Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Conservative Gay rights: Don't Ask, Don't tell

Mr. Kenney,

I was appalled to learn that you had directed staff of Immigration Canada to remove references to same-sex marriage from the new study guide for new Canadians applying for citizenship. Not only was same-sex marriage a hard fought battle and the right thing to do, but these rights in Canada are seen by those oppressed by their own foreign governments as a candle in the dark for lesbians and gays the world over.

And we are not talking just the inability to marry. It is life or death for many communities.

In Iraq and Iran killings of homosexuals have been going on for decades, and are part of official law. You may have heard of the two gay boys - BOYS mind you, they were 16 - who, in 2006, were publicly hanged in Iran for nothing more than loving one another. It is horrific.

What is more distasteful and downright disingenuous is what appears to be the Conservative Party of Canada's determination to play up their anti-gay rhetoric to those ethnic communities in Canada who traditionally detest and discriminate against the LGBT individuals in their midst. How terrible it must be for a West Indian man or women, who comes from a society in which "Batty Man" is a signal to beat or mutilate a gay man, to come to Canada for refuge and to live a free and auspicious life, to arrive and find that the Government of Canada is stirring up the immigrant communities in Canada against the gays and lesbians. Steven Harper was quoted as follows:

“Same sex marriage is not a human right. … undermining the traditional definition of marriage is an assault on multiculturalism and the practices in those communities.” (Stephen Harper, Hansard, February 16, 2005)

What is your great leader saying Mr. Kenney? Surely you cannot be found at fault for following his example. Both this quote and your actions over the study guide are reprehensible. There are gays, lesbians, transgendered and bisexual people in those "multicultural communities" that are looking for the same rights as every other Canadian; to take such actions and make such statements pulls those rights away from non-white Canadians and further isolates the powerless LGBT people inside these communities.

Your policy and ideas are not only homophobic, but they are racist as well. That should be anathema to Canadian leadership, but it seems that hasn't stopped you.

For shame.


Michael Kruse


Bill Talbot said...

Good letter, I have already written to my MP Justice Minister Nicholson, I have also used the fact that I have met him twice and,once with the PM. I got a lovely response from an Aide ensuring that my letter will be brought to his attention,which is good, the normal procedure is to get a blow off letter from an Aide stating nothing at all.

Michael Kruse said...

I will post all correspondence beyond "thanks we received your letter" as it comes in!