Civil Marriage ACT passed in Canada's Parliament

Civil Marriage ACT passed in Canada's Parliament Bill C-38 passes!

This day was envisioned when I looked into his eyes. I was pulled to him more strongly than if he were using a rope to bring me to him. I could not reject these feelings, I was in love. The power of the love held us more than any glue, it held us up, it was a foundation of what would be our family. A family unlike any other as it was my family, our family. It was something we both wanted and needed.

I asked Steven if he would be my partner for life, The answer was yes and we began a life so rich I wish it for all. Steven told me he had one wish before he left this world. "I want to know I was loved and I loved before I die." Steven asked me two days before he died if I remembered his wish. I did and let him carry on. "I have loved, I am loved. "

How can anyone deny our relationship, the love that existed, that it contributed to our community and extended families. Would the community be any richer if we had not been a family, would society be better off if we were not together? We had become a family just like many others in this country, around the world. I suggest we may have had more than many however. How many gay men or lesbian women have lived a lie because they saw no alternative, how many hid their feelings, how many missed what Steven and I had because of the fear, threats real and imagined.

Steven and I were denied marriage. We had it in all but name and today, the Parliament of Canada passed into law the reality, recognised that Steven and I had and thousands of others have today. They have a family, they contribute to the community. Our country and we collectively as Canadians are richer.

As I posted yesterday, Stephanie and I raise our glasses to the sky today, to the universe, "it is real Steven, it is real Dad."

Will you marry me Steven?

"...Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If o­nly for awhile to know
you're there A breath away's not far
To where you are..."
from - To Where You Are

CBC Same-sex legislation passed

The Liberals' controversial same-sex marriage legislation has passed final reading the House of Commons, sailing through with a vote of 158 for and 133 against. FULL S T O R Y

For more information on equal, gay and or same-sex marriage, the civil marriage act, Paul Martin, Jack Layton, Stephen Harper, conservatives, Bishop Henry, Evangelicals, James Dobson use the Technorati search box in the side bar here and at Politics in BC.

This has also been cross posted at Politics in BC

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Conservative Blogger gets response

A Conservative Kelowna Blogger, Ted Gerk, that I have debated a number of issues with has taken me to task on a posting I made to my other Blog, Politics in BC entitled "Christian right a hate group - coming to Canada".

Fellow blogger Mike of Rational Reasons had this to say on Ted's blog. I have copied his comments here. I encourage you to post to Ted's blog but to do respectfully. I have found Ted to be generally polite, though I do disagree with him quite strongly.

"Respect is a two-way street. You cry foul here, invoking the ghosts of totalitarianism, to continue spreading fear, yet Bishop Henry and his ilk have never once shown any respect for the gay community. Read Rick's post again. The Knights of Columbus provide a great deal of good in any community. That is not the point. But you cannot deny that they are discriminating against gays. Now you may think that's ok, but you can't say they aren't doing it.

Bishop Henry and James Dobson are another story. They are actively promoting hatred against homosexuality, no matter how softly and eloquently they speak. Bishop Henry wants to outlaw a behaviour that has been shown by a great deal of scientific research to be perfectly natural. James Dobson thinks the same. This is more than a difference in philosophy. The difference between the NDP and the CPC is a difference of philosophy. Wishing oppress a minority group because you believe they are evil, immoral and less than fully human is another thing altogether - hatred.

I find it ammusing that you are upset at being demonized by the gay community. Why? Because you wish to retain the right to demonize them. No matter how you dress it up, Ted, that's hatred. And to hide behind a religion of love, compassion and forgiveness to do so is even more disturbing. I would recommend that you read some of the SSM postings on my blog:http://rationalreasons.blogspot....te- outside.htmlhttp://rationalreasons.blogspot....f- marriage.htmlhttp://rationalreasons.blogspot....atives- and.html
This one by wonderdog:http://barkingmadly.blogspot.com...- homophobe.html and last, but certainly not least, this one by Kevin Powell, a Lutheran Pastor:http://kevingpowell.blogspot.com...g- backdrop.html

I am sorry if you feel oppressed, demonized and picked on. No one should feel that. But remember that feeling. Remember that sadness and that anger. That is the way gays feel on a daily basis, because of the treament the get at the hands of the likes of Bishop Henry and James Dobson. Do you like feeling that way?Remember, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"The religious right IS a danger, not just to gays. And its not just gays that think so:http://thegreenknight.blogspot.c...ious- right.html

And for what its worth, I'm a straight, married father of 2 with 1 on the way, and I see the Religious Right as far more of a danger to my family than Same Sex Marraige will ever be."

