Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Dustup

Babble on.

Three bloggers for whom I have the utmost respect (Jay Currie, Nick Packwood, and Sean McCormick in any order you'd like) have publicly declared they will be unable to vote for the CPC due to its SSM stance adopted recently at the Montreal policy convention.

"As prime minister, I will bring forward legislation that, while providing the same rights, benefits and obligations to all couples, will maintain the traditional definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman." Stephen Harper - March 18, 2005


As someone who disagrees with my own party's stance on this issue, but also disagrees with the Ditheral and Dipper positions; and as someone who is also committed to putting a CPC majority government into the House of Commons as quickly as possible, my fellow bloggers' stance disappoints me. I'm sure my stance disappoints them as well - sauce for the goose and all that. Fair enough.

Personally, I prefer the approach of these folks: work from within the party to push forward their strongly-held beliefs.

Bob Tarantino has a fairly comprehensive round-up for those interested in the history of this conflagration. After you've read that, I'd suggest you look at Debbye's take on the whole situation, and specifically this section:

I will state outright that I am annoyed that proponents keep pushing the notion that calling gay unions anything other than marriage is somehow an instance of "separate but equal" -- a barely disguised effort to connect this issue to the civil rights movement in the 60's -- but which displays either ignorance about or indifference to the institutionalized inequality of African-Americans in some states.

As those of us who were actually alive back then remember, "equal" was hardly a description of the public institutions and facilities made available to African-Americans who lived in states with Jim Crow laws (and in Northern urban areas.) There were also the matters of little or no police investigations into lynchings and the rapes of black women, being denied the right to vote, and being denied protection and due process under the law.

So unless it can be demonstrated that the designation "civil union" (or a more agreeable term) means fewer benefits, legal rights and protections, I am unconvinced that the failure to alter the ancient definition of marriage equals bigotry (nor can I deny there are some extremely homophobic voices raised against gays as well as gay marriage. That's the real pity and has clouded the debate somewhat.)


Given the fact that every major federal political party now officially endorses equal protection under the law, the real fight is now over a single word: marriage. I understand that the concept of 'equality' is worthy of a single-issue vote; I'm not sure if the semantics of 'civil marriage' is.

Babble off.

Update: Speaking of working for change from within the party, I'd also like to point out a recent addition to the Blogging Tories roll:

My name is Fred Litwin and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog will report on a variety of conservative issues - while supporting gay marriage.


Welcome aboard Fred.

8 Comments:

At 6:14 PM, Blogger Greg said...

But B. same sex marriage is the reality in 8 jurisdictions in this country. The fight is over, unless the CPC invokes the notwithstanding clause. That nuclear option does not sit well with some members of the CPC. As a "dipper" I agree with them. Stripping away existing rights is just not right. It is also not smart politics. This is going to kill your party in Quebec and in the urban ridings. The Liberals will have a field day. Layton will have to hold onto his voters with both hands just to keep them from running away (as usual).

 
At 7:45 PM, Blogger Ghost of a flea said...

I suppose one critical difference between us is I could care less about the Conservative Party of Canada. I have a number of key issues no political party in this country is likely to address and for one of the only issues on the table the CPC has shown itself to be on the wrong side. For me, the marriage issue is vital but it is also an indication of just what I expect for the rest of the party's behavious should it come to power. Unfortunately, for me this means I believe we are better off with the devil we know.

 
At 10:44 PM, Blogger The Tiger said...

Flea -- yes, it's a critical difference. I came to the Tories in a fit of disgust with the Liberals.

So, yeah, I do have a little something invested in the CPC, even though I'm leaving Canada in a few weeks. They're the only ones who can beat a bunch that I absolutely despise.

I shrugged off my misgivings about social policy a year ago, because I thought other issues were a tad more important. That view isn't so popular, I've found.

Me, I don't see myself as having the luxury of a single issue vote, if I happen to be able to vote in the next election.

 
At 11:10 PM, Blogger VW said...

They've resumed second reading of bill C-38 (Civil Marriage Act) this week. I have a roundup of MP comments from Monday here.

 
At 11:27 PM, Blogger Mike Brock said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 1:17 AM, Blogger Ginna said...

You can make this legal policy without declaring it a "fundamental human right". It's a civil issue, to be dealt with in law. There is no "right" to be married. If we read invented rights into the Charter, we will never be able to take that back.

 
At 5:23 AM, Blogger jc said...

The right to have your marriage registered is not a charter right nor a human right - it is a basic democratic right derived from the notion of equality before the law.

If the CPC cannot figure that out and convince their socons to accept that then they have no business governing the country no matter how awful the Liberal alternative is.

 
At 9:49 AM, Blogger Alan said...

Until the Liberals draft a marriage bill that allows everyone to marry, including polygamists and persons within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity (which is essentially the same thing as repealing the whole mess) it is specious to object to the CPC position on the basis that it denies "equality before the law". The new act is no better. Or are some people more deserving of "equality" than others? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Occam's Carbuncle

 

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