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Dented Blue Mercedes: On conscience-based medical exemptions

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is currently reviewing its Human Rights Code policy on conscience-based exemptions for medical professionals, and their effect on access to medical services.

This review was sparked by a number of news reports of doctors in Ontario and Alberta refusing to prescribe birth control because of their religious beliefs. In some of those cases, patients were refused in clinics where there was only one doctor on duty.

Concurrently, south of the border, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favour of a corporation’s right to deny medical insurance to its employees when doing (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Could Canada’s Anti-Sex Work Bill C-36 Also Stifle LGBT Speech?

Slightly over a week ago, Canada introduced legislation to replace the anti-prostitution laws that had been struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Conservative government has been trying to race Bill C-36 through both the House and the Senate simultaneously, at breakneck speed. But the text of the bill has raised questions about its constitutionality. Sex workers, mainstream media and even many Nordic model proponents and abolitionists agree that it places sex workers in even greater danger than the previous laws did.

But is there also a poison pill within the legislation that could be used to (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Could Canada’s Anti-Sex Work Bill C-36 Also Stifle LGBT Speech?

Slightly over a week ago, Canada introduced legislation to replace the anti-prostitution laws that had been struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Conservative government has been trying to race Bill C-36 through both the House and the Senate simultaneously, at breakneck speed. But the text of the bill has raised questions about its constitutionality. Sex workers, mainstream media and even many Nordic model proponents and abolitionists agree that it places sex workers in even greater danger than the previous laws did.

But is there also a poison pill within the legislation that could be used to (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: C-36: Conflating sex work with human trafficking

I recently asked whether the vague definition of “sexual services” and definition of the Internet as a public space could be used to make the anti-prostitution Bill C-36 ban pornography. Regardless of how one feels about porn, such a thing would certainly require a debate, and it’s a question worth asking.

I also looked at the obvious aspects of C-36 that have sparked outrage from sex workers, and occasionally even from abolitionists.

There are further discussions as well — more concrete than speculation, but still under the surface of the legislation itself.

Conflating sex work with human trafficking

Anti-prostitution (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: C-36: Conflating sex work with human trafficking

I recently asked whether the vague definition of “sexual services” and definition of the Internet as a public space could be used to make the anti-prostitution Bill C-36 ban pornography. Regardless of how one feels about porn, such a thing would certainly require a debate, and it’s a question worth asking.

I also looked at the obvious aspects of C-36 that have sparked outrage from sex workers, and occasionally even from abolitionists.

There are further discussions as well — more concrete than speculation, but still under the surface of the legislation itself.

Conflating sex work with human trafficking

Anti-prostitution (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act: an overview

I recently asked whether the vague definition of “sexual services” and definition of the Internet as a public space could be used to make the anti-prostitution Bill C-36 ban pornography somehow. Regardless of how one feels about porn, such a thing would certainly require a debate, and it’s a question worth asking.

That is, however, speculative. The bill itself contains many clearer aspects that have sparked outrage from sex workers, and occasionally even from abolitionists, as well (though the objections vary).

The Canadian government’s public consultation on sex work — which sex worker advocates felt had been (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act: an overview

I recently asked whether the vague definition of “sexual services” and definition of the Internet as a public space could be used to make the anti-prostitution Bill C-36 ban pornography somehow. Regardless of how one feels about porn, such a thing would certainly require a debate, and it’s a question worth asking.

That is, however, speculative. The bill itself contains many clearer aspects that have sparked outrage from sex workers, and occasionally even from abolitionists, as well (though the objections vary).

The Canadian government’s public consultation on sex work — which sex worker advocates felt had been (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Could anti-prostitution Bill C-36 also ban porn?

One of the concerns that has been raised about Bill C-36 is that “sexual services” is not defined.

Terri Jean Bedford, one of the plaintiffs in the case that overturned the previous anti-prostitution laws, has raised this question a number of times, without receiving an answer. A professional dominatrix’s job, after all, involves fulfilling a fantasy, and may not include any actual sex acts at all. Does sex have to happen in order for there to have been a “sexual service?” Where is that line drawn?

It’s because of this vague nature of the terminology that some (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Could anti-prostitution Bill C-36 also ban porn?

One of the concerns that has been raised about Bill C-36 is that “sexual services” is not defined.

Terri Jean Bedford, one of the plaintiffs in the case that overturned the previous anti-prostitution laws, has raised this question a number of times, without receiving an answer. A professional dominatrix’s job, after all, involves fulfilling a fantasy, and may not include any actual sex acts at all. Does sex have to happen in order for there to have been a “sexual service?” Where is that line drawn?