More on Zach

Gay teen Zach, out of Love In Action camp...

"I was especially impressed with the integrity of the protest organizers. When a TV camera man jockeyed to get a photo of Zach exiting the program, protesters discouraged him (and even distracted him) from getting the shot. The protesters I spoke with seek to protect Zach and his family's privacy. This is not about focusing on one teen, but on a system of injustice that seeks to target and recruit all queer teens." ~ Peterson Toscano, A Musing, June 28, 2005

I am happy there are people like Peterson Toscano to bring to attention the plight of our youth and others that are subjected to the abuse the religious right casts upon them.

Toscano is a survivor of the Christian Right's war on Gays and Lesbians. You can find out more of his efforts here.

For more on gay rights, Christian Activism, equal, gay or same-sex marriage, Stephen Harper, Social Conservatives, James Dobson, Bishop Henry, use the technorati search box in the side bar here and at Politics in BC.

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Poland wants you to lay some Pipe!

I could go to Poland. Check out the tourism photo here or go here, scroll down the page. The photo is on Joe's blog in New York, you remember Joe eh?


16 year-old gay Zach Update

EJ Friedman, Terence Heath, Pam Spaulding, The Disenchanted Forest & a host of others are following the case closely. The state of TN is now investigating (Love in Action is operating without a license and a family therapist had called to report potential child abuse based on statements in Zach's blogs, published operating procedures/rules for LIA and statements from those previously exposed to the program).

Thanks to The Disenchanted Forest for this information.

Also tonight Queer FM will be discussing the story of Zach, the 16 year-old blogger from Bartlett Tennessee who's parents sent him to an Ex-Gay ministry called "Love In Action" when he came out to them. The specific program is called Refuge.

You may also be interested in the Southern Poverty Law Center's latest Intelligent Report and the rise of the Christian Right. Check out my article on this and the rise of the Christian Right in Canada at Politics in BC

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Meningococcal group C - in the gay community

The BC Centre for Disease Control is still recording cases of infections caused by the meningococcal group C bacteria in gay men in the Lower Mainland and BC. These infections have resulted in meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain) and blood stream infections. Five of the nine cases (56%) identified since September 2004 have died from their infection. This includes 2 deaths in March and April 2005, which means that the bacteria is still being spread in the gay community.

How is the bacteria spread?
The meningococcal bacteria is spread through saliva. Most of the cases that we have seen in BC had a history of sharing joints with friends or acquaintances in the week before they became ill, and that appears to be how they became infected. Other ways the bacteria is spread includes kissing on the lips or mouth, or by sharing drinks, glasses, water bottles, eating utensils, toothbrushes or cigarettes. People can carry the bacteria and pass it to others without getting sick themselves.

How do I protect myself?
The best way to protect yourself is to get vaccinated – especially if you share joints. Local public health departments and family doctors are offering free meningococcal C vaccine for all gay and bisexual men. The vaccination is safe, effective and provides long-lasting protection after one week. You can also protect yourself by not taking part in activities where saliva is shared for at least one week after you are vaccinated.

How do I know if I have a meningococcal infection?
The symptoms of meningococcal infection include a severe headache, stiff neck, vomiting, confusion and feeling very sick. If you have these symptoms you should go to your local Emergency Department immediately. Other symptoms include fever or a skin rash of tiny reddish-purple bruise-like spots.

For more information on the outbreak or where to get the vaccine in your area, contact your doctor, local health clinic or visit www.bccdc.org.


A primer on gays and the bible

Political Cycles has been blogging On Christian Activism in Canadian Politics. The article has some good links to the activities of Christian activists in Canada and their connections to the US led Christian activist movement.

He also points us to this quick and useful bit of information Bridges offers some good resources on the Bible and Homosexuality. Check out the links below and or go directly to Bridges.

