I am not sure how far afield they want to go but if you are from 100 Mile House North, they will likely accept your contribution. Read more below on the project!
A local poet, and gay activist, is looking for poems, short stories, black and white art and photos from the Prince George, and surrounding area, Queer Community.
They submissions accepted will published together in a Chap-Book style anthology, which will hopefully be ready for sale by Prince George Pride, 2005 (September long weekend).
All profit from the book will be split 3 ways, between GALA North, Prism Film Society, and PrideUNBC.
Dead Line: July 31st, 2005
Submit to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Include you name, and contact information. An e-mail address is sufficient contact information. Material submitted without a name/contact info will not be published. If you wish to have your piece remain ‘anonymous’ please indicate this with your submission.
The committee members by party affiliation are;
Don Boudria, Françoise Boivin, Paul Macklin, Anita Neville, and Michael Savage
Rona Ambrose, Gord Brown, Rob Moore, and Vic Toews.
Richard Marceau and Réal Ménard
Deputy Speaker Marcel Proulx was appointed by the Speaker of the House of Commons to chair the committee
Harper is going to the Conservative party convention backing a resolution that says, Conservative policy will take no stand on abortion, same-sex marriage or other social conservative issues. The party's first ever policy convention is this March and it looks to be a wild affair with the western social conservatives poised to wage a war with eastern progressive conservatives.
The federal conservative position on same-sex marriage has been a major problem within the party this year. Harper tried to go down a road of equal but different arrangements for same-sex couples and though that played well with the people Harper is used to talking too, it has hurt the party in Quebec and other urban areas.
It seems Harper has put himself in a box. He will need conservative seats in Quebec if he ever wants to be Prime Minister and the folks in La Belle Province are not happy with his social policy. Resolutions to the national convention from Quebec call for endorsing gay marriage and abortions rights. As I stated above, Harper is more familiar fighting these people than leading them.
Social Conservatives are ticked off and are going to the convention in high numbers. Fundraising efforts have been held across the country to help elect and pay delegate fees and expenses. A Conservative MP (his name was not released) summed up the frustration of social conservatives when he talked to Lifesite News, a Christian news service,
"I am deeply concerned about the leader's on-going efforts to take the party further to the left and well away from the distinct alternative given voters under the previous Alliance/Reform banners."
Social conservative supporters claim the party does much better when it focuses on their issues, pro-life and pro-family than it does when it tries to run on economic issues. This all seems to be a little misleading, the Conservatives in the last federal election were leading the Liberals until a negative quote on gay marriage from the infamous Fraser Valley MP, Randy White was made public.
The quote from White allowed Paul Martin to accuse Harper's party of everything from secretly planning to gut the charter of rights and freedoms to forcing kids to listen to the Lord's prayer at school everyday. Harper recognised this as a potential problem and had attempted to gag all his candidates on gay, religious and abortion rights issues during the election. One mistake and the conservatives allowed Martin to squeak passed them.
The "take no position"policy ensures the conservatives will remain on the outside of power for some time to come. Social conservatives will not be happy and neither will the progressive conservatives.
Two big questions will be put to the voters next election by the Liberals. Will a Harper government roll back rights to certain Canadians and will a Harper government make abortion harder to get either by changing the law or removing the requirement that provincial governments make the service available.
Harper is going to face some angry people on both sides of the issue in Montreal at the convention. He may succeed there, succeeding in a general election on the slogan, "Vote for us, The Hidden Agenda Party" will prove difficult if not impossible.
The Catholic Church (Brazil is the world's largest Catholic country) is outraged with Goncalves, the father of two small children and a baptized Catholic himself, says the case is straightforward.
"Gays deserve equal rights, not more rights or less rights. This is something that should be discussed objectively, without interference by the church's moral standard of marriage."Since joining Brazil's elite class of federal prosecutors two years ago -- he has no boss and can't be fired -- Goncalves has quickly made a name for himself. He won a case requiring the government to release some secret files from the country's 1964-1985 dictatorship and plans to file a case that would legalize stem-cell research. Read more...
This conference offers workshops addressing the practical aspects of trans lives, including:
- legal issues;
- intersections of race and gender;
- coming out to family and friends;
- transitioning at work;
- hormones and surgery;
- and dating, sex, and relationships.
February 28th to March 27th, Vancouver
The Sista'Hood Celebration is an annual multidisciplinary arts festival that is the only event of it's kind in Western Canada. In recognition of International Women's Day Sista'Hood features local, national and international women performers and media artists. Sista'Hood's theme is the exploration of the convergence of women inmusic, dance, spoken word, media arts and community activism intoday's urban environment. Objectives
- Produce a multidisciplinary arts festival that features women aslead performers, speakers, producers, directors and workshopfacilitators; and that encourages participation from all genders.
- Produce a festival of multidisciplinary arts that features womenartists and is accessible to youth.
- Produce a festival of professional arts that explores theconvergence of women in music, spoken word, media arts and communityactivism in today's urban environment.o Provide unique opportunities for artists and audience members fromdiverse groups to participate in and appreciate multidisciplinaryarts.
- Engage participating artists in the ongoing production ofSista'Hood.
- Provide opportunities for women artists to become involved in thewomen's equality and social justice movement.
- Produce a festival of multidisciplinary arts that develops andmaintains a wide variety community partnerships.
In collaboration with Meegan Mulstaid, the director of Rock for Choice and the Under the Volcano Arts and Activism festivals, Sista'Hood 2005 will include a night of music, drag and spoken word from Vancouver's queer community.
Events and links!
