I love Dan Savage’s advice column, but he tripped up this week about Canadian politics. Like many liberals in the US, he seems to view Canada as that magical land where the culture wars have long been laid to rest. This week, he urged his readers to vote against amendments banning gay marriage in the upcoming elections, and added that Canadians should be happy this isn’t an issue here. Here’s what I wrote in response:
Canadians are still putting up with this shit
Hey, Dan. In your last column, you wrote “And to my readers in Canada: Be glad you don’t have to put up with any of this shit.” How I wish that were true. Sure, abortion rights are well protected, and federal law allows queers to marry – over 10,000 happy couples and counting! – but it’s not over yet. Our asshole neoconservative prime minister, Stephen Harper, promised when elected in January to hold a vote in the House of Commons this fall on re-opening the debate on equal marriage. Right now he looks certain to lose this vote, but the religious right have been trying to have it delayed, to give themselves more time to lobby. What we need is to have this bill introduced soon, and be soundly defeated, so that the issue will be settled for good. So, please implore your Canadian readers to phone their MP to make sure they’ll be voting against re-opening the issue. For more info, see http://www.equal-marriage.ca/
(Really, this is all just posturing anyways. Harper doesn’t have the support to rewrite our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and knows that any anti-queer law he passes will eventually be thrown out in court, although that could take a long time. He also knows he can’t touch civil unions, which thanks to a lengthy series of court battles are guaranteed to come with exactly the same rights and responsibilities as marriages. Really, he just wants to be able to tell Focus on the Family’s members that he did everything he could.)
– Complacency Renders All Powerless
I realize the second paragraph reduces the odds he’ll print the first one, and that’s fair, but it would still be nice if he asked Canadians to get involved. And while I’m at it, have you called your MP?