Thursday, December 7, 2006

The "Nose-In-Everyone's-Business" Crowd is Mad at Stephen

Conservative and Family Values groups are mad at Stephen Harper for the wording of the long-awaited motion to seek House permission to re-open the Same-Sex Marriage debate.

House Leader Rob Nicholson introduced the motion, which asked the House: ''to call on government to introduce legislation to restore the traditional definition of marriage without affecting civil unions and while respecting existing same-sex marriages.''

What are the upset activists mad about? The last half of the statement, of course: "without affecting civil unions and while respecting existing same-sex marriages.'' They want that period right after the words "traditional definition of marriage". Which is fine for them... they're not trying to moderate their image for the public in an effort to get re-elected. They've got their noses stuck in everyone else's business, and don't care that the rest of the country knows it, because they're convinced they're right.

The wording of this motion is as politically saavy a move as the Tories could make without outright BREAKING their election pledge to revisit the issue. The Far Right still sees it as a betrayal, but I wonder who ELSE they think is going to champion their cause in the House if not the Tories?

A woman identified as Executive Director of a coalition against abortion, whose name escapes me right now, describes the motion as a "betrayal".


If you're AGAINST abortion, shouldn't you be FOR gay marriage? I mean, not only does it open up the pool of potential adoptive couples, but, when last I checked, not a lot of gay relationships were resulting in abortions... unless, of course, your issue isn't abortion at all, but simply an effort to make sure the world is crafted to fit your exact world-view and dogma, and anyone who does something you think is wrong should be fined or put in jail or otherwise punished... so much for "judge not, lest ye be judged".

This speaks to a larger trend in politics right now, which is the attempts of vocal minorities to impose their own values onto the legal code, to codify their own morals, values and beliefs for all of society to follow. Conversion by politics, in a sense. "If we think this is wrong, it should be against the law". But, WHY is it wrong? "Because God says so!" Damn... I'd hate to see THAT phone bill...

Values-based policy is antithetical to the whole concept of conservative political thought. We all want a government with Values - honesty, integrity, etc. But the idea of government dictating religious values to the people of Canada is and SHOULD BE as repugnant and insulting to true conservatives as the blatant attempts by previous Liberal governments to impose their secular values on the entire nation (Health Care is a Canadian Value, Day Care is a Canadian Value, Voting Liberal is a Canadian Value, Bilingualism is a Canadian Value, Bashing Americans is a Canadian Value) – conservatives, by definition, believe that constituents should elect governments who represent their values, not that government should impose or indoctrinate those values into the general population. Conservatives demand by their nature that government stay OUT of the day-to-day lives of the citizenry, not that it insinuate itself and its own values into the social fabric of public and private life.

In short, Stephen Harper and the Conservatives have done the only thing they CAN do in this situation - they've kept their promise to revisit the issue, while still showing they have the flexibility to actually RESPECT the rights of the gay couples who have already been legally married, while disagreeing with the practice. They've shown they can disagree with something without making it illegal or outright nullifying contracts that have already been legally completed. This isn't just politically smart, it's the right thing to do - you can't come back 2 years after the fact and say to someone "bad news, the government just said that your wedding 2 years ago was a sham, you're not married, and you have no spousal rights".

And if the far-right, "Sticking Your Nose in Everyone Else's Business" crowd doesn't like it, they can form their own party, run in the next election, split the conservative vote, and give the country back to the Liberals, who I'm sure will be MUCH more willing to listen to disaffected right wingers about how the country should be run...

- ES


Anonymous said...


I agree with your post, but the part of:
"This speaks to a larger trend in politics right now, which is the attempts of vocal minorities to impose their own values onto the legal code, to codify their own morals, values and beliefs for all of society to follow. Conversion by politics, in a sense."

This could be applied to both sides of the SSM debate. Those who lobbied aggressively to change the law in the first place were just as guilty of the above, IMHO. They just use the Charter as their Bible, with the difference that the Charter made no original reference to SSM, but the Bible was against that sort of relationship, if I recall.

Not to wade into the SSM debate, but I thought this should be said. The trend is for all vocal minority groups to influence policy. Squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Enlightened Savage said...

I agree whole-heartedly with your suggestion that this issue cuts both ways. Perhaps this is why it's become such a controversial issue.

I'm a firm believer, though, that your right to extend your arm stops the moment before it hits my nose. If Bill and John down the street want to go and get themselves hitched, in an establishment that will let them, and ensure themselves the right to ineritance, what right do you, I, or anyone for that matter have to tell them it's not allowed? None... if the activists is favour of SSM had lobbied for it to be MANDATORY, that would be ridiculous.

The problem many people hide behind is that they "don't want their kids to be taught homosexuality in schools". Funny... I don't remember being taught HETEROsexuality in school, either. At no point did the teacher instruct me to take little Sally, and lay her down... students are made aware only that some of the other students have not a mommy and a daddy, but 2 mommies, or 2 daddies. To protest on the basis of such an innocuous statement, saying it undermines the family unit, is preposterous and speaks to the insecurity with which some people view the job they've done raising their own kids. Some kids ONLY have a mommy - do you want THAT information kept from the other students, as well?

Just hypotheticals, Anon, not saying you're part of the problem. I just think that those in favour of ALLOWING SSM aren't infringing on anyone's rights, while those opposed to it certainly ARE infringing on the rights of others. That, in my mind, is the big difference between the 2 camps.

Anonymous said...


I'm not in disagreement with you. But I do feel that the leverage has swung the other way. I was not a supporter of Morton's Bill 208, but in some sense I do feel that there is a legitimate concern over some groups being forced to recognize an arrangement that - if they are true to their beliefs - is anathema. Case in point would be the Knights of Columbus getting sued over a refusal to rent out their hall to a lesbian or gay wedding. I am not saying I know where to draw the line. But I wonder what would happen if such a couple was to try and rent out the basement of a mosque?

By the way, I was referring to you as "EnSavage" not ES, since the other ES that comes to mind is Ed Stelmach. You are not one and the same, are you? ;-) I presume he is rather too busy to blog at the moment.

I rather enjoy your postings. Please keep it up.

Enlightened Savage said...

I can neither confirm nor deny that I am Ed Stelmach. To muddy the waters a bit, though: I have, from time to time, been accused of being "honest". ;)

- ES