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A BCer in Toronto: Proud to be part of a Liberal Party that stands for choice

The drama around the revelation that only those with pro-choice views (incumbents exempted) will be allowed to run for Liberal Party of Canada nominations has been interesting to watch, with so many commentators turning to democracy arguments to seek to overturn something Liberal members have democratically decided many times: we are a pro-choice party. It goes beyond the last leadership campaign. Liberals at policy conventions have routinely made our position on this issue abundantly and emphatically clear. And now, finally, we have a leader who is willing to have our back on this and put the marker down. For me, (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: In one day, the ground shifts in Alberta politics in ways unexpected, sometimes uplifting, sometimes troubling

On March 23, Lewis Cardinal became the first nominated federal NDP candidate in Canada for the expected 2015 election. (Photo by Dave Cournoyer, used with permission.) Yesterday he stepped aside in the face of undisclosed health problems. Below: Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson.

What a strange day it was yesterday, at times uplifting, at times profoundly depressing, and at times just disorienting.

In the morning, Alberta suddenly dropped most aspects of its official homophobia. This less formal kind will continue to longer for a spell, of course, but as an issue for most Albertans it’s done like the family’s (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Same Sex Marraige not the Apocalypse, Honest.

Dan Savage on why SSM is a decent, humane institution.

 

Filed under: Politics Tagged: Dan Savage, Human Rights, Religion, Same Sex Marriage, SSM

Alberta Diary: Pride flags over Alberta: for real, or a cynical commitment of convenience that’s a mile wide and an inch deep?

A rainbow banner flies alongside the city, Alberta and Canadian flags at the city hall of St. Albert, Alberta, last weekend. Below: A really great pride banner spotted during a recent Pride Week in Vancouver.

Fourteen years ago, the Alberta provincial government led by Progressive Conservative premier Ralph Klein was convulsed with controversy at the thought of same-sex marriage.

In the ensuing weeks, Mr. Klein threatened to employ the Notwithstanding Clause of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to prevent legal recognition of same-sex marriages.

Only in 2005, did Mr. Klein give up this particular fight, and reluctantly (Read more…)

Eclectic Lip: The losers of Superbowl XLVIII will be…

Religious moderates.

Here’s my reasoning.

After the game, someone on the winning team, exulting ecstatically, will say “God was on our side” or words to that effect. It’s as sure as a post-touchdown two-point conversion attempt late in the fourth quarter, if the team is still down by a pair.

This will lead humorists and atheists alike to mock the athlete’s egocentric theology, along the lines of the great “God-Man on the Gridiron” cartoon from a few years back. Which will inspire angry rebuttals from offended fundamentalists.

Religious moderates are the collateral damage in this snake-vs-mongoose battle, bitten by both (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Avez-Vous Des Bigots? Je Pense, ‘Oui’

The last week or so my view of humanity world over has been severely soured. I’ve often expressed an attitude that Alberta is the ‘Texas of Canada’ when it comes to issues of equality and progressive society. Hidden in that stance is the inference that other places aren’t as backward, that in other civilized areas these issues are all but resolved. This inference, it turns out, is ill-founded. Hillbilly homophobia is running rampant even in “high culture” nations.

The French government in pushing through a bill that will legalize same sex marriage and allow same sex couples to adopt. It (Read more…)

Song of the Watermelon: Emerging Consensus on Gay Marriage

Assuming that the world survives this coming December 21, the United States Supreme Court is expected to rule on two cases in June which could result in the nation-wide legalization of gay marriage.

