Saturday, May 9, 2009

Breaking Down 44: Part 1

No, Nation, despite the promising title, this is NOT an evisceration of Chris Pronger - who no longer wears number 44 anyhow. Although, that DOES give me an idea for another post later...

No, this is the first of a 2-part series of posts about Bill 44. Or, rather, a launching point for a community discussion about Bill 44.

I know a lot of my readers are more socially conservative than myself. I also know, though, that I get a lot of traffic from moderates, such as myself. I'm counting on both of those statements to be true.

I'm going to, in the next 2 days, post my thoughts on the 2 big issues revolving around Bill 44. What I need YOU to do, is comment. Agree with me, disagree with me, agree and disagree with each other. I want an honest-to-goodness discussion going on in the "comments" section of these posts. Point/counterpoint, parry/thrust, jab/duck (unless you're Ricky Hatton)... we've seen the Bloggers go completely bonkers over the past little while in defence of this bill, or in their attacks on it. I want to see the *discussion* of the differing viewpoints - both from the Bloggers who come here, and the readers who care to venture an opinion. All I ask is that when we DO disagree - which I don't think is all that unlikely - that we remember to be respectful of the beliefs and ideas of others.

It's entirely possible that we all agree on the basics of the discussion, and it's just the fine details of the Bill that have everyone so worried. Let's find out.

In order to "break it down", we'll deal with the 2 big newsworthy sections of the Bill one at a time...


Pretty straight forward. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled on this a decade ago... the argument I've heard most often made in opposition to the statement above is that "it's not discrimination, it's a consequence of a choice that the person made - namely, the choice to engage in the homosexual lifestyle".

I don't think I could disagree with that statement a whole lot more if I tried.

First of all, it assumes that the idea of homosexuality as a "choice" is factual. I'm not exactly on the cutting edge of study on this subject, but let's assume, for the moment, that it IS a choice... so is religion. If religion is a choice, and it's a violation of human rights to discriminate against people for choosing to have certain beliefs, morals and thoughts... then why is it okay to discriminate against OTHER people who choose to have certain beliefs, morals and thoughts?

If, on the other hand, sexual orientation is a function of genetics... well, so is race. If race is a function of genetics, and it's a violation of human rights to discriminate against people based on the genetics with which they were born... then why is it okay to discriminate against OTHER people based on the genetics with which they were born?

To whit: Choice, or genetics, there is precedent to suggest that discrimination based on sexual orientation is flat-out wrong. A fact that is increasingly being accepted through much of the western world.

Look, Nation... I don't know who many of you are. Some, I do - even if you don't know I am who I am. I don't know what you do behind closed doors, and vice versa. But I think something we should ALL be able to agree on is that I should NOT know what goes on between you and your partner(s) of choice (if any). I have the right to ask you, and you have the right to refuse to answer, but I have no right to know. And if I *do* somehow find out what goes on between you and your partner(s) of choice (if any), I should have a right to form a personal opinion about that - but not to discriminate against you on that basis. You can't hire someone on the basis of their being a woman (genetics), virgin (choice), white-skinned (genetics), or a Jehovah's Witness (choice)... why should you be allowed to discriminate against them based on who they fall in love with, or the gender of the consenting adult(s) they spend their time with?

I would submit, Nation, that you should NOT be allowed to discriminate against them on that basis. I can't fire a girl from her job for sleeping around with men. Why should I be able to fire her for sleeping with women?

Answer: I shouldn't.



Ken Chapman said...

ES - thx for contributing to the necessary discussion on Bill 44 issues. Sexual orientation is not at issue as you point out so clearly.

Parental choice is not the issue either since it has been dealt with in a more than satisfactory manner in the School Act. I expect those parents with personal issues on religion, sexuality and sexual orientation have already left the public school system and are happily in the other choices they have for educating thier children.

The practical issue emerging out of Bill 44 is the implication it has for persecution and prosecution of teacher and school trustees by reactionaries who are pursuing political purposes, not personal ethical or values grounds.

I am guesting on Monday's open line portion of CBC radio's Wildrose program from 12:30 to 1:00p.m. Tune in and comment on what you hear.

Anonymous said...

Would the teacher really have to alert the parents that some sort of teaching was taking place? Would it not be the responsibility of the parent to know what the cirriculum was? I mean that takes a little bit of effort but it is your kid. And if you are pulling your kid out of a certain area, I hope you know what it is and how it fits with the entire year!