Homosexuality and the Bible Unequal Condemnations Hebrew Sexual Mores The Problem of Authority Judge for Yourselves An Appeal for Tolerance

"The author suggests that the Bible exhibits a variety of sexual mores that were consistent with the time but does not proscribe a biblical sexual ethic. He goes on to say that a strict interpret the Bible requires that we prohibit sex during menstruation, celibacy and masturbation. Prostitution, polygamy, sexual slaves and the treatment of women as property would be allowed." ~ Cycles2k Calgary

This has all come to a head in Canada with the debate of equal or same-sex marriage. Christian activists in Canada have become emboldened by the success of their American brethern. While it looks almost certain Canada will soon have equal marriage across the country, it is also certain that the Evangelical and hard line Catholics are taking up the cause. To elect the people that make the deicsions in Parliament and they are using the money from Focus on the Family and other large American Christian foundations and organizations.

So while we in Canada will have marriage for gays and lesbians in the near future, the fight to retain those rights will go on for years.

For more on gay rights, Christian Activism, equal, gay or same-sex marriage, Stephen Harper, Social Conservatives, James Dobson, Bishop Henry, use the technorati search box in the side bar here and at Politics in BC.

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Queer FM and ex-gay movement

This weekend's Queer FM will be discussing the story of Zach, the 16 year-old blogger from Bartlett Tennessee who's parents sent him to an Ex-Gay ministry called "Love In Action" when he came out to them. The specific program is called Refuge.

Queer FM will be interviewing Cale LeFevre of the Queer Action Coalition, an ad-hoc coalition who staged daily protests outside Love In Action. Peterson Toscano spent two years as one of their clients will be a guest on the show as well. Toscano is now an out gay performer who will be staging two plays in Saskatoon later this year.

Craig Maynard will be by for Queer FM's regular weekly update on what's happening with our same-sex marriage legislation.

Queer FM is on Sunday nights from 6-8pm Pacific time (that's 9-11 ET) at www.citr.ca or on 101.9 fm in Vancouver.

For more on Gay, equal or same-sex marriage use the Technorati search box in the sidebar here and or at Politics in BC

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Battle for Vancouver Burrard not over

Mayencourt... "It was the Voters fault"

I could not believe what Lorne Mayencourt had to say today in response to Tim Stevenson challenging the Vancouver-Burrard election results in court. Even Mayencourt who has a knack, dare I say he likely has a patent on saying the wrong thing has stooped to new lows. Likely only Jason Kenny, federal tory MP from Calgary can match Lorne for both arrogance and lack of respect for others.

Straight woman ~ Gay man

I have been working with supporting gay men to be comfortable with themselves for twenty years. Many of the men I worked with had entered a marriage either before they knew they were gay or well aware of their sexuality. The decision to marry a woman can be varied, some due to community and or family pressure, to hide, to have children or the man did not know or understand his sexuality.

Resources for the straight spouse of a gay man are not widely available. It can be devastating news to a straight spouse that her partner, the person she has loved for years, built her future on, is gay. Both people in this relationship can have a lot to deal with. If there are children, then more questions come up.

I found this resource on the internet this morning. The Straight Spouse Network(SSN). SSN has links to local resources and materials that can assist people in this situation. I have not met anyone from this organization nor had experience with them. After looking at some of the material they look to be a good place to start.

If any of you know about SSN, let me know more about them. If you know of other resources please feel free to point me too them here.

The stated mission for the Straight Spouse Network is ...
Reaching out - To extend the accessibility of support for straight spouses and partners, current or former, or gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered mates world wide. Healing - To expand support resources for spouses and partners that lessen their trauma, help them to cope with painful issues constructively, and nurture their strength to rebuild broken lives. Building bridges - To foster mutual understanding between spouses and family members and joint efforts with community and professional organizations toward improving services for spouses.


LGBTQ Youth on Vancouver Island

Youthquest invites you to the 2nd annual Port Alberni potluck and Dance June 24/05.

Welcome friends and supporters of all ages! Please feel free to bring something tasty to share.
Dance begins at 7:30pm with music by DJ Joey Chaos -free pool table, great music and new friends will be there.

