Crawl Across the Ocean

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Did it Go Something Like This?

I'd been avoiding commenting on the whole same-sex marriage debate since it seemed like it was already getting more coverage than it merits, but the more I thought about the Conservative plan to target 'multicultural' groups with ads opposing same-sex marriage, the more I realized I had to post something.

Not being particularly multi-cultural myself (as these things go), I may never get to see the ads, but in my mind, I see the message going something like this....

Dear Sir or Madam,

If you are receiving this message, you have been identified as a member of a homophobic 'multicultural' group who may be receptive to our message. As you may or may not be aware, the Conservative Party of Canada counts among its members a number of people who both fear to see society change and are suspicious of those who are different / abnormal / unnatural.

Now I know what you're thinking, if it had been up to those people, we never would have let you in to this country in the first place but - given the magnitude of the potential crisis we are facing - we need to bury the past behind us, and look to the future. We need your help to fight the greatest current threat to the well-being of Canadians - the prospect that gays would have the same legal rights to form unions as normal folk, and that these unions could go by the name 'marriage'.

Note: Members of 'multicultural' groups who support polygamy, please skip the following paragraph - thanks.

If we let the 'traditional' definition of marriage be changed in this way, then at any moment, the dreaded specter of polygamy could be next.

We invite you to join us in defending the traditional definition of Canada in its darkest hour.

This message has been brought to you by the Conservative Party of Canada - the party that shares your values

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  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Jon Dursi, at 9:29 AM  

  • (I will preview before posting, I will preview before posting, I will preview...)

    I had been meaning to write something about this the moment I heard that phrasing, but couldn't quite figure out how to say it. Good job...

    `Multicultural'? Really? The conservative party is actively advertising for genuinely multicultural individuals?

    So why does the Conservative party figure that those `multicultural' groups will be ready to legally forbid equal marriage? Various religious leaders, sure, but I'm very curious to find out how this Conservative party outreach program goes.

    By Blogger Jon Dursi, at 9:32 AM  

  • First, let me say that I like your post Declan, even if it is a bit over-the-top.

    I am a bit torn on this issue. I support same-sex marriage rights. I also feel that religion has too strong of an influence in the government. (Don't even get me started on the Catholic school board.) I really have two questions. Why can the government just recognize a "legal marriage" and not a "religious marriage". This would give same-sex unions the same rights and help push religion out of the government. I imagine this has been thought of but is not possible under the Charter. My second question - what are these rights that same-sex couples are missing out. Is it just the right to be married. Me, being in a opp-sex common-law union do not see any rights that I lose by not being legally married. All this said, I cannot agree more that this issue garners more attention than it should.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:29 AM  

  • Jonathan - To be fair, some of the references I saw were to ethnic groups not multicultural ones, and I'm not sure what phrasing the Conservatives themselves used (they don't seem to mention their campaign on their website as far as I can see...) Either way, it's the same point.

    Anon - Yes, I freely admit it's a bit over the top, but it seemed like the right way to go to catch the humour value of the advertising plan.

    "Why can the government just recognize a "legal marriage" and not a "religious marriage"."

    Maybe I'm wrong here, but isn't that how it is now? You can have a civil ceremony and receive a civil certificate for your marriage or you can do it in a church and have a religious marriage. Maybe I'm not understanding how your suggestion would be different.

    As for the missing rights, in my post I was specifically referring to the right to get married.
    I'm no legal person, so I'm not sure what other drawbacks not being legally married might impose such as trouble with wills, benefits, pensions that sort of thing.

    By Blogger Declan, at 12:14 PM  

  • i didnt think it was over the top, i thought it was in good humour and good taste... then again, im one of those "multicultural people" who feels sterotyped as a homophobic thanks to harpers stupid ads.

    By Blogger angela, at 1:52 PM  

  • Regarding the missing rights, benefits like CPP and spousal RRSPs are governed by government legislation and currently that legislation excludes same-sex couples. The Income Tax Act defines marriage (in a roundabout way) as being between the taxpayer and a spouse who is a "person of the opposite sex who cohabits with the taxpayer at that time in a conjugal relationship" (if you want to read the full blown definition it's section 252(4)). I suspect pension legislation reads the same since it all has to be consistent.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:38 PM  

  • Thanks for the vote of confidence Angela! - and thanks for the info Shaun - one of the things I'm learning about Blogs is that actual knowledge (as opposed to opinion) is pretty rare, so it's nice to see some every now and then.

    By Blogger Declan, at 11:57 PM  

  • On the topic of "rights": I believe there is currently no difference between opposite- and same-sex unions with regard to legal or civic rights (and responsibilities).

    The important issue, for both sides, is the spirit of the law and definition. Some want to maintain a distinction; others want to remove a distinction.
    Are same-sex marriages to be viewed as the same as opposite-sex marriages, equal in every way and subject to no stigma, barred from no terminology or classification available to opposite-sex marriages, or are they to be viewed as legally equal but socially inferior -- in effect, "equal but different"?
    -Lucy (who can't be troubled to start an account)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:44 PM  

  • Yes all committed relationship are equal, but some are more equal than others.

    By Blogger Declan, at 6:55 PM  

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