Sista'Night Live — Monday February 28th Reel Sista’s Film Festival — Tuesday March 8th Hot Saucy Girls Sista'Hood Cabaret — Saturday March 12th Hot Saucy Workshops — Sunday March 13th Eat Fresh Breakdance Jam — Saturday March 19th Eat Fresh Skills Clinic — Saturday March 19th SkateOver not a Makeover — Sunday March 20th Invitational Poetry Slam — Monday March 21st Sista’Hood at Sonar — Thursday March 24th Queer Sista’s and Trans Folx Get Down — Saturday March 26th The Confluence — Sunday March 27th
- develop professional communication networks;
- meet for social events;
- provide support to colleagues in the workplace;
- raise awareness regarding GLBT issues.
Check them out, this group has been in place for a few years. The new website will make them more accessible to GLBT persons working for the Government of Canada.
Congratulations to the those that got this started.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Ontario since the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled in June, 2003, that excluding same-sex couples from the definition of marriage cannot be justified in a democratic society.
The legislature in Ontario has now done all the paper work, in a massive bill changing and adding same-sex definitions to some 77 Ontario laws. The changes were made with out much debate and was passed with a voice vote.
The changes were required due to the court decision of June 2003 and provide same-sex couples with all the rights and responsibilities currently addressed by law in Ontario.
BC and Quebec have already complied with court rulings in their respective provinces. Laws have been ammended over time to accord same-sexcouples marriage and common law rights.
The policy brought in by President Bill Clinton in a move to protect gays, lesbians and bisexuals in the US armed forces (Trans folks are going to wait a long time) has also been used to toss them out. And the Military has done a good job of that, sending more than 10,000 trained military personnel packing since 1994.
The Government Accounting Office says it costs approximately $10,500 to recruit replacements for those discharged. That number is likely just scraping the surface of the direct costs to the Military. The report adds it did not calculate the cost of training in specilised areas nor training of and replacement of officers.
$200 million dollars is the cost at a minimum. The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (represents gays and lesbians discharged by the military) suggests the money could have been spent on 12 Blackhawk helicopters or 800 sidewinder missles. I hasten to add they could also equip 5 to 10 thousand Humvees in Iraq with protection so current service personnel are safer or 40 to 50 thousand bullet proof vests.
In Canada we saw the restriction on gays and lesbians removed 10 years ago. No force in the world is more integrated with the US forces than the Canadian Armed Forces. Gays and lesbians haven't affected Canadian forces abilities nor its moral. They work with Americans on joint efforts around the world, in NORAD, in the joint training exercises and NATO.
When will the American leaders and military shed this intolerance and join the ranks of a civilised world.
The government and opposition Conservatives wanted a voice vote to be held. This would ensure that no one could be identified as supporting or not supporting the bill. The NDP's attempt to change that to a standing or recorded vote would see members votes clearly identified.
Homophobia continues to reign over us.
See the national Post, Canada's leading conservative paper on the issue here.
Currently services are provided by HIV/AIDS organizations that have operated for the last 10 to 20 years. In October on Vancouver Island where three agencies receive funding, they will be looking at bidding against other organizations to provide services on the Island.
An early casualty is the Mobile needle exchange in Victoria. The health Board has stated they will not fund the project after March 31, 2005.
Silent AIDS Protest Victoria BC
HIV/AIDS funding in BC has not increased since 1992. Agencies performing work in the community have been faced with growing costs with the same baseline funding.
See the following News report and background material.
Needle exchange teeters on the brink
Local AIDS groups struggle with provincial demands and paltry budgets
Our hands are tied
Vancouver Island Health Authority announces it will no longer fund needle exchange
The 1763 Royal Proclamation recognized aboriginal peoples as Nations; the 1774 Quebec Act granted unprecedented protection to a conquered people; in 1807 Ezekiel Hart, a Jew elected to the Legislature, challenged the "Christian only" oath and by 1832 the Legislature passed a bill allowing Jews, for the first time in the British Empire, to hold public office.
In 1916, Wilfrid Laurier campaigned for a "regime of tolerance" for francophones in Ontario and John Diefenbaker later did the same for the religious rights of Jehovah's Witnesses. Angus MacInnis defended Japanese Canadians during World War II when nobody else would. John Humphrey drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Great judges like Ivan Rand, Emmett Hall and Thomas Berger have pushed freedom forward inch by inch.
Building such a "regime of tolerance" is one of Canada's greatest achievements. It is recognized around the world as politicians and scholars flock to study our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But it is hardly noticed at home.
The Asper family of Winnipeg wants to change this by creating a National Museum for Human Rights so that every Canadian will know who, why and how we have built this edifice of civility. At a time when Parliament is again debating a crucial human rights issue, the government should give this museum its full support. To have a "respectful" debate on human rights, we need the memory of what has gone before. Parliamentarians should especially recall the wisdom of Frank Scott, one of our great civil libertarians who wrote, "No citizen's right can be greater than that of the least protected group."
Thomas S. Axworthy is chairman of the Centre for the Study of Democracy, Queen's University.
The article can be found at the Toronto Star or here
Our View: Rights stand out
In one paragraph, not far into his speech, the prime minister summed up his government's position in a way that any of his opponents in the same-sex marriage debate - in or out of the House - should have been able to understand.
Prime Minister Martin said, "The Charter [of Rights and Freedoms] was enshrined to ensure that the rights of minorities are not subjected, are never subjected, to the will of the majority. The rights of Canadians who belong to a minority group must always be protected by virtue of their status as citizens, regardless of their numbers. These rights must never be left vulnerable to the impulses of the majority."
For those who still don't understand how the Charter pertains to the question at hand, the prime minister's precept applies to homosexual Canadians, just as it should have applied to Japanese-Canadians, Chinese-Canadians, Indo-Canadians, and any other historically hyphenated Canadians, not to mention female Canadians, who have been victimized by the majority's immoral - and yet, before the Charter, perfectly legal - will.