This is an alcohol and drug free event.
Nanaimo Community wanting LGBT Youth Group

Calling out to anyone who is interested in getting involved with starting a Youth Group in Nanaimo. Some of us gathered together to discuss the possibilities of forming this group/club and are now opening it up to our community to see if anyone or any group would like to be a part of this project? What is your vision? What would you be willing to contribute? What is needed?

The meeting will be held in the training room at the MAIN detachment which is located at 303 Prideaux Street. It is not the Community Police Services building, but actually the main detachment, which is also across the street from the Muliticultural Society. The room is booked from 5:30 pm on July 5th, 2005. I would like to address who is willing on doing what for the youth group at the meeting.

Please RSVP to dmmartel@shaw.ca

fixated on the sexual orientation of a puppet and a cartoon

I found this at Blog bites...
"While reasonable people go about their day without caring much about other people’s sex lives, the certifiable lunatics who run the religious right have fixated on the sexual orientation of a puppet and a cartoon character." 1115.org

At some point between the Stonewall riots in 1969 and Ellen’s coming out in 1997, gay rights achieved a grudging critical mass. With the country ruled by the code of politically correct speech, those who wished to keep gays and lesbians second-class citizens were forced to adopt a façade of tolerance with statements like, "They can do what they want in private, just don’t rub our noses in it."

This is from an article from an American website that takes a piece out of the Christian Activists.


"call for open-mindedness and tolerance"

Love in Action a group that operates an anti-gay boot camp for Christian parents to send their Children who identify as gay, has responded to the publicity it has received over a young gay youth Zach, being forced to attend by his parents.

The group called for open-mindedness and tolerance yet they have and do support this program aimed at gay youth...
"...We facilitate a ministry called 'Refuge.' It is our intent with this program to assist the parents of minor children in bringing forth information and awareness in helping these young people in making informed decisions about how they will chose to act upon their sexuality upon reaching adulthood.

This program is operated on the will of the guardian or parent. We will work with the minor children as long as they are not overtly distracting to their own program or the program of others.

If it is shown that the client is overtly treatment resistant, we will work with the parent towards alternative options for their care and overall relational health.

Therefore, we are standing firm on our belief that a Christian parent has the responsibility to intervene on behalf of their children when deemed necessary..."
~ Love In Action International's Official Statement, Rev. John J. Smid, June 16, 2005

Southern Voice has more here

Some of you may recall a story late last year of a gay youth, James Barnett, 18, who was expelled from Trinity Christian Academy in Dallas. Go to Gay teen outed then kicked out of Christian High School and School ignores Death threat - 16 year old gay student says

British Doctors - protect colleagues and patients from gay discrimination

British doctors should do all they can to protect patients and colleagues from discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, a new BMA report says today (Monday, 20 June 2005).

The report ‘Sexual Orientation in the Workplace’ which is released at the start of the Gay Pride festival, comes in the wake of recent legislation in the UK making it illegal to discriminate against someone on the grounds of their sexual orientation.

Check it out here and read the media release here.

Zach, Gay teen forced to ex-gay camp

The blogging world has been following the story of 16 year Zach. Zach came out to his parents as gay and they have enrolled him in a camp for "ex-gay" adolescents. The camp tries to reinforce christian heterosexual values. The youth are held captive, as prisoners similar to boot camps used for delinquents. The youth are put through severe indoctrination.

“The history of organizations like Love In Action are founded upon deception and have been proven ineffective and damaging to people,” Morgan Fox, an organizer of Queer Action Coalition who said she is a friend of Zach’s told the Washington Blade.

In Zach's words,
"It's been a week of torture - anger, and crying. Current mood: worried
I'm not sure if I'm even supposed to be on. I ran away for a short while. I came back and they took everything from me, they don't want me to have outside influences-- i dont know how long im going to be on, because if tehy wake up, im screwed. The program starts June 6 and is until either teh 17th or the 20th. I'm sorry I don't have time to write back o all of the comments and
messages. I'm just here to let everyone know I am still alive, I'm sure you've left messages on my cellphone, they took that.. and my keys... and the computer.. and I've been homebound. -=sigh=- I just need this to be over. Don't worry. I'll get through this. They've promised me things will get better whether this program does anything or not. Let's hope they aren't lying. I've been through hell. I've been emotionally torn apart for three days... I can't remember which days they were.. time's not what it used to be."
Zach's post June 3rd, 3 days before he was to be delivered to the camp.

