Bill 10. What is at stake is the very order of creation. (emphasis added)

Apparently, protecting LGBT youth in Alberta schools is now such a profound threat to the Bishop that it now represents an existential threat to the world itself!  Wow … I had no idea that LGBT, and in particular Trans, kids were so powerful.

Mr. Eggen’s guiding principle for best practices is: “self-identification is the sole measure of an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.” This foundational statement is simply assumed to be true and no evidence is offered to substantiate the claim.

Such subjectivity is ever expansive and morally problematic. LGBT has now swelled to LGBTTQQIAAP2S. … The newest addition is the “2S” which denotes being two-spirited, a term used for one who does not fit into the male/female binary. Some have even added “BDSM” for those into bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism.

Oh yes, the dreaded “slippery slope” argument.  Of course recognizing that human sexuality and expression is far more diverse than the simple male/female missionary model that the Bishop seems so hung up on would collapse – a reality that most of us have figured out the hard way.

However, facts, not ideology, determine reality. On April 6, 2016, the American College of Pediatricians, representing more than a hundred pediatricians, issued an important statement concerning gender ideology … The College’s statement meshes perfectly with biblical and theological truths.

 Let’s look at this for a moment.  “Biblical and theological truths” is a key phrase in here.  Let me be abundantly clear about something.  In spite of the Bishop’s protestations, we are not talking about biblical or theological notions of truth here.  Bill 10 and the guidelines that came down earlier this year are not about those issues at all – they are about protecting children and creating a safe environment for them.  For all that the Bishop may wish to blather on about “biblical truth”, the fact is that he is miles offside here, because there is clear evidence that providing safe, secure environments that acknowledge the realities of LGBT youth provide better outcomes for their education.  (There’s a lot more like this)  From the pulpit, the Bishop is free to spout whatever he wishes, but when it comes to objective realities, the facts contradict everything he is saying.

Pope Francis, “the who am I to judge” Pope, has not minced his words: “the gender ideology is demonic.” He includes gender theory among the fundamental dangers of our era, with the same threatening potential as nuclear weapons and gene manipulation and describes it as an attitude with which man creates a new sin that is directed against God the Creator.

I love this.  The political right wing has started to use the language of “gender ideology” in its attacks on gender minorities.  Seriously?  Lovely attempt at trying to obfuscate the discussion by inventing terminology.  Rather than admitting that they are objecting to equality rights for transgender people (which means you have to admit that you are advocating for discriminatory practices), the Bishop borrows a meaningless piece of verbiage and uses it hoping that we won’t notice the sleight of hand.

“Beyond the understandable difficulties which individuals may experience, the young need to be helped to accept their own body as it was created, for thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation… Sex education should help young people to accept their own bodies and to avoid the pretension to cancel out sexual differences because one no longer know how to deal with it.”

Really?  I wonder if either the Bishop or the Pope realize that most transgender people experience  significant levels of dysphoria from the outset?  That for some, the only option for a viable life is to transition?  Many spend years trying desperately to “accept” the lot that they have been given, only to find that they are perpetually unable to do so.  It isn’t merely “accepting their bodies”, most have struggled for years to achieve that, and failed.

Bishop Henry might want to actually get to know the realities that transgender people face, the struggles of their lives and how his hostility to them affects their lives before making grandiose pronouncements about how they should be “treated” in his judgment.  

. . . → Read More: The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Bishops and Reality

Montreal Simon: Celebrating a Great Day in the Life of the New Canada

I suppose I could have asked for one more thing to make yesterday an even more perfect day.I could have asked the Great Polar Bear God of the Great White North to make it stop raining, and make spring feel like spring not winter.But that would have bee… . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Celebrating a Great Day in the Life of the New Canada

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: An Open Letter To Jim Prentice

Dear Mr. Prentice,

In responding to MLA Laurie Blakeman’s Bill 202 as you did, you have just thrown LGBT students under the political bus AGAIN.