The only thing I can come up with is that people in Scarborough Southwest only vote for a "Liberal" and he wanted to be the MP so he ran as a Liberal. Perhaps the tradition in his family was to vote Liberal.
Wappel has become a recognisible MP for more than his vigorous condemnation of gay rights, same-sex marriage and a woman's right to choose.
This story from 2001 may have you wondering how Wappel was reelected in 2004.
Wappel received a letter from 81 year old war veteran, who was legally blind and partially deaf seeking the MPs assistance. Wappel took exception with this person seeking help from him and sent a stinging letter back to the man.
Wappel had information that indicated the Veteran had voted for the Alliance in the election and told the man so. You can read an account of the event by Rex Murphy the often OverPompous but entertaining pontificater at the CBC...
"An 81 year old, who actually fought in a war, to make sure that people
would always be allowed to vote, so that things, like MPs, could continue to
exist, and would have Parliaments to go to, and offices in which to write
sour-cute nasty little letters to their constituents, and then get better
pensions when the MPs retired, than the veterans who fought for them."
- Rex Murphy, CBC National, May 10, 2001
Jay points out ...
Fifty years ago divorce in Canada, leave aside England, was a difficult, expensive, blame-casting business. It reflected the then prevailling view that marriage was, by definition, forever. The evolution of the Divorce Act demonstrates that the definition of "marriage" is a fluid, dynamic and socially constructed thing.Marriage has seen many changes over the years, some of the obvious include:
"One man, one woman, forever." became "One man, one woman, for as long as they stay together". It is not a huge stretch to say, "Two people, committed."
- Women can choose instead of being "given" away
- Women are no longer the property of their husband
- Women have the right to their own assets
- People of different races can marry each other
- The words obey are no longer in civil marriages
One of the newest and brightest tacks in the blogger world is Jim Bobby. This is an example of his writing and thoughts. I can only hope he can keep it up, I have been laughing for hours thanks to his blog. Check it our below and you willknow why I have him as the QT Guest Writer today! You can find him at Jim Bobby sez.
boy-boy girl-girl marryin' ain't such a bad idee
Ol' PollyWolly Inkwells has latched hisself onto a bit o' grist fer the roomer mill an' he sez that the sharpest new tack in the Tory tackbox is B.Linda Stronach. Ol' Inky sez that B.Linda got up onto her hind legs an' did a fine bit o' speechifyin' t' the other remembers o' parliment an' that there speech is what got 'em all t' vote agin sum damn fool restructurin' idee that ol' Pryminister Fartin' Martin was a-floatin'.
Ol' Pollyfeller sez that B.Linda got herself a speechwritin' feller by the name o' Derek Burney who used t' work fer ol' Lyin' Brian Mulrooney. Now young B.Linda is one them good pergressive live an' let live conservatives what's come out an' sez this here boy-boy girl-girl marryin' ain't such a bad idee.
I hear tell there's a few others that ain't had their brains washed up by the vangelizers or the Sikhs or the Pope's fellers or the Hutterites or ol' Stevie Harpoon. An' what's this here bizness 'bout StevieBoy sayin' that none o' his team ken get up on their hind legs an' say nothin' 'bout this here selfsame sexy stuff without him readin' what they's gonna say an' puttin' his stamp of approvement onto it?
Another conservative feller that come out fer equalizin' the marryin' rights is ol' DannyBoy Millions outta Newfie. (Jest so's y' know it was PollyWolly Inkwells dreamed up that Danny Millions nickname fer the providential preemie an' not ol' JimBobby.) Well anyways, ol' DannyBoy's ridin' high in the popularity pools in Newfie an' he come out yesterday an' sed he's fer boy-boy girl-girl marryin'. Now, ol' Dannyfeller ain't a remember o' parliment so he ain't got a vote on this here thing but I say good fer him fer speakin' his mind without askin' ol' Harpoon if it's alright fer him t' open his yap.
There's sum other conservatives has got their heads outta their poopholes on this here selfsame sexy thing, too, like that there Calgary feller JimmyBoy Prentice. There's sum churches got on the side o' freedom, too, an that's the United Church o' Canadee an' the Muslim Canajun Congress. I got me a coupla lezzy gals livin' right next door an' they mind their own bizness an' I mind mine like good naybers oughta. Them gals got themselves a coupla younguns an' them there younguns is the nicest kiddies you'd ever wanna know. Truth be told, they's a lot nicer than the little peckers I got an' Ma an' I are all married up legal like an' them two lezzy gals ain't.
Like I was tellin' sumbuddy yesterday, ol' Stevie's got bigger fish t' fry than this here marryin' dealie. All his arguin' is 'bout as useless as a striptease at a nudie camp on accounta that there marryin' bill's gonna pass no matter what. As leader o' the opposin' side, he oughta quit wastin' everbuddy's time an' aim his harpoon at things that matter like this here ballstick missile fence and ol' General Clarkson's first-class airplane trips t' Noo York an' Yerp.
Peter and Stephen should be happy to play in the same theatre as Saint Belinda. In fact were it not for this rising star in the party of the right, their future would be as tired as Ralph Klein.
There are many issues facing Canadians right now and it seems the Conservatives can't leave what is none of their business, alone. The Harper led battle over same-sex marriage rights has gone to new levels of stupidity.
Harper made ground in the last federal election and were it not for a few "out spoken" less than "social" conservative MPs he just may have been Prime Minister. Do you recall the information that came out about Randy "Hang em high or by the balls" White. Mr. White (can you imagine him as Mr. Black) spoke out against gay marriage in a film that was to be released in the fall. I have forgotten the film and I suspect most of you have too.
