Monday, August 28, 2006

Alberta government fights for legalized discrimination

MLA and Alberta Conservative Party leadership contender Ted Morton continues his efforts to legislate bigotry and hatred. His latest piece of arrant hate-mongering is Bill 208, stalled by the opposition in the legislature today, which would allow Marriage Commissioners to refuse to perform gay marriages as well as protecting such discriminatory behavior as firing someone, or refusing to rent a home to them based on their sexual identity.

"I'm in favor of his bill, because no one should have the ability to make anyone do anything against their will," said blotchy irony deficient leadership no-hoper MLA Lyle Oberg, "Nobody should be able to litigate against people who choose not to do something." So logically this means he believes Marriage Commissioners, public servants appointed by the Alberta government, should be allowed to refuse to marry two people of different races or religions if it offends their personal beliefs?

To those already typing the inevitable outraged comments about how this isn't the same thing, it's exactly the same thing. The arguments against gay marriage are an almost identical replay of the arguments for making inter-racial marriage illegal not too many decades ago.

The same thing as a pharmacist who doesn't want to prescribe birth-control or Plan B pills because it offends his (because its always his, isn't it?) moral beliefs. In both cases we're talking about government licensed positions. If you don't want to sell legal medications, don't become a pharmacist, if you don't want to perform legal marriages don't become a marriage commissioner.

I'll point out here that I agree with the exception for churches. I agree that religious freedom trumps marriage rights here, plus being a priest or pastor isn't, and shouldn't be, a government licensed position.

''Critics of 208 should take a reality pill,'' said Ted Morton ''Same-sex marriage is not a basic human right. It's a social experiment, and I personally think it's a dangerous social experiment.''

Actually Ted, being allowed to marry the person you love is, in fact, a basic human right, and it's a legally protected one in Canada. Once again the Alberta government caters to the reactionary right, while Alberta tax-payers will pay for the inevitable, and inevitably losing charter battle - its particularly scary that even Ralph Klein realizes this.

I don't want to hear any more bullshit about sky-rocketing public health costs from politicians willingly wasting my money on this pandering hateful nonsense.


wilson61 said...

Man I hate these debates where there isn't enough info.
I'm against anyone being forced to marry a gay couple, if it is against their beliefs.
I'm against landlords or employers denying gays or gay couples to rent or work.!

Do you have a link to the bill?

Cliff said...

Not hard to track down at the Alberta Government website I'm sure.

Tell me, are you against a civil marriage commissioner being 'forced' to marry two people of different races or faiths if that offends his sensibility's?

I'll repeat that I agree that churches should not be forced to marry gays - marriage commissioners however SHOULD.

It's civil marriage. The marriage commisssioner's salary is paid by me and other Alberta citizens, he is licensed and employed by the government and required to represent ALL Albertans, not just the religious and/or hateful. Gay civil marriages are legal in Canada. If you don't want to perform them don't be a marriage commissioner.


This added to the fact that even our usually clueless Premier realizes this law couldn't possibly withstand the inevitable Charter challenge it will face, an incredible waste of time and tax-payers money to pander to the very small and shrinking percentage of the population that believes the law of Canada should be flouted like this.

Cliff said...

Correction made Aug 30: Marriage Commissioners are not paid a salary by the government but are appointed and licesenced by the government.

wilson61 said...

''Tell me, are you against a civil marriage commissioner being 'forced' to marry two people of different races or faiths if that offends his sensibility's?''

No, but is that what the Bill would allow, or are the lines being blurred by the opponents?

It would be helpful if you would to link to the part of the Bill that you think 'different races or faiths ' would be discriminated against.

bigcitylib said...

Seems to me to be grandstanding,no? I mean, the Alta Tories have a majority (don't they?), and if they wanted to they could pass the bill.

Are the SoCons so dumb they don't see this for what it is?

Cliff said...

Wilson I'm begining to wonder if you are deliberately missing my point.

Discrimination based on sexual identity is just as bad and just as criminal under the charter as discrimination based on religion or race.

A Marriage Commissioner who refuses to perform a gay marriage is doing exactly the same thing as a Marriage Commissioner who refuses to wed two people of different races or faiths. Both are acts of bigotry - both involve a public servent violating citizens human rights and both would result in successful Charter battles and legal sanction.

It is legal for people of different faiths or religions to wed, therefore a marriage commissioner may not refuse to wed them. And for the very same reason they may not refuse to wed a same sex couple either.

