Thursday, June 30, 2005

Pride and Prejudice

On a more positive note: Happy belated Same-Sex Marriage Passage Day to everyone! As far as I'm concerned, this is a victory for the institution of marriage and families -- all families.

And Boo to Harper's Conservatives for showing their true stripes during the past few weeks. It was only a couple of months ago that a Liberal friend, an NDP friend and I were agreeing about how a Conservative government would be a good thing for the country given the current state of the Liberals and Paul Martin's dreadful leadership. The Conservative Party's stance on SSM bothered me, but I truly thought Harper was just pandering to the party's social conservative base on the issue, knowing full well that it was a done deal. I thought I could live with that.

Now that Harper has made it clear that his social conservatism is more important than his fiscal conservatism -- see: his offer to back the NDP-Liberal budget if the Libs postponed same-sex marriage legislation to the fall -- I feel like I was tremendously naive. Add in Harper's hypocritical remarks about the Bloc's votes not being legitimate, the tactical stupidity of being in Toronto during the Gay Pride parade but not attending (couldn't he have flipped burgers and caught footballs in Coquitlam, B.C. that day?), and various other Conservative P.R. ridiculousness, and I now find myself really not wanting the Conservatives to be anywhere near power.

I could break bread with a party that allowed a free vote on the subject of same-sex marriage. I could even respect -- though disagree with -- a party that was officially anti-SSM if: a) They were concerned primarily with not breaking "tradition" and made frequent, vocal commitments to introduce 'civil unions' with all the rights of marriage for gays and lesbians; or b) wanted to take the federal government out of the marriage business altogether, because it's none of the government's business how we arrange our households.

But what I've seen over the past couple of weeks is prejudiced and hateful opposition to same-sex marriage. I didn't believe the Conservatives were anti-gay when Scott Brison left. I didn't feel that way when B.Stro left. But now I feel dumb for having defended them. Seems the party isn't as open-minded as the many fine Conservatives I have met and befriended since arriving in Toronto.

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