Monday, November 07, 2005

Same-sex marriage won't affect heteros

That is the claim made by advocates for same-sex marriage; that concerns that it will degrade traditional marriage are unsubstantiated, ridiculous, and (of course) homophobic. But then there is thisgoing on in the Great White North, where same-sex marriage was legalized in June:

When male-female marriage and same-sex marriage become equal in the eyes of the law, treating them differently becomes discrimination. In Canada, "privileging" male-female marriage in any way is now a violation of human rights. According to Henry, "Canadians who believe in the historic definition of marriage, who believe that children need a mother and father, are now the legal equivalent of racists."

Today, Canada is combing through its laws and institutions to remove evidence of heterosexist discrimination. Terms such as husband and wife are now forbidden across the spectrum of Canadian law and government programs. The legal meaning of parenthood is being transformed, with consequences no one can predict.

Henry says Canadian schools are becoming battlegrounds. "Children will have to be taught about homosexual acts in health class, as they now are about heterosexual acts. Books that promote same-sex marriage are being introduced in some elementary schools. In one action, complainants have demanded 'positive queer role models' across the whole curriculum. If parents complain, they'll be branded as homophobes." Sound farfetched? People who disagree with same-sex marriage risk charges of hate speech. In British Columbia, teacher Chris Kempling has been found guilty -- and disciplined -- for defending male-female marriage in newspaper opinion pieces. Henry himself has been hauled before the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal for promoting traditional marriage in his pastoral letters. "The human rights tribunals have become like thought police," he says. "In Canada, you can now use the coercive powers of the state to silence opposition."

What begins as an argument for "equal rights for all", opens the door for an entire cultural revolution. The merits of gay marriage aside, this issue isn't just about equal rights. There should be a bit more honesty in the debate.