The fact that Bill 208 would have inevitably led to a successful and expensive Charter defeat for the government of Alberta - and that this was obvious enough for even Klein to see is why Ted Moron had to make his grand-standing appeal to intolerance in the form of a Private Members bill. Which is also how the opposition was able to kill it on the order paper with stalling tactics.

DJeffery said...

Cliff: Tell me, are you against a civil marriage commissioner being 'forced' to marry two people of different species or just two if that offends his sensibility's?

Discrimination based on sexual identity is just as bad and just as prejudicial as discrimination based on species or number.

Doctors and nurses are exempt from participating in abortions. Doctors and nurses are allowed to be exempt. What do you propose we do about these 'public servants violating citizens human rights'?

Cliff said...

Ahh the old homosexuality - and apparently inter-racial marriage - is equivalent to bestiality argument, how enlightened of you.

Gay marriage is legal in Canada, marrying your shnauzer isn't. Sorry to dissapoint you and Lassie's plans as you seem to be arguing in favor of legal bestiality, but that could be just a rather feeble and labored attempt at irony.

I think that Doctors and nurses should perform abortions, many women in rural areas are underserved by courageous doctors of integrity willing to perform this legal procedure. However compelling a doctor to perform medical procedures intrudes on matters of medical judgement which the law has already established has legal protections.

DJeffery said...

Thank you for enlightening me and not that I don't favour Descartes over Gilbert Ryle, but to broaden his concept of category mistakes; I'd submit you're guilty of: confusing behaviour with race, etc. Can one discriminate against an adulterer for example. Medical doctors are not only given indulgence due to a lack of training as you infer (judgement?), but are also exempt due to conscience, in practice if not quintessence.

Cliff said...

Except there is ample and growing evidence that sexual identity is neither a behaviour nor a choice. Homosexuality can be found throughout the animal kingdom, additionally a genetic basis is suggested in the multiple examples of twins raised seperately that both become gay.

Also your example of adultry is inapplicable, and in fact insulting to gays. You are conflating adultry, a negative, deceptive behaviour involving betrayal and lying with consensual relationships between two people of the same gender. inherantly innacurate and offensiveI

Bigotry is offensive, not consensual loving relationships betwen two men or two women.

DJeffery said...

Your argument defeats itself; quite the contrary if there was a genetic basis for homosexuality all identical twins all the time would be gay, which is not the case. I was using the example of adultery to illustrate that all sexual mature Adults need to from time to time say to themselves, 'don't go there.' Recently on a local radio station they had a feature on how pedophiles are using the internet to seduce children and are teaching each other to do so. They would argue that this is their 'sexual identity'.

Cliff said...

And now you are comparing those who are emotionally and sexually attracted to adult members of the same gender with predatory child molestors. Charming.

Your logic is faulty. Genes can cause a predilection, heredity of course also has a role to play. The fact that identical twins - even those raised seperately - have a predilection much higher than the population average to share sexual identity is unambiguously significant.

But you know, even if it is a choice, it's a choice that does not harm you, or society. If two adults want to make a lifelong commitment to each other that is in fact a net gain to them and to society. With the huge increase in marriage breakdowns, anyone fighting for the institution should be applauded not opposed.

Those who object to gays having the same right as the rest of us to marry the person they love oppose it for one reason under all the rhetoric and hateful comparisons: It's hard to call someone a 'selfish hedonist' who's fighting for the right to make a lifelong commitment to one other person.

DJeffery said...

Genetics do not cause predilection, you're thinking of environment. When did you choose your eye colour? There's no more net gain in changing the definition of marriage than there was in no-fault divorce. Marriage breakdowns were caused by the devalution of marriage; SSM only speeds the process.
Your life is what your thoughts make it.
Marcus Aurelius

Cliff said...

Genetics can in fact cause predilections.

You can have a hereditary tendancy for mental and physical conditions that can be increased or lessened by environment. I have a gebetic basis from both mother and father for needing glasses. How much reading in dim light I've done has affected how thick they are.

Oh and marriage breakdowns weren't caused by the devaluation of marriage; believing marriage shouldn't continue without love or in the face of abuse shows greater value for marriage. If the coercive power of the religious had been removed earlier the rate of divorce would have risen earlier.

It devalues marriage to believe a couple tha has come to hate each other should be compelled to stay together.

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