White's comments allowed Martin and the Liberals to avoid real issues and go on the attack. The Liberals scared a great number of people from voting NDP and Red Tories from voting Conservative. The Charter must be protected screamed, begged Martin. Martin was successful in the end, the Liberals clung to power.
The Conservatives were wiped out again in Quebec. The Liberals and the sponsorship scandal should have lost seats to Harper's party. They didn't as Quebecers saw Harper's posse and not Harper's party.
The Conservatives are toast again in the next election. Their fight over the same-sex marriage indicates the social conservative agenda is still high on the to do list. The right to choose, abortion, will be what the Liberals will say they are defending in the next election and how will Harper fight back. His party has a majority of MPs, given half a chance, would repeal many abortion rights.
Defending the Charter from the Conservatives in the last election has proven to be a wise move. Harper and his collection of Alberta and BC MP's can't get their minds off of two guys kissing long enough to get elected.
My guess, the next leader of the Conservative party is not Bernard Lord, Peter MacKay or Ralph Klein, its Belinda Stronach. Its Belinda Stronach if the Conservatives want to go beyond being bridesmaids to the Liberals.
All that said, don't think I am voting for the Conservatives or Liberals. I just want to know when they get there they aren't going to interfere with my life or steal us blind.
Jim Bobby describes himself : I'm jest a simple feller a-tryin' t' figger out this whole boogeysphere thingy. I got me 1 wifemate an' 6 younguns an' 3 pitbull dogs an' 1 coalie dog an' 1 grey cat. I ain't got a minnyvan but I sure do want one.
Today he has this hilarious bit of dither...
Whooee! I see onta the CBC that ol' Pryminster Fartin' Martin's homeboys is all gatherin' round an' comin' t' the defense on accounta this here limey magazine article that called him Mr. Dithers.
Whooee! Ol' General Adrienne got her adriennalin all elevatored 'bout this here young Jeremy feller gettin' throwed outta the Reedough Hall like I was yammerin' on about yesterday. Now, the General's fallin' all over herself sayin' she's sorry such a terrible thing happened inside o' her house an' won't the youngun come back sometime an' have a cup o' tea. An' pore little Jeremy sez he's sorry, too.
Check out what JimBobby Sez each day!
We have a Hate Crime Law in BC and Canada. The Provincial Attorney General's department made a clear decision not to use it in the Webster case. That decision was made even when faced with the following facts;
The four people charged (three were convicted) decided to go down to a popular gay cruising area, took with them instruments to beat someone with, came across Webster and proceeded to beat him, ultimately they killed him.The Campbell Liberals are generally less than supportive of hate crime laws and it is my opinion they did not want to see a hate crime label attached to this case. It would certainly would not have been good news for the Liberals among their support base of social conservatives.
The BC Attorney General had the opportunity to address this issue and choose not too. Homophobia is denied by this government, even some of their MLAs are gay, makes wonder about these gay Liberal MLAs doesn't it.
Egale has demanded a public inquiry: See more here.
Egale Canada is a national organization that advances equality and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans-identified people and their families across Canada
Focus on the "Queers" - the "real message"
is in code. My translation of the
code is in red
Focus on the Family Canada has launched a very negative American style ad campaign named,"The Protect Marriage campaign," geared to mobilizing Canadians who support traditional marriage."
Check out their campaign at Marriage Matters.
See their ad called bothsides, same as above without my red decoding to appear in publications this weekend with the remaining advertisements appearing across Canada in the coming weeks. I have not seen it yet in print. Let me know if you see it!
|Support Equal Marriage|
Proud to Quit
A new stop smoking effort for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender / transexual communities has been launched in Vancouver. People outside Vancouver can also take part. Check it out at Proud to Quit
"I am going to try again to quit. March 1, 2005 is Quit day. I will let you know how it goes, hopefully that does not mean rants! You can help perhaps, let me know how you or a friend quit. What did they do in that first week? How did they manage? " - RickRead about Proud to Quit below...
“Life without cigarettes is full of possibilities.”
Want to quit smoking? You're not alone. New research shows that the smoking rates for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender/transexual communities are significantly higher than the rest of the population.
Proud to Quit is a community challenge that shares how people like us have kicked the habit – or are learning to. Join the challenge. Call 604.662.7776 or visit http://www.proudtoquit.ca for quit ideas that just might be new to you. Be sure to complete our online survey and enter our contest for a chance to win. It's time.
House of Commons
February 16, 2005
Check against delivery
I rise today in support of Bill C-38, the Civil Marriage Act. I rise in support of a Canada in which liberties are safeguarded, rights are protected and the people of this land are treated as equals under the law.
This is an important day. The attention of our nation is focused on this chamber, in which John Diefenbaker introduced the Bill of Rights, in which Pierre Trudeau fought to establish the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Our deliberations will be not merely about a piece of legislation or sections of legal text – more deeply, they will be about the kind of nation we are today, and the nation we want to be.
This bill protects minority rights. This bill affirms the Charter guarantee of religious freedom. It is that straightforward, Mr. Speaker, and it is that important.
And that is why I stand today before members here and before the people of this country to say: I believe in, and I will fight for, the Charter of Rights. I believe in, and I will fight for, a Canada that respects the foresight and vision of those who created and entrenched the Charter. I believe in, and I will fight for, a future in which generations of Canadians to come, Canadians born here and abroad, will have the opportunity to value the Charter as we do today – as an essential pillar of our democratic freedoms.
The whole speech can be found here.
Why Does the Jeff Gannon Story Matter?
on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. While they are surrounded by gay hookers? While they use.... Monika wasn't a gay prostitute running around the West Wing. What kind of leadership would let... a gay hooker may be right in the middle of all of it? Who? Ultimately, it is the hypocrisy
Notes on the State of Virginia: 2005 General...