I cannot forecast with certainty how the court will decide, but supposing for a moment that it rules in favour of marriage equality, the short-term results are easy to predict: conservative commentators across the country will complain of judicial activism, despite having in many cases urged precisely such an overreach one short year before when Obamacare hung in the balance. Right on cue, public support for same-sex

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gay persons of character: Video: [Stereotypical] Gay Men Will Marry Your [Stereotypical] Girlfriends

I find it sad that the above video relies on ridiculous stereotypes to promote gay rights and marriage equality in the United States (where same-sex nuptials are now a legal reality in nine states and the District of Columbia). Even sadder perhaps is that the video has gone viral thus perpetuating at an accelerated rate a monolithic image of gay men as effeminate, musical-loving, ultimatum-slinging, gym bunnies, among other cringe-worthy clichés. And all this in addition to the one-dimensional portrayal of girlfriends as actually wanting to be with the aforementioned type of man. Created by the folks at College Humor

RedBedHead: Joy At Republican Humiliation Shouldn’t Make Us Forget The Choices Sucked

I was in a bar/restaurant near my house on election night, trying to get some work done and watching the results come in. At first it seemed like a nail-biter (though I was convinced that it would be a fairly easy sweep for Obama) and people were texting and Facebooking their fear that Romney the snake might win. Of course, he didn’t.

I must say that there was a palpable sense of relief.

The Equivocator: 10 Ballot measures to Watch in Tonight’s U.S. election

Tonight President Barack Obama will be re-elected, Democrats will keep the Senate and for no apparent reason the Republicans will keep the House of Representatives for another 2 years. More awesomely, Wisconsin is going to elect America’s first openly gay … Continue reading . . . → Read More: The Equivocator: 10 Ballot measures to Watch in Tonight’s U.S. election

Slap Upside The Head: Meanwhile, In France…

If you speak French, you’re in for a real treat from this group of protestors in France. And if you don’t, I think you’ll find that the clip transcends language into something that is universally mockable.

gay persons of character: Video: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – Same Love feat. Mary Lambert

All kinds of awesomeness from Macklemore, a.k.a. Ben Haggerty.

Slap Upside The Head: Australian Parliament Votes Down Equal Marriage Rights

I’ve always thought that Canada and Australia are similar in a lot of ways. It’s kind of like a parallel Canada with a warmer climate, more poisonous animals, and a superior electoral system. And now, like Canada once did, it’s going through some setbacks in its transition on the path to equal marriage rights.

Australia’s parliament voted down an equal marriage bill last week in a vote of 98 to 42. It’s a big disappointment for a lot of same-sex couples who will now have to wait before getting the same civil benefits that opposite-sex couples have.

Canada had some

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Song of the Watermelon: Free Speech, Hate Speech, and Chick-Fil-A

In honour of Pride Week here in Vancouver, I can think of no better time to wade into the growing Chick-fil-A row currently ruffling the feathers of our southern neighbours.

For those who don’t follow American news (it’s not like we’re a different country or anything), Chick-fil-A is a US-based fast-food chain whose President, Dan Cathy, is known for supporting anti-gay Christian groups. The controversy boiled over in recent weeks with a couple of high-profile interviews in which Cathy expressed his opposition to gay marriage: “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the

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Slap Upside The Head: Court Rejects Anti-Gay Lawsuit

An anti-gay group calling themselves New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms filed a lawsuit late last year to reverse the state’s equal marriage law. Like most attempts to get same-sex marriage overturned, they gave themselves a delightfully ironic name; unlike other groups, however, they didn’t seem to rely on the usual arguments about how families would be instantly vaporized or how children would now be used for cattle feed, etc. Instead they suggested that same-sex marriage is invalid in New York because two meetings of the Republican Senate’s majority should have been held in public instead of privately leading up to

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CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE WORLD: Anderson Cooper: “The Fact Is, I’m Gay”

A couple of years ago, a friend swore to me that the CNN’s Anderson Cooper was gay. And that it was a matter of time before he came out. I argued that Cooper would be gay only after he’d publicly confirmed that he was gay. The essence of the conversation is that my friend I wanted the TV host and reporter to say it. It bothered us that his journalism revealed very little about his personal life. But now that he’s come out, it should matter to us all.

The world is still so full of prejudice that even a high profile

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BigCityLib Strikes Back: Has Jonathon Kay Had A Near Death Experience?

