Wednesday, July 20, 2005



During the American Revolution and again during the War of 1812, the U.S. tried to capture Canada. In fact, the conquest of Canada was one of the major reasons the U.S. went to war with Britain in 1812. Frontier expansionists believed it would be possible to seize Canada while Great Britain was preoccupied with the Napoleonic Wars. For all the jokes about Canada being the 51st state, there are many millions of Canadians very relieved that none of the American attempts to take over their country have succeeded. But even though Bush was pissed off when Canadian views on his attack on and occupation of Iraq seemed more aligned with those of Europe than his own, he managed to restrain himself from Francifying our #1 trading partner, let alone lumping it into the Axis of Evil. But after what they did today...

First a little disclaimer: I'm an American citizen on the faculty of McGill University with FAR less interest in gay marriage than Bush or the Far Right. I mean I am happy for all the lesbians and for the conformist type gays who want to ape Society's dysfunctional institutions and I absolutely, UNEQUIVOCALLY support their right to pursue this folly, but, frankly, I always thought one of the bonuses about being gay was that you didn't have to be a party to this conformist dreck.

Anyway, on to the point. Wednesday Canada became the 4th country in the world-- after Holland, Belgium and Spain-- to legalize marriage between anyone regardless of gender. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Beverley McLachlin, signed the legislation making it law, just hours after it was approved by the Senate late Tuesday night. The Catholic Church, the predominant religious sect in Canada, has aggressively opposed the legislation with the support of the country's right wing. Prime Minister Paul Martin, a Catholic, has said that despite anyone's personal beliefs, all Canadians should be granted the same rights to marriage.

Right-wing extremists and religionist nuts are threatening to mobilize to defeat legislators who supported the bill. Ironically, the Far Right there is using the concept of "separation of church and state" to attack the law. I remember one of our own religionist loons, one of the craziest and most hate-spewing ones of all, Fred Phelps, picketing every Canadian rock band touring the U.S. as a way of protesting even the PROSPECT of gay marriage north of the border. There were a lot of confused Barenaked Ladies fans, armed only with packets of Kraft macaroni and cheese, being attacked by Phelps and his fellow hate-mongers (primarily his immediate family) as they got ready to rock in cities like Columbus, Omaha and St Louis.

Anyway, I want to congratulate the Canadian government and the Canadian people for their enlightened, progressive attitude and their true Christ-like hearts in the face of all the threats and tantrums from the haters and bigots-- on both sides of the border.


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