, but two state constitutional amendments banning Gay marriage. The House of Delegates and the Senate have... of Virginia Democrats). It's clear that Virginia voters will pass some anti-Gay marriage amendment in 2006: The only question is just how vehemently anti-Gay that amendment will be. Both versions My Stupid Dog
www.AndrewSullivan.com - Daily Dish, Feb 15.
to the infections of people who are HIV-negative). This drug is rampaging through straight rural America and through gay parts of urban America. As many of you know, I'm a libertarian when it comes...-rocketing among gay men. The real problem in the gay epidemic right now is the use of crystal meth www.AndrewSullivan.com - Daily Dish
Just one question for my M.P., does this include gay families?
You can ask him yourself by email at email@example.com
1855 - 250 Kirschner Rd
Kelowna, BC V1Y 4N7
Stat holiday proposed for February
Feb, 15 2005 - 3:00 PM
15 seconds is all you need for this action. Please do it now.
URGENT ACTION ALERT -- we need 15 seconds of your time
This is an urgent request for just 15 seconds of your time RIGHT NOW to help counter the avalanche of letters and emails opposing equality that are currently inundating MPs.
Please go to http://www.equal-marriage.ca/contactcampaign.php?candidatename=All+MPs&candidateemail=All+MPs right now and send a message to all MPs. Even if you have emailed MPs before - please do so again. They need to hear from Canadians as they begin to debate the equal marriage legislation. Parliamentary debate on Bill C-38 (Civil Marriage Act) begins in the House of Commons tomorrow.
The bill protects religious freedom by ensuring that clergy perform only those marriages they chose to perform. The bill ends exclusion and discrimination by ensuring all Canadians -- regardless of sexual orientation -- are able to get legally married in a civil ceremony.
So please go to http://www.equal-marriage.ca/contactcampaign.php?candidatename=All+MPs&candidateemail=All+MPs right now and make sure MPs are reminded that most Canadians support fairness and equality.
Stronach is a very wealthy Conservative MP that supports same-sex marriage rights. Rick Mercer, the host of Monday Report goes on a date with Belinda and they end up discussing same-sex marriage.
If nothing else this will provide you with a break from all the serious political stuff going on with same-sex marriage and perhaps provide some more material to use when hit with the "traditional" point of view!
Monday Report can be found here.
Dave Batters is the MP for Pallister, a riding in Saskatchewan. Batters has expressed his opposition to same sex-marriage and indicated he will vote against the legislation in Parliament.
Batters has placed a poll on his website asking readers, "Do you support the Liberal Government's legislation to eliminate the traditional definition of marriage, and allow same-sex marriages?"
Dave Batters (Conservative MP) Photo from Batters website
The purpose of the poll is unknown as Mr. Batters has indicated he will be voting against the legislation. The poll does not require you be a resident of his constituency to reply so it would seem he can not use the results for support of his position from his constituents.
You can bet the poll will more likely be used by Batters as an effort to demonstrate opposition to same-sex marriage. You can be sure the evangelical gang in Canada and the United States will be flooding the site with their votes. You can vote there as well. We may be able to take some of the sting away from the final poll results if the numbers do not support Mr. Batters view.
Please refer people to the site to vote!
You will find the survey is on the main page.
Thanks to Pat for alerting us at Queer Thoughts
The news of the existence of a new strain of the HIV virus resistant to HIV treatments and its subsequent rapid advancement into full blown AIDS is essential information for the public and AIDS service organizations.
Fears that these new findings may lead to more blaming the victim are legitimate. We know from research two of the determining factors that affect the spread of HIV are stigma and discrimination associated with the disease. On January 26 this year, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network announced a nation-wide educational campaign to address stigma and discrimination associated with HIV. You can read more on the effort here.
"Gays can marry," Kenney told the Punjabi language media in Toronto today. "They just can't marry each other." Jason Kenney, MP for Calgary is not one of the Conservatives bright ones, said more ...
I am not kidding, he really did say this today!
Here are his quotes, "The fact is that homosexuals aren't barred from marrying under Canadian law,"
"Marriage is open to everybody, as long as they're a man and a woman,''
"It doesn't say you can't marry if you're a homosexual. The fact is that homosexuals have been married and do marry.''
"there's not a single human rights document in the world that enumerates a specific right to same-sex marriage, including those of the United Nations, European Union and Organization of American States."Meanwhile back at the ranch an EKOS Research Associates survey of slightly more than 1,000 Canadians found a 42-40 split in favour of allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.
The redneck label is more of a surface thing, people tend to say what it is rather than using the smooth words of city rednecks like Stephen Harper.
The letter is from a young person in the Williams Lake Tribune
"If I was brought up to believe that being attracted to girls was sick and wrong, I can't even imagine how painful it would be. I would constantly be at war with myself, trying to subdue my natural instincts. Completely ignoring a feeling as strong as basic sexual and emotional attraction would cause anybody to go crazy. Some people, unfortunately for them, must be forced not to act on their natural tendencies..." go to the Williams Lake Tribune
The article is in today's Toronto Star.
Recognizing same-sex marriage won't damage the fabric of society — but not recognizing it will, a former Supreme Court of Canada judge says.
Canadians need to shed whatever remnants remain of the notion that family life is reserved for one particular group that is "deemed to be appropriate," says Claire L'Heureux-Dubé.
The BC Government released the information late Friday. The government said the billings were most likely due to misidentified accounting procedures, and is confident no doctor was billing for treating homosexuality as a mental illness.
In 2003/04 173 people patients were the subject of these billings. In all Doctors billed 1,794 times using the mental disorder code. The cost was $67,359.
