Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Conservative homosexual agenda redux

In our ongoing quest to determine just where the Conservative "moral compass" falls on issues of gay rights, in the past we've learned that they will fund pride parades, as long as the minister responsible isn't photographed with drag queens. And you keep it on the down-low.


Today, we get more insight into the Conservative gay ground rules in two stories that recently crossed my desk. This story is from Maclean's and reports on how Stephen Harper has become something of a gay-rights champion in Uganda. No, really. Read on:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whose party refused to support same-sex marriage in Canada, is being hailed as a gay rights hero—in Uganda. “He’s a human rights activist,” said Brown Kiyimba. “Harper is a liberal guy,” added Emmanueil Turinawe. Both men are from Uganda’s gay community, which is under siege thanks to a bill that calls for life sentences for gays who “touch another person with the intention of committing the act of homosexuality,” and even the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” such as having sex while HIV-positive or being a “serial offender.” That bill, currently being debated in the Ugandan parliament, was introduced by government MP David Bahati and enjoys widespread support in a nation that already criminalizes homosexual acts. It also calls for the imprisonment of heterosexuals who fail to report gays, and the abolition of gay-rights organizations convicted of promoting homosexuality. And gay Ugandans don’t have to live in the nation to be affected by the proposed legislation, since it can apply to offences outside Uganda.

Until recently, the Prime Minister of Canada never registered on the radar of most gay Ugandans. But at last November’s Commonwealth conference in Trinidad and Tobago, Harper had a private meeting with Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni. He gave him his two cents’ worth on the anti-gay bill. Shortly after, the East African leader told BBC News, “The Prime Minister of Canada came to see me and what was he talking about? Gays.” For the first time, Museveni talked of the need for “extreme caution” about the bill because it had become a foreign affairs issue.
I don't say this often, but kudos to Harper. He drew a line in the sand I think most Canadians can agree on -- being gay shouldn't land you in jail for life -- and, it would seem, linked the passage of such draconian legislation to our continued foreign aid.* And it appears to have had some impact on the situation.

So I was all ready to write a rare laudatory post about our Hockey-Fan-in-Chief. And then I read this story about his Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney:
Canada's new citizenship study guide for immigrants makes no mention of gay rights -- because those sections were ordered removed by the citizenship minister.

Newly disclosed documents show Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney asked that references to gay rights be deleted from the first draft version last June.

Department officials came back in August, asking that the sections be re-inserted, but to no avail.

The guide that was released with fanfare last November makes no reference to gay rights.
Actually, this information fits in well with what we've learned previously about the Conservative gay agenda: keep it on the down-low. Fund pride parades, but no photos. Lobby foreign leaders to against anti-gay legislation, but don't let potential citizens know of our own strides in support of gay rights.

Still, if the Conservatives want to remain in the closet, I'll respect their choice. With friends like these, I can't blame them.

* I did ask myself how, given my support of his gay rights to foreign aid linkage, how I'd react if he did a similar linkage with something I don't support, ie. banning abortion. I told myself I could live with the contradiction, because there are some issues we can all (mostly) agree on, and I think we shouldn't give aid to countries that put people in jail for life for being gay is one of them. Abortion is a much more contentious issue on which society is still divided, and so linkage would be inappropriate. Then I went to get a bagel.

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10 comments:

CanadianSense said...

Strange compliment.

If I don't support use of taxpayers money for Pride Parade,Bill Clinton Speeches/Tim McGraw concerts/Calgary Stampede/CFL game out east does that make me cheap?

Is is possible to simply want less taxpayer money to be used for political pandering of regional event for ANY sitting government?

Jeff Jedras said...

It is indeed possible.

WesternGrit said...

Sure, he criticizes Jail time for gay people, but he won't support gay rights (ie - the freedom to marry, like any other human being).

I won't give him credit for this. It's all politics - and he knows his "base" isn't listening. He's still bent on changing Canada so we "won't recognize it" - as he so oftenq said a few years back...

MERBOY said...

RE: CanadianSense said...

"If I don't support use of taxpayers money for Pride Parade,Bill Clinton Speeches/Tim McGraw concerts/Calgary Stampede/CFL game out east does that make me cheap?"

It's obvious hundreds of thousands of taxpayers if not millions support events like PRIDE... why should your view trump theirs?

"Is is possible to simply want less taxpayer money to be used for political pandering of regional event for ANY sitting government?"

Less... so where would you draw the line... you personally don't like festival XYZ therefore we should stop that sort of pandering?

CanadianSense said...

Merboy,

Federal Government needs to balance the books and I included several large ticket "events/shows"

BTW. I don't accept "millions" are attending the event you listed.

Can you provide a link to the 3rd party to verify those numbers.
How about Visa on the financial transactions during the event?

Visa reported real economic numbers, do you have any?

http://www.canadianbusiness.com/markets/cnw/article.jsp?content=20100224_170503_6_cnw_cnw

wilson said...

'he knows his "base" isn't listening'

that was a joke, right WG?
We listen to every word.

Because we, the CPC grassroots, get to vote for our leader,
unlike the unfortunate Lib grassroots.

And we like the guy we voted for.

MERBOY said...

RE: CanadianSense said...

"BTW. I don't accept "millions" are attending the event you listed."

I meant millions attend festivals in this country... not necessarily millions for each that you listed.

"Can you provide a link to the 3rd party to verify those numbers."

Usually there's a police estimate in the media the day after a major event... do I want to find one for you when the big ones were months ago in the summer... meh.

"How about Visa on the financial transactions during the event?

Visa reported real economic numbers, do you have any?"

You think that festivals just pull the numbers out of their ass?

Maybe you can convince VISA to sponsor a major Canadian festival... and part of their job as sponsor will be to come up with economic numbers that can satisfy you.

If you believe in true value for money policy... you must HATE the Conservatives.

What... every single person in the country with even a tiny bit of economics in their background said the GST cut was a huge waste of money... no worries kids... blue sweater is here to save the day.

Pushing anti crime bills that will probably just result in obscenely crowded jails and won't make the country any safer... lucky us.

I can't wait for their budget... maybe they'll sell off Canadian assets for below market value... why does that sound familiar... right because the same finance minister we have now did that exact thing before with the 407 highway... oh I know... cutting funding to groups that don't agree with absolutely everything the government does... let's call them enemies... oh wait done already.

MJ said...

Jeff do you think Kenney does stuff like this mainly just to dampen the widespread suspicion that Kenney is gay himself? If so then does Kenney's sexual orientation become a legitimate topic to report on in your view? If Kenney is acting a certain way just to try to convince his base that he isn't gay wouldn't things be better if the full story just came out already? If someone just finally reported the issue then Kenney would have to address it and it would be over. Perhaps then homosexuals in this country would get better from him as they deserve.

Gene Rayburn said...

"We listen to every word."


shh. Wilson bugged the phone.

Jeff Jedras said...

MJ,

I don't care to speculate about that.