Zach's post about the camp rules - He posted on May 29, 2005
Zach's Blog
Zach's last post, June 3, 2005

Want to keep on the action to support Zach and fight homophobia, go to Queer Action Coalition

Check out this site as well: Wayne Bensen, Author of "Anything but Straight", Unmasking the Scandals and Lies behind the "ex-gay" Myth.


"Gay" Fathers Day in Canada vs America

Today being Fathers day I consider myself lucky to live in Canada and to be more precise, to live in BC where queer parents have the same rights as straight parents. All of this did not happen by accident. In the 1980's we elected a Premier in Bill VanderZalm. VanderZalm once proposed that people living with AIDS be put on an Island.

In the 1990's BC elected a government committed to equality. The NDP had passed policy in years past to support gay rights, to bring in laws supporting adoption, parental rights and provide all benefits available to straight parents to gay parents.

We had seen the failure of the Ontario NDP government when they tried to bring all these rights in one ominbus bill. The bill failed as the it was seen as too big a change. (Ontario provides equality in all aspects of life today for gay citizens) In 1992 the BC NDP government decided to bring in equality rights over a few years. Each year gay rights were improved. Each time the political parties in the Legislature supported the changes.

I was part of that government. The systematic approach worked. Today it would be unheard of for a gay father to lose custody because he was gay or because he had a partner. There are still systemic problems that father's face over custody issues with mothers favoured in our court system and that will be the basis of another article soon.

Today I am happy to be Canadian and a father who happens to be gay. In the United States father's that happen to be gay have many more hurdles to jumb to obtain any custody of their children. Take this example from Virginia.

"In 2002, a Virginia court issued an order allowing Hedberg to retain physical custody of the boy, but only on the condition that Delahoussaye move out of the family's home. In order to maintain two separate residences, the couple sold their house and moved into two smaller apartments in Maryland.

In the years since, Delahoussaye has visited his family as much as he can, but the restriction keeps them all from living in the same home together." ~ Eric Johnston, PlanetOut Network, June 17, 2005

This is not unusual. American courts take a dim view of gay fathers and have made the father break up with a partner inorder to maintain custody of their children. This happens despite studies indicating that kids raised by gay parents do as well as kids raised by straight parents. These punitive state sanctioned edicts occur despite the best interest of the child.

I know many gay parents, gay adoptive and foster parents as well. Our community and our country benefit from the contribution of gay people raising and supporting a families.

America is not only destroying many families with its backwards and uniformed laws preventing or restricting gay parents, America is proving the "home of the free" doesn't include millions of gay Americans.

Grampa's Celebrate Father's Day too


Gaydar on the BLIP!

It's true, if you live in a city, it is getting harder to figure out who is gay and who isn't. My gaydar needs a tune up big time. I can still be right most of the time, but yikes it takes more time.

I come from small town country, I know it has always been difficult though not impossible to meet other guys. Still I was in Williams Lake, a small town in the Cariboo this past week and I did see several guys that blipped my gaydar. Interesting, my straight friends did not see these brothers of mine.

The city is getting harder though, all those straight boys trying their best to look or send of signals that confuse or create blips on my gaydar. I may have to spend more time in the big city to readjust.

This from the New York Times says it all ...
"The codes have broken down completely," said Valerie Steele, the director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. "The other night I was at a dinner sitting next to someone who was talking about how he couldn't tell anymore, that he just didn't have any gaydar. And it was so funny. I couldn't tell if he was gay or straight." ~ New York Times, June 19, 2005

Check out the New York Times article on Gay or Straight, Hard to Tell.


Nanaimo Pride in a "Nutshell"

This info courtesy of VILIPS ...