This story broke last week when codes for treating homosexuality were found on the BC Government website. The next day the goverment removed the codes and was checking to see if any billings had been processed by the BC Medical Services Plan.
You can see the page with the codes that classified Homosexuality as a mental disorder here. What is disturbing is why these codes were not removed earlier and how they got back into the billing system, if in fact they had been removed at one point at all.
A five year check is not adequate. The Government needs to investigate this back to when treating homosexuality as a mental disorder was changed by the medical community.
The following is from today's Vancouver Sun.
A backup text copy of the Vancouver Sun article is stored here.
Michelle Stewart, a spokeswoman for the Health Ministry, said the code was part of a World Health Organization-recognized list used by health ministries when paying doctors for services.
It was supplanted years ago with a new one that dropped homosexuality as a disorder.
However, for reasons the province doesn't understand, the old list remained on the books and some doctors continued to use it when filing for payment.
Stewart said there is no evidence any doctor was treating homosexuality as a mental disorder.
"It wasn't being used as a class for treating homosexuality as a disorder, but rather you were treating a patient with a problem," she said.
"The codes that would be more appropriate to it would be for counselling, depression and anxiety."
She said patients do see their doctors when they are in conflict about their sexuality, and it is reasonable to expect physicians to bill for those services.
More than 20 years ago, the American Psychiatric Association officially delisted homosexuality as a mental disorder.
The existence of the code became public this week and angered the gay and lesbian community, which said it was an offensive reference to days when homosexuals were considered mentally disordered.
The health ministry has advised doctors they can no longer use the code, and a reference to it has been removed from the government's website.
Nonetheless, there appears to have been enough doctors' offices aware of the code in recent years to demonstrate it wasn't an isolated incident.
The health ministry went back and dug out the claims for the past five years, although they say billings have gone on for many years. Here's what they found:
- In 2002-2003 there were 1,545 billings for treatment of 146 patients for a total of $52,849.
- 2001-2002: 1,594 billings for 244 patients. Total: $42,419.
- 2000-2001: 1,725 billings for 224 patients. Total: $42,288.
- 1999-2000: 1,182 billings for 274 patients. Total: $31,721.
- - -
MULTIPLE DOCTOR VISITS
Between 1999 and 2004, doctors billed the government a total of $237,000 for treatments in the long-discarded diagnostic code for homosexuality.
Billings per year
Avg. # treatments/patient
2003-04: 1,794 10.4
2002-03: 1,545 10.6
2001-02: 1,594 6.5
2000-01: 1,725 7.7
1999-2000: 1,182 4.3
It’s About Basic Human Rights
- Bruce McDonald
If I see one more reporter on TV talk about religious groups complaining that the Gay marriage bill is a threat to their institutions, I’ll have to bitch slap somebody. This is in no way a threat and if they think it is, then they have pretty weak institutions. Their argument just doesn’t wash with me. This is a secular democracy where decisions are made based on what society wants and sees fit for it. Religious institutions play a much smaller role in society now than they used to, and for good reason.
As a Gay man, I can assure you that I consider these people to be a much greater threat to me through their teachings to millions of people than I could ever hope to be to them. Their argument is desperate, ignorant and selfish.
This is a Civil Human Rights issue, plain and simple. This is about finally putting an end to yet another discrimination that has gone on long enough. Nobody is trying to steal anything from anyone. In fact, it’s about people who have enough love and respect for one of society’s great traditions to actually want to be a part of it.
Marriage is a tradition, not an institution, traditions always change with time just as marriage has over the years. Those people who claim that the “institution” of marriage hasn’t changed for the last two thousand years or more are either ignorant or full of shit. The tradition of marriage has changed numerous times over the years to suit the needs of society at the time. This is one of those times.
Bill C-38 clearly accommodates the concerns of the religious community. Religious institutions will still have the freedom to practice their own brand of bigotry and intolerance as they see fit within the confines of their own institutions. In the context of today’s society I think they’re getting a pretty good deal, much better than the one they gave people like me for centuries.
Of course they’re not all bad, see this post.
If you would like to be the QT of the week, send me an email!
The whole marriage debate is getting out of hand, Americans sending money across the border, messages being piped in via the internet and the airwaves, do the Americans think we're Iraq?
How the heck did they find us anyway? When was the last time they heard us say anything? Did I miss an invasion of Canada when I turned off my cable last month?
I thought we had laws against terrorists or are the James Dobson's of the world freedom fighters?
John Rogers, our Canadian Kung Fu Monkey lets it fly on same-sex marriage and few other things... "You may have excellent moral, or religious, or personal arguments against same-sex marriage. But you do not have a single decent legal one. And that is the government's reach, and no farther."
The fact that Catholics, who faced so much violent discrimination in America as "Papists" and were protected only be the strict observance of separation of church and state, can now deprive another group of that shield is beyond shameful."
Go now and read the rest of "oh oh Canada". I have rated the article Blue collar for language. Carries Warning, May make you think, do not go here if that has not happened before, consult with babble at Rabble.ca first.
and Timmy, our Voice in the Wilderness got excited, "Dobson actually has the jaw-dropping gall to lecture our Prime Minister."
B.C. listing calls homosexuality 'mental disorder'Last Updated Thu, 10 Feb 2005 14:09:54 EST
VANCOUVER - The B.C. Ministry of Health is correcting a government website that describes homosexuality as a mental disorder, next to bestiality and pedophilia.
INDEPTH: Same-sex Rights
Until Thursday, the description was there on the Medical Services Plan website in a section that provides diagnostic codes for doctors to use when filing for reimbursement from the provincial government. The site is accessible to the general public as well as doctors.
