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Tom Rees | Criminal Defence Lawyer Winnipeg
28
Jun

On the Record: Stephen Harper on Marriage Equality

 

Tom Rees & Company congratulates all Americans on their recent victory for equality among human beings. But as marriage equality finally came to the United States of America, I got to thinking about the Canada’s own journey for greater equality. LGBT people have had the right to marry for 10 years in Canada, and as a result, public discourse about homosexuality has changed. A homophobic person may now be a minority in public and feel pressure to keep their homophobic opinions to themselves.

As marriage equality swept across the USA, discourse changed there as well. While Fox News mocked and continued to refer to Caitlyn Jenner as a man, most others in the media fell into line and treated her situation with respect. Those media companies were forced to choose a side. The choice for them was about potential profits, so by their calculations it was more popular to side with Jenner than with the homophobes.

The best headline I read after the United States Supreme Court’s decision belongs to the Onion.comScalia, Thomas, Roberts, Alito Suddenly Realize They Will Be Villains In Oscar-Winning Movie One Day. The article went on to “quote” Justice Scalia:

I’m going to be portrayed as a closed-minded Neanderthal and the very symbol of backward thinking. And at the end of the movie, when my character realizes he’s on the wrong side of history, the audience will feel emotionally fulfilled because the hero attorney, probably played by George f*#$ing Clooney, will have won. Great.

I hope those four Justices are alive to see themselves portrayed as villains in the movies so they know that their legacy was the promotion of homophobia and discrimination.

Many Canadians are proud that people have had equal marriage rights here for 10 years. We have been laughing as Americans threaten to move to Canada to get away from equal marriage rights.

I was caught up in the celebration, and then I saw a video of Stephen Harper speaking on the issue.

(July 1, 2015: the video has since been removed. The video depicted Stephen Harper speaking to a crowd about the Conservative Party’s position on marriage equality in 2005. He promises that his party will legislate that marriage is a union between one man and one women. He says, “Our values are the real Canadian values”. People in the audience hold signs like “God Made Adam and Eve, Not Adam and Steve”.)

 

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