June 17th
...Musical Circus Arts in the Park -Outdoor Event for All Ages Friday June 17th , 7:30 – 9:30 PM CircusClasses@hotmail.com

June 18th
...for more info regarding the Marketplace (FREE BBQ, a motorcycle Show & Shine, games and "Show of colours" dance at Cavallotti Hall go to www.nanaimopride.ca
...Drag Show at Tina's Diner, 187 Commercial St rogersonp@hotmail.com

June 19th
...Tea Dance with buffet 3pm at 70 Below 716-0505

June 20th
Raising of the Rainbow Flag
@ 6:00pm at City Hall in Nanaimo with MP Jean Crowder, followed by the refreshments & cutting of the Pride cake @ "Bocca" on Fitzwilliam

June 21st
...Gay BINGO with Auntie Rachael @ "70 Below" starting @ 9:00pm. 716-0505

June 22nd
...Semi Finals of Karaoke "Gay Idol" with Bill Bard @ "70 Below" starting @ 9:00. 716-0505

June 23rd
...Bowling @ Brechin Lanes hosted by Myrna Cain starting @ 7:00pm. 3 games for $10 (adults only)

...Pride bowling night will also have lanes for families with kids. There will be one lane with gutterguards for younger kids, and one "teen" lane. You don't need to sign up now; just come have fun!! Questions?? chat with Dawn thompsnd@MALA.BC.CA

June 24th
... "Gay Nights & Idol Lights" show and dance @ Sgt. O'Flarety's Coast Bastion Inn
John 754-8749 Roxy 754-8301 Ian 758-5153 nanaimopride.org

June 25th
Par 3 golfing tournament at Beban Park. (adults $10, children $9), free patio BBQ (bar services available) 754-8301

Christian Activist loses in Court, AGAIN!

The BC Court of Appeal has dismissed Quesnel school teacher, Chris Kemplings attempt to reverse a lower court decision that found he had overstepped his bounds as a teacher when he expressed his anti gay views in the media.
"[10] For the reasons that follow, I would dismiss the appeal. I consider that Holmes J. was substantially right in reviewing the administrative decisions on a standard of reasonableness save that I consider the Panel’s conclusion that Mr.
Kempling’s writings were discriminatory was to be reviewed on a standard of correctness. That said, however, Holmes J. made no error, in my view, that undermines his upholding the administrative decisions.

Further, I do not consider it was open to Mr. Kempling to raise s. 2(a) of the Charter and, while on this appeal the BCCT concedes that, contrary to what Holmes J. concluded, Mr. Kempling’s s. 2(b) rights were infringed by the imposition of the suspension of his teaching certificate, I do not consider the infringement to have been beyond what can be justified in a free and democratic society. I do not consider that Mr. Kempling’s s. 15 rights were infringed."
~ The Honourable Mr. Justice Lowry, BC Court of Appeal, June 14, 2005

The Justice goes onto say in his reasons for judgement ...
[79] As I have said, the harm in evidence in this case is not that of discriminatory actions directed against particular individuals, but rather is that sustained by the school system as a whole. In his writings, Mr. Kempling made clear that his discriminatory beliefs would inform his actions as a teacher and counsellor. His writings therefore, in themselves, undermine access to a discrimination-free education environment. Evidence that particular students no longer felt welcome within the school system, or that homosexual students refused to go to Mr. Kempling for counselling, is not required to establish that harm has been caused. Mr. Kempling’s statements, even in the absence of any further actions, present an obstacle for homosexual students in accessing a discrimination-free education environment. These statements are therefore inherently harmful, not only because they deny access, but because in doing so they have damaged the integrity of the school system as a whole.

Mr. Kempling and social conservative and religious activists have jumped on the part of the judgement that states no evidence was put forward stating any individual harm was caused. The judge makes it clear as you can read in the portion of the judgement above that this was not required. Kempling's statements that his anti-gay views would guide him in counselling youth including gay youth have harmed the school systems ability to assure gay kids a discriminatory free education.

The Christain legal Fellowship said of the decision...
"In the absence of proof of harm to the school, a student or parent, the court concluded that the harm was to the integrity of the school system as a whole. This is a dangerous precedent to set. All professionals will be extremely cautious in speaking out on matters of public interest especially if they wish to speak out on the unpopular or ‘politically incorrect' side of an issue, for fear of being cited for ‘conduct unbecoming a professional'" ~ Ruth Ross, Executive Director of Christian Legal Fellowship, June 14, 2005

Chris Kempling in responding to a post on this website from April this year stating...