Doctors could have billed MSP for treating "gay" as a mental disorder
Embarrassed B.C. health officials are scrambling to correct a bizarre oversight in provincial paperwork that allows doctors to bill the Medical Services Plan for treating homosexuality as a mental disorder.
George Gordon/The Sun News1130
Homosexuality still listed as a mental illness
-->Homosexuality still listed as a mental illness
February 10, 2005 - 5:20 amBy: George Gordon/The Sun
It's not that any doctors were billing health services for treating it, but technically they could have asked for payment to treat homosexuality as a mental disorder. It seems someone finally noticed a Health Ministry's website that lists sexual preference as a treatable condition.
The Crown refused to call the case a hate crime. The LGBTQ communities in Vancouver have moved from simple disbelief to growing sense of anger. That anger is developing across the country as Egale's media release points out. "The government reluctance to use the Hate Crime provisions of the law send a clear message to the larger community that you won't face a tougher sentance because you target a gay person," said Rick Barnes editor of Queer Thoughts.
"This sentencing decision is proof that the criminal justice system needs a good shake-up!" says Tami Starlight, an Egale Canada Director.
"The circumstances leave no doubt that this murder was a hate crime and the justice system seems not to want to recognize this. The Vancouver LGBT community has been shaken by the brutality of the slaying and the Crown's refusal to acknowledge it as a hate crime really makes me question the government's will to acknowledge and combat violence against minority communities. There needs to be an inquiry into how the Crown handled this case. I believe Aaron Webster, his family and the LGBT community deserve better."
Egale Canada's call for an inquiry follows on earlier demands issued by the Vancouver LGBT communities this week. You can read Egale's entire media release at PEJ NEWS. At time of posting it was not yet on the Egale Canada website.
For more on the reaction to the Webster case click here.
I was looking to see what was listed for LGBTQ health issues. I was astounded to find that they listed an American help line resource, "Gay and Lesbian National Hotline". I called the BC Guide online and pointed this out to them. They informed me that the company was using an American Data base and that it would be updated soon. I left numbers for the The Centre (They provide an evening hotline for the GLBTQ community throughout BC) and several other local services around the province for them to add.
All other agencies that BCHealthGuideOnLine points you too for LGBTQ health related issues are American based as well. Most if not all are good resources, for Americans, but we have those services in BC. I would think that a BC Health Guide would refer people to health related services in BC. I have provided the list from the BC Health Guide below.
It has become clear to me that LGBTQ health issues are not on the radar for the Campbell Liberal government. In general the government has a poor record in addressing health concerns of the LGBTQ communities. It is extremely frustrating when the few resources that are out there are not listed.
Topic Contents (from BCHealthGuideOnline) If you want to check for yourself you will need a valid BC Postal Code. I suggest you use V8V 4X4, the same code the Premier uses.
COLAGE (Children Of Lesbians And Gays Everywhere)
International Foundation for Gender Education
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
Renaissance Transgender Association, Inc.
Society for the Second Self (Tri-Ess International)
Straight Spouse Network
Gay Men's Health Crisis
Family Pride Coalition
Below is a partial list of disorders listed. This was discovered this evening. Major question at this time is why has the Gordon Campbell government not taken this down after it was discovered?
The second question is why didn't the government check what they are posting? It appears not to be that important by the government.
This incident adds to growing perceptual and real concerns the BC Liberal government is moving further to the right. Recent "moderate" Liberals have resigned, people like Lynn Stephens, Christie Clark, Gary Collins and Rev Val Anderson. Recent Liberal nomination battles see many anti choice, anti gay and social conservatives running.
Mary Polak, former Chair of the Surrey School Board that banned YouthCO, an internationally recognised leader in HIV/AIDS prevention programming from presenting in Surrey schools is one of those social conservatives running. Polak also lead the School board in spending over $1 million dollars trying to keep books on same-sex families out of the schools. The school board lost in the end.
Polak was the Liberal candidate in the Surrey Riding By-election last fall and was roundly trounced by the NDP candidate. She is now seeking the nomination in Langley. Public Eye ONline reported today that Polak was being supported by a membership drive that was conducted by the Campaign Life Coalition British Columbia.
An interesting sidebar to the Polak run for power is the support she received from Lorne Mayencourt, the gay Liberal MLA from one of Vancouver's gay constituencies. Mayencourt has earned the wrath of many gay community leaders for his support of the anti-gay Liberal. Ted Nebbling, the gay Liberal MLA from Whistler called Mayencourt a hypocrite for remaining in a Liberal government caucus where Polak was introduced to the MLA's by Gordon Campbell.
I will have more on the government website concern in the morning. This is a very serious mistake for the government to make at any time. It is is even more so now given the context of the current debate nationally on same-sex marriage.
For the full list Click here.
301.0 PARANOID PERSONALITY DISORDER
301.1 AFFECTIVE PERSONALITY DISORDER
301.2 SCHIZOID PERSONALITY DISORDER
301.3 EXPLOSIVE PERSONALITY DISORDER
301.4 ANANKASTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER
301.5 HYSTERICAL PERSONALITY DISORDER
301.6 ASTHENIC PERSONALITY DISORDER
301.7 PERSONALITY DISORDER WITH PREDOMINANTLY SOCIOPATHIC OR ASOCIAL
301.8 OTHER PERSONALITY DISORDERS
302 SEXUAL DEVIATIONS AND DISORDERS
302.6 DISORDERS OF PSYCHOSEXUAL IDENTITY
302.7 FRIGIDITY AND IMPOTENCE
303 ALCOHOL DEPENDENCE SYNDROME
"Did my brother die in vain? I think so," the victim's sister, Pamela Miller, complained bitterly after Madam Justice Mary Humphries sent Ryan Cran, 23, to jail for what she called a "random, cowardly and terrifying" attack on Mr. Webster.
