Saturday, August 30, 2003

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past several months, you have probably heard something about same-sex marriage. Everyone has weighed in on this subject, from the usual suspects - priests and politicians - to urbanites and farmers. But not a word from Ontario Premier Eves, not since last summer, when he said he would not oppose a court ruling making the heterosexual definition of marriage illegal. Now he is under attack, again by the usual suspects - Liberals, New Democrats, and the Toronto Star - for a supposed "flip-flop" on the issue, when he came out Tuesday saying that he personally does not believe in same-sex marriage, though he still does not believe he has the right to intervene in anyone else's personal choice.

I fail to see how this is a flip-flop. There is no doubt that Eves is posturing for an upcoming election, but the fact remains that he is being attacked not for that legitimate reason, but for the fact that he "flip-flopped" when he in fact did no such thing. Eves merely stated his personal beliefs. He then said that he would not force that belief on others. This is consistent with what he said in July of 2002, when he made no statements as to his own personal beliefs, but said that he would not oppose the court ruling. In other words, he puts his obligations as a politician ahead of his personal religious conviction. Right-wing social conservatives and religious fanatics that so vehemently oppose the "frightening" notion of same-sex marriage could learn a thing or two from Eves' conduct. I will be the first to say I do not like the man's politics, and that I will be voting against him in the upcoming election, but give him a break. It is hypocritical to accuse someone of political posturing while at the same time attacking an invented "flip-flop" in an attempt to gain political points. Shame on the Liberals, New Democrats, and anyone else who has tried to smear him for this.

On the other hand, Ontario's refusal to enter into the Supreme Court battle over same-sex marriage is curious. Alberta has already entered and will be (typically) opposing the legislation. Quebec will be supporting it. And British Columbia has not publicly stated its position, but most, including myself, would speculate that it merely seeks to safe-guard its own jurisdiction over issuing marriage licenses, as Quebec is also attempting to do with its intervenor status. My question to Eves would have to be: If you are truly putting the rights of minorities ahead of your own religion, would it not be only right to stand up in the Supreme Court for these rights? Or are you just posturing before an election, trying to appeal to gays and homophobes alike?

I think the answer should be clear to most.

Friday, August 29, 2003

Hello and welcome to Neo-Canada. This 'blog' will be devoted to giving my even-handed, however opinionated, view of politics and issues in and out of Canada.

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