Or has he been diagnosed with a deadly Cancer and is trying to get right with Jesus?  (or whoever Jewish folk try to get right with when they realize their time is nigh ).  Seriously, the guy could almost be described as “compassionate” these days.  Not at all like the heartless prick I used to know.  Something has changed.

Mind you, his mom’s still a bitch.  Which is a good thing, IMHO.  You can’t have ‘t have everything changing all at once.  That would lead to anarchy.

Song of the Watermelon: President Obama and Marriage Equality

First thing’s first. Barack Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage yesterday should be celebrated. On the heels of similar pronouncements by Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, this marks the first time that a sitting US President has taken such a bold stance in favour of marriage equality.

However, just as light can be considered both a wave and a particle in quantum mechanics, every announcement by an elected official exhibits a similar duality. Was Obama’s decision motivated by principle or by politics?

I believe there were elements of both. On the surface, a stronger case can

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Scott's DiaTribes: Right-wing talk radio on the US is going to be frothier then usual from now until November.

You might have heard that President Obama came out publicly and announced his support for same-sex marriage:

“It is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”

As expected, that set off a right-wing talk-radio torrent. The funniest rebuttal to that so far is this:

To my American friends, I say same-sex marriage has been legal in Canada for several years now. There has been no moral or social collapse because of it. I also ask what’s worse for the destruction of the “traditional” family – allowing same

Slap Upside The Head: North Carolina Re-Bans Same-Sex Marriage

North Carolina conducted a statewide study yesterday to resolve the question once and for all: Are most North Carolinians narrow-minded bigots? The answer, of course, was yes.

gay persons of character: London Bus Campaign: ‘Some People Are Gay. Get Over It!’

Source: http://www.facebook.com/stonewalluk

Well this is neat. Throughout April, 1,000 buses in London, England, are carrying ads from the British charity, Stonewall, to promote marriage equality. Bearing the tagline, “Some People Are Gay. Get Over It!” the ads link to Stonewall’s equal marriage campaign website, which includes details of the charity’s response to the British government’s consultation on the issue and explains how people in support of marriage equality can have their voices heard.

Slap Upside The Head: United States May Relax Customs Restrictions For Same-Sex Couples

The United States’ Department of Homeland Security has proposed finally lifting restrictions requiring same-sex couples to fill out separate customs declarations.

Currently, heterosexual families are allowed to fill out one customs declaration per household, while same-sex couples are treated as if they were strangers that happen to be on the same flight. This discrepancy is a direct result of the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, which forbids any federal recognition of same-sex partnerships.

Treating same-sex families as, well, families is estimated to save two million dollars as the procedure is streamlined.

There’s no word yet on whether this new

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Slap Upside The Head: Ben and Jerry’s Renames Flavour In Support of Equal Marriage

Ice cream maker Ben and Jerry’s has renamed a flavour of their signature frozen treat from Oh! My! Apple Pie! to Apple-y Ever After last week as a way of showing their support for same-sex marriage in the UK. Opponents of equality are now reportedly lobbying for their own flavour introduction: Living in Sinnamon.

gay persons of character: Video: Woman proposes to girlfriend at NHL game

This is one of those feel great moments (via Jezebel), not only for the lesbian couple in the video, but also for all who believe in equality in professional sports. Hats off to the folks with the Ottawa Senators organization who helped to make this happen during Saturday night’s game between the Senators and the Toronto Maple Leafs!

Slap Upside The Head: Twisty Poll

An anti-gay lobby group called Scotland for Marriage is publishing the results of an in-house poll which claims that a majority of Scotspersons opposes equal marriage rights, a deviation from what reputable polling companies suggest. Perhaps this difference can be explained by the wording of the question, which asks if you agree with the following statement: “Since gay and lesbian couples already have the same rights as married couples available to them under civil partnership, they should not be allowed to redefine marriage for everyone else.” Uhh…