You may be interested to know that the school board has been unable to find a single homosexual student who was negatively impacted by what I said in my off the job time. I would view it as unethical to offer counsel that was not in the best interests of the client. I have also had a gay student return to see me after graduation to thank me for counselling I provided. Despite the lack of evidence I've been disciplined for something that might happen, not for anything that did happen. ~ Chris Kempling, June 16, Queer Thoughts comment

I was interested to know what the court had stated. I am not surprised that individual harm was not presented. Having lived in Quesnel and been educated from K -12 in that city I know first hand what can happen to a questioning student or gay student. Even today a youth is not likely to identify he or she thinks they are or maybe gay to a school authority.

Mr Kempling and the arguments being put forth by the Christian Activists suggest they do not grasp that harm can be done without identifying a victim. You could use the same argument that as there were no survivers of the bombing, we can not pursue those that bombed as no victims could testify to the harm the bomb caused.

Kempling also distanced himself from the Northern Alliance with this comment on Queer Thoughts ...

Thanks for alerting me about the racist Northern Alliance site. I find their views contemptible. Every two months I get anonymous propaganda from a similar group, but I just toss it. ~ Chris Kempling, Queer Thoughts, June 16, 2005

kudo's to Chris for this!

For more information on Chris Kempling, Anti-gay and gay rights use the Technorati search box in the sidebar here and at Politics in BC.

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Support Same-sex marriage - Petition

Please take time to visit The Pride Rainbow Project. The project has a petition (links below) to be presented to Parliament. Lets be proactive. The Prime Minister is playing games with us right now and it is time we told him what we think. Right now it appears Prime Minister Martin is going to delay the same-sex marriage bill to the fall to appease some Liberal backbench MPs that are opposed to the passage of same-sex marriage rights.

To: Canadian Parliament

We, the undersigned, believe in the inherant worth and dignity of every person. That every Canadian should have the right to marry whomever they love. Same-sex couples should be no exception.


The Undersigned

View Current Signatures Sign petition

This petition is being sponsored by the The Pride Rainbow Project

For more on same-sex, gay and or civil marriage, gay rights, social conservatives, Conservatives, Stephen Harper, Bishop Henry, James Dobson, use the the Technorati search box in the sidebar here and at From the Heartlands.

What is Stonewall?

Stonewall Inn after riots in 1969

What is "Stonewall"?

"Stonewall" refers to the Stonewall Inn - a bar in New York City. While a bar may seem an odd namesake for a political organization, the connection is clearly understood by millions of gay and lesbian Americans, and individuals around the world.
The Stonewall Inn is considered by many to be the birthplace of the modern movement for equality. For most of the 20th century, laws forbade gay Americans from congregating. In many states, like New York, it was illegal to serve alcohol to homosexuals. Police conducted routine raids, and arrested individuals on a regular basis. With few legal places to meet, gays and lesbians often faced jailing if they chose to live their lives openly.
On June 27, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn for the second time that week. Although raids in New York City had become routine, police force that night was especially blunt. As police handcuffed patrons, the crowd grew resistant and began to push back. After a paddy wagon was overturned, more people from the surrounding neighborhood joined the group and the police retreated. The "riot" continued through the next night, and over the course of a week as New Yorkers defended their community from the police. After Stonewall, the small gay community in New York began to organize, and it became more difficult for police to enforce anti-gay laws.
The following year, New Yorkers staged a march to commemorate the Stonewall event. That march helped inspire small gay communities around the country to organize - and it helped usher in the modern "gay rights" movement. Since 1970, individuals have commemorated Stonewall by holding marches and pride events in the month of June.

Stonewall is a touchstone for the lgbt community, and the Stonewall Inn is still open - and is now registered as a national historical location. Various groups around the world have chosen to name their organizations after "Stonewall." It is a word, in the lgbt community, that is instantly recognized as representing the living of open, honest and unafraid lives.

From an email sent by Keith Smith of The Smith Group


God rules America

A new poll out indicates Americans support "god" politics more than any other of its closest allies. Americans are far more willing to mix their faith and politics than people in other countries, according to an AP-Ipsos poll.

This is not breaking news to many of us, it confirms again how Americans come to the decisions they do with issues when other nations reach opposite points of view.

"Australians are generally split over the importance of faith, while two-thirds of South Koreans and Canadians said religion is central to their lives. People in all three countries strongly oppose mixing religion and politics."

Canadians tend to want our politicians to keep their faith out of the decisions they make. Some 50%+ Canadians that profess to have a religion say they are Catholic.

See more at 365 gay ...

also see how three American High School students did after they were refused the chance to attend official grad ceremonies. The three youths painted over graffitti that said "God Hates Fags" with the word "Love" in it's place then they ... painted some more.


Save St. Paul's Hospital Website

The Save St. Paul's Hospital Website was created to rally the community to stop the planned move of St. Paul's Hospital from its Burrard Street location to the False Creek flats. There are 130,000 people downtown who access St. Paul’s each day.

St. Paul's Hospital is located in the Westend of Vancouver. The hospital has become a community hospital unlike any other in British Columbia and developed a world wide reputation for HIV/AIDS care and research, Heart and Stroke rehabilitation and community involvement.

Are we about to lose the heart of our community? Downtown residents deserve to know the facts. We must have input into any decision regarding St. Paul’s that would impact on our community.

For further information contact: Steve McManus, 604-687-4062 fmn@telus.net; Aaron Jasper, 604-688-7888 aaron_jasper@hotmail.com or email the coalition at mail@savestpauls.wera.bc.ca. If you want to receive further information and updates, click here.

The coalition is supported by West End Residents Association, West Coast Gay Men’s Health Project, Mole Hill Community Housing Society and the St. Paul’s Hospital HEU Local.

An online petition to gather signatures of people concerned about the possible relocation of St. Paul's Hospital has been set up. The petition is located at www.stpauls.wera.bc.ca/petition/petition.shtml.


Creationism is not biology

In America, you hear stories almost everyday about some school teacher or school board attempting to bring religious dogma into public schools. Some school districts even demand equal time for the Bible's story on how the world was created.

One would expect that the same school districts would then be offering the various "myths" offered by first nations from across North America. Not much chance of that occuring.

In the United States the Supreme Court ruled in 1987 that creationism, the belief that God created the universe as explained in the Bible, is a religious belief — not science — and may not be taught in public schools along with evolution.
"Creationism is not biology and has no place in a biology class," said Kent Willis, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia. "What makes it wrong is not the theory of creationism, but the teaching of creationism as part of a science class."

That kind of talk could get a locally elected school board trustee tossed out on his ear in many places in the United States. George Bush's America is becoming two nations under god and it is sharply devided. Even many Democrats are scared to bring out the wrath of social conservatives for fear of motivating them to come out and defeat them in an election. In a nation where fewer and fewer people are voting, it seems the power of a few dedicated souls can make the difference.

It is these people that have lead the fight to declare and pass constitutional State amendments, banning gay marriage. Sometimes fewer people are involved in these votes than watch a football game on television. There is no real seperation of state and religion in the United Staes or in Canada. In each country our national anthems cry for the protection of God. In America, their money says in "god we trust."

The dangers are many and growing almost as fast as James Dobson's bank account. Funded by large corporations and private trusts, the ilk of Dobson manage to elect people that will look you in the eye and swear that god created the earth and we all evolve from Adam and Eve.

Americans and now Canadians are refusing to take part in the electoral systems. They are not voting. They are not watching over their own future. All of this leads to handing off your rights to those that feel they know what is best for you.

Those who have been motivated to exercise their "control" over our nations have decided the the queer communities are among the greatest dangers to our nations. The religious right has been successfully mobilized to stop the "Satan" inspired civil rights movement of the United Staes and started the process in Canada. (In Canada the fight is being financed in large part by US Christian Activists.)

These Christian Activists will stop at nothing to win. They will tell lies, spend millions on deceitful advertisements, use fake websites and even refuse to state their own position on civil rights until after they are elected.

Going along with positions oppossing gay rights and abortions, these same people more often than not are opposed to unions, welfare and government paid health care. In essense they are walking mouth pieces for the large multi-national corporations like Adolf Coors and the Wal-