Gay community critical of six-year sentence in beating death of ...940 News, Canada - 8 Feb 2005VANCOUVER (CP) - A six-year sentence given to a man described as the ringleader in the beating death of a gay man drew criticism Tuesday from the man's family ...
"No Evidence Aaron was Gay" says JusticePEJ News, Canada - 8 Feb 2005"The Crown all along has said it would be difficult to prove this was a "Hate Crime". I suggest the Crown did not even try. The ...
Madam Justice Mary Humphries said she heard no evidence that Aaron Webster's beating death was a hate crime, despite its brutality.
She also said there was no evidence of his sexual orientation, a statement that brought gasps from members of Webster's family and the gay community who were in court.
Justice Mary Humpries (CBC Image)
Either the Supreme Court Justice is sending a strong message to the Crown counsel, ie "you did not do your job" or the Justice has chosen to ignore a pretty important aspect to the case.
The Crown all along has said it would be difficult to prove this was a "Hate Crime". I suggest the Crown did not even try. The justice made it clear, the evidence provided in court by the Crown didnot even prove Aaron Webster was gay. The Justice in this case would of course be pretty much aware that Webster was gay from news reports. She could not use this information in her decision as she did not hear evidence of this from the Crown.
The Attorney General and his department have failed justice in the interest of expediency. As a gay community we are supposed to go away and be satisfied with this result.
I am not statisfied. I am not going away and I my guess is neither is the gay community. The six year term may be appropriate, I am not an expert. What I do know is four young men went to a well known gay hang out place, found Aaron Webster and beat him to death. They even had the tools to do the job with them.
We all know they went there looking to beat up a fag. I suspects the Justice knew this as well. The Crown and the Attorney General knew this, they took the easy way out.
Check out the exhaustive coverage given this story from Xtra! West
since Aaron Webster was killed.
Robinson calls on BC attorney general to apply hate crimes law in ...Canoe.ca, Canada - 23 Jan 2005... calling for a hate-crime designation to be added to the sentences of those convicted in the November 2001 beating death of gay photographer Aaron Webster, 41. ...
Crown urged to use hate-crime lawCBC British Columbia, Canada - 24 Jan 2005... Aaron Webster. "And I say that the silence of the Crown has been deafening and shameful and should never have happened," said the former MP, and long-time gay- ...
Bell's wringing on marriage
From the 'shame of our nation' file, the majority of B.C.'s MPs are opposed to Justice Minister Irwin Colter's 'gay marriage'. Twenty-two of the left coast's 36 MPs - almost all Conservatives - have come out against legalization of same-sex nuptials, to no one's surprise. That means that the bulk of the 'no' votes expected in Ottawa this spring are from this here part of the country.Observer foresees three gay spirits will visit naysaying MPs in the night, including the Ghost of Human Rights Future, who will undoubtedly show them how utterly discriminatory and foolish their opposition will look in 20 years' time. God bless us, everyone. That's everyone, Don Bell, 'undecided' North Shore Liberal MP.
Shanley is one of the few priests prosecutors have been able to charge. Most of the priests accused of wrongdong avoided prosecution because the statute of limitations on their alleged crimes ran out long ago. But the clock stopped when Shanley moved out of Massachusetts.
Note from Queer Thoughts: Most Catholics will be horrified by this account, yet it is their church leadership that allows this continue. Leadership of the regressive and conservative JP2 that fails to act and hides behind old codes that repress women, minorities and gays and lesbians.
MP, Gary Lunn was re-elected despite the trouble delivering a positive moderate urban message when national negatives (created by Randy White and others) occured.The information became public tonight when it was reported by Sean Holman of Public Eye Online, A Victoria based internet reporter with a knack of gettting his hands on spicy stuff.
You can read the whole report here, most of it is boring stuff with the noted exception to the reference that the party lacks moderate positions on issues of concern in urban areas.
All of this of course will lead to an exciting Conservative Party convention in Montreal this March.
Same-sex marriage, womens right to choose, treaty neogotiations, will make March a HOT time for those hoping to put a little more Progressive in Conservative.
Time to see a movie folks ...
Dr Charles McVety, President of Canada Family Action Coalition and a member of the "Defend marriage Coalition" have announced a boycott of Famous Players.
They learned recently that Famous Players was displaying ads supporting same-sex marriage and this has incensed the McVety.
It should not surprise anyone that the largest audience for movies are young people. Oddly enough this is the same group that overwhelmingly supports same-sex marriage.
McVety has provided phone numbers for Famous Player's and I list them below. Make the call, tell them you support their efforts, better still, go to a movie and tell them in person. You've been working hard, don't you need the break anyway!
Famous Players Theatres: President, Mr. Robb Chase at 416.969.7800 or fax him at 416.964.5839 EMail! firstname.lastname@example.org
Go to their website and send your views: Famous Players Feedback
Yes they promise not to do it anymore. Why, while likely has something to do with a string of cancelled concerts in Europe, the United States and Canada. Beenie Man missing out on the big MTV Video Music Awards in Miami likely contributing factor in his decision to end hate lyrics.
Beenie Man said in August...
Peace now, lets see how long these guys that sang about "batty man fi dead" or worse will change. One more thing, re-read the statement above by Beanie man. How the heck did he not know what he was singing was threatening or hurtful...
"While my lyrics are very personal, I do not write them with the intent of purposefully hurting or maligning others,I offer my sincerest apologies to those who might have been offended, threatened or hurt by my songs.
As a human being, I renounce violence towards other human beings in every way, and pledge henceforth to uphold these values as I move forward in my career."