Let me be abundantly clear here.  Clause 11.1 one of the Alberta Human Rights legislation does not “protect” the rights of anyone.  It creates an environment where teachers are afraid . . . → Read More: The Cracked Crystal Ball II: An Open Letter To Jim Prentice

Montreal Simon: WorldPride 2014 and the Shadow of the Deathly Con Regime

Well it wasn't the yellow brick road, it was just the rainbow crosswalk in Toronto's gay village.But it did lead to an amazing place. A celebration so big that two million people are expected to attend, and at one point 25 city blocks will have to be closed off.And all I could think was, . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: WorldPride 2014 and the Shadow of the Deathly Con Regime

Montreal Simon: The Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia and the Con Bigots

It's International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. A day to remember the millions of LGBT people in the world who are being oppressed, hurt, and even murdered for the "crime" of being who they are.A day to remember that even in Canada, the hatred that kills is still a problem.For how can I forget . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia and the Con Bigots

Montreal Simon: Britain, Gay Marriage, and the Tragic Legacy of Homophobia

I almost wish Margaret Thatcher was still alive so she could have seen the rainbow flag flying over government buildings in London today.Because her infamous Section 28 anti-gay law, which was similar to the one in Russia today, crushed a generation of young LGBT people.So the sight of those flags and all those happy . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Britain, Gay Marriage, and the Tragic Legacy of Homophobia

Montreal Simon: Fred Phelps: Why I’m Celebrating the Death of a Bigot

It seems only right that the day Spring finally arrived, was also the day that Fred Phelps finally departed.Fred Phelps — the founding pastor of a Kansas church known for its virulently anti-gay protests at public events, including military funerals — has died, the church said Thursday.And I must admit that my first reaction . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Fred Phelps: Why I’m Celebrating the Death of a Bigot

Montreal Simon: The Day Rob Ford Was Exposed as a Bestial Bigot

When I went past Toronto's City Hall today I was happy to see the beautiful rainbow flag flying, like it is in so many other Canadian cities from St John's to Vancouver.As a gesture of solidarity with the brutally oppressed LGBT people of Russia.So you can imagine how angry I felt when I learned . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Day Rob Ford Was Exposed as a Bestial Bigot

Montreal Simon: The Quebec Charter and the Religion that Kills

I think I can safely say that in the icy heart of this Harperland winter, just about the last thing I want to think about, talk about, or write about is the Quebec's Secular Charter.I've written about it before, and no doubt I'll write about it again. But not tonight.Tonight I'll just say . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Quebec Charter and the Religion that Kills

Progressive Proselytizing: A not so progressive inauguration speech

There is a lot of buzz going on, from all sides, that Obama has used his presidential address as some big pivot towards progressivism. The main debate seems to be on whether Obama is just saying some lofty rhetoric, perhaps to try and cement the kind of legacy he hopes for, or whether this is . . . → Read More: Progressive Proselytizing: A not so progressive inauguration speech

Progressive Proselytizing: Transphobia is alive and well in Ontario

As a follower of both US and Canadian politics, but a Canadian resident, it is a source of national pride that much of the most abhorrent aspects of the culture wars in the US are, thankfully, absent in Canada. For all our faults, our elections don’t seem to have an over abundance of old conservative white . . . → Read More: Progressive Proselytizing: Transphobia is alive and well in Ontario

Progressive Proselytizing: Why Boy Scouts of America is allowed to discriminate: Comparing US and Canadian human rights laws

I recently expressed outrage over the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to continue banning members who were LGBT or atheists/agnostics. Ideally, groups like BSoA would be able to figure out for themselves that this homophobic and discriminatory policy is not acceptable. But there is also a legal question as to how it is that . . . → Read More: Progressive Proselytizing: Why Boy Scouts of America is allowed to discriminate: Comparing US and Canadian human rights laws

Progressive Proselytizing: Boy Scouts of America’s despicable anti-gay policy and the suffering of LGBT youth

The ever convoluted path towards full LGBT equality took another turn for the worst:

“The Boy Scouts of America on Tuesday said the organization would continue to deny gay people membership, saying that the policy “is in the best interest of Scouting.”

Not to mention its long standing ban on atheists and . . . → Read More: Progressive Proselytizing: Boy Scouts of America’s despicable anti-gay policy and the suffering of LGBT youth

Thumbs Up Canada: Identity, Migration & Politices: Journeys of LGBTQ+ Newcomers

I am co-organizing this panel discussion event on LGBTQ+ Newcomer issues on June 19, 2012 in Toronto. If you are in this area, come join the discussion! . . . → Read More: Thumbs Up Canada: Identity, Migration & Politices: Journeys of LGBTQ+ Newcomers

Progressive Proselytizing: Obama comes out in support of same sex marriage

Years back, when Barack Obama first told us that his views on gay marriage were “evolving”, I predicted that he would support gay marriage before the next election. That day has now come, and Obama has evolved to join his supposedly progressive base by supporting gay marriage.

Good. For the first time, the President . . . → Read More: Progressive Proselytizing: Obama comes out in support of same sex marriage

Progressive Proselytizing: On Feminism

I am proud to call myself a feminist. I take it as a first principle needing no further derivation that all people deserve equality of freedom and opportunity, and that it is both morally right and morally obligatory to fight for this in society. Feminism, to me, is simply the subset of this that . . . → Read More: Progressive Proselytizing: On Feminism

Progressive Proselytizing: On unnecessarily codifying specific freedoms such as the freedom of religion

Should there be explicit protection for the freedom of religion in the founding documents of society? This question may at first seem to be an obvious ‘yes’ since almost everyone – including most atheists such as myself – consider it to be abundantly clear that people should have the freedom to believe in and . . . → Read More: Progressive Proselytizing: On unnecessarily codifying specific freedoms such as the freedom of religion

One Town’s War on Gay Teens | #uspoli #lgbt

One Town’s War on Gay Teens | Politics News | Rolling Stone:

“Asked on a radio program whether the anti-gay agenda of her ilk bore any responsibility for the bullying and suicides, Barb Anderson, co-author of the original “No Homo Promo,” held fast to her principles, blaming pro-gay groups for the tragedies. She explained that . . . → Read More: One Town’s War on Gay Teens | #uspoli #lgbt

Progressive Proselytizing: LGBT clubs in Ontario Catholic schools get neutered

After a protracted battle over the issue of whether so called ‘gay-straight clubs’ must be allowed in Catholic schools, many LGBT allies thought a legitimate victory had been attained when Queen’s Park ruled that such groups must be tolerated. Delaying far past the required deadline, an associated Catholic think-tank has sent in its recommendations . . . → Read More: Progressive Proselytizing: LGBT clubs in Ontario Catholic schools get neutered

This drama with the Catholic school system reminds me of a Mel Brooks moment

I’m sorry, I just can’t help it sometimes.It’s probably not the most famous or best-remembered scene from Blazing Saddles (and in truth, it’s got a lot of competition), but in light of the Catholic school system’s way of dealing with gay and lesbian st… . . . → Read More: This drama with the Catholic school system reminds me of a Mel Brooks moment

All this Catholic-school business reminds me of a Mel Brooks moment

I’m sorry, I just can’t help it sometimes.It’s probably not the most famous or best-remembered scene from Blazing Saddles (and in truth, it’s got a lot of competition), but in light of the Catholic school system’s way of dealing with gay and lesbian st… . . . → Read More: All this Catholic-school business reminds me of a Mel Brooks moment

Jack Layton’s Funeral, Learning About Jack, The Family Man. A Few Words To Critics,

Jack Layton’s state funeral service couldn’t have been more fitting. Different kinds of music being played, from classical to Quebecois from Martin Deschamps to pop to a gospel rendition of a 60′s Youngbloods’ classic by Julie Michel. The musical selections also represented something Jack Layton strived toward, besides social democracy; diversity. In fact, not . . . → Read More: Jack Layton’s Funeral, Learning About Jack, The Family Man. A Few Words To Critics, . . . → Read More: Jack Layton’s Funeral, Learning About Jack, The Family Man. A Few Words To Critics,

Progressive Proselytizing: Marriage Equality, Obama, Jurisdiction

Which of these sounds like a true leader, a president one can get behind: the man who strongly and emphatically declares what he thinks is morally right and acts accordingly, or the man who tries to make enough small improvements in the right direction… . . . → Read More: Progressive Proselytizing: Marriage Equality, Obama, Jurisdiction