It’s because of this vague nature of the terminology that some (Read more…)

Blevkog: The Ultimate Responsibility

I am not a parent. It’s not that I didn’t want to be, I love children, and they seem to tolerate me well enough; events in my life have thus far prevented me from being a father. Which, of course, does not preclude it from happening in the future, and as time marches on, I […]

Blevkog: It’s Not the End of the World

His mind slid away into the labyrinthine world of doublethink. To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while […]

Dented Blue Mercedes: Trans kids, washrooms and the new harassment

On October 13th, a story appeared at the Christian Broadcasting Network about girls being harassed by a trans youth in the washroom of a Colorado-area school. Soon afterward, the story was picked up by the Daily Mail, the Examiner, FOX News, and several webmedia outlets. One even embellished it with a claim that the girls were threatened with hate crime charges). After a few years of using the spectre of a fabled bathroom predator to scare people about the prospect of human rights law inclusion for trans people, it almost seemed like the far right was (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Trans kids, washrooms and the new harassment

On October 13th, a story appeared at the Christian Broadcasting Network about girls being harassed by a trans youth in the washroom of a Colorado-area school. Soon afterward, the story was picked up by the Daily Mail, the Examiner, FOX News, and several webmedia outlets. One even embellished it with a claim that the girls were threatened with hate crime charges). After a few years of using the spectre of a fabled bathroom predator to scare people about the prospect of human rights law inclusion for trans people, it almost seemed like the far right was (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: No Rainbow for Queer People: A Right-Wing Support for Russia Roundup

While much of the attention surrounding Russia’s “homosexual propaganda” law has been about whether there should be a boycott of the Sochi Olympics, the saga has continued to ripple outward in several directions, including statements being made in support of the law by Canadian and American far-right spokespeople. Here is a round-up of several developments outside the Olympics debate, and some thoughts about what these statements of support are actually saying.

(And before proceeding, I do want to make an important point clear. While many anti-gay / anti-trans groups phrase their revulsion for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Told You The Right Hates Rachel Maddow

Listen to this for confirmation:

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Politics and its Discontents: Another Example Of Idiocy That Gives A Bad Name To Religion

Were I still a teacher, I would certainly use the following as a prime example of a reasoning fallacy and sheer idiocy:

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Politics and its Discontents: What Do Mark Twain And Charles Darwin Have In Common?

If you thought their commonality lay in their capacity for observation, thought, and contribution to the general good, guess again.

First, Mr. Twain’s shocking ‘truth’:

Next, the real story about the depraved Mr. Darwin:

I’m certainly glad that he didn’t resort to any hyperbole in his litany of their ‘sins,’ but sadly, doesn’t Pastor Swanson make everyone with any kind of religious belief look a tad dim?

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Dented Blue Mercedes: REAL Women of Canada, and the naked far-right truth.

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them. – Matthew 7:15 – 20

Gwen (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: What LifeSiteNews’ attack on Pat Robertson says about religious freedom.

Last week, there was some curious notice given to American televangelist Pat Robertson, after he expressed support for transitioning trans people, and their access to sex reassignment surgery. Less noticed was the backlash from other far-right groups over the same comments. But it’s worth revisiting, because of what that backlash says about the far right’s battle cry over religious freedom.

It’s very common for far-right ideologues (who I try to distinguish from “Christians,” because they don’t speak for all Christians) to hide behind religious freedom, and cry censorship when they are called out for transphobic and homophobic comments. (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Porn opt-ins, soft censorship and buttbuttinating personal responsibility

On Monday, British Prime Minster David Cameron announced that internet service providers in the U.K. would be required to filter out online porn as part of several new rules to come into effect by the end of the year. Adults will still have the ability to opt in to view porn, but filtering will be the ”unavoidable choice” default that ISPs will need to provide. The same day, Twitter announced that it would be implementing a tagging system to fight porn, apparently at the British government’s urging.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP), Tom Copeland, revealed (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Pat Robertson’s Digestive Problems

Oh, how the (self) righteous do suffer:

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Dented Blue Mercedes: Right-Wing Group Claims Trans Human Rights are a Plot to Normalize Pedophilia.

It has long been a practice of American far-right spokespeople and organizations that when sensationalistic rhetoric starts to fail, rather than try to polish it up and make it look more convincing, they often switch to something more sensationalistic and absurd, as a way of getting attention and scaring folks. The thinking seems to be that the public isn’t interested in anything beyond the tl;dr headline / soundbyte, so if something is said often enough and assertively enough, people will think it to be true.

Canadian far-right spokespeople and organizations are usually craftier, but when they aren’t, it’s revealing. (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: New ‘Wisdom’ From Pat Robertson

Who knows? With a little modification, Robertson’s advice to the wife who has been cheated on might offer a new spin direction for the Harper regime, especially in its current troubles.

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Dented Blue Mercedes: Using scripture to rationalize slavery by the one percent

I grew up in a Pentecostal church, so I remember the beginnings of some of the dominionist doctrines that characterize far right faith groups today. There was never any one principal compendium of theology that every church got behind (just as there’s no single denomination in the dominionist movement, and divisions exist), but rather there were different streams of thought that flowed in and gradually changed the course of the river of belief teachings. It filtered in through books by C. Peter Wagner, sermons by Oral Roberts, through Maranatha Ministries publications, through Youth For Christ media, and various

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Dented Blue Mercedes: Harper’s Theological Crossroads.

Right from when it was first proposed during the May 2011 federal election, the Office of Religious Freedom (ORF?) was met with the accusation that it was an attempt to pander to its base, concerns that it would overstep the boundary of what Canada should be doing in foreign nations, and skepticism that it could be instituted in any kind of way that would be fair and balanced for all religions. As it turns out, it’s becoming not very popular among Evangelicals, either.

One of the clearest examples of late is RoadKill Radio’s interview with Jim Hnatiuk,

. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: Harper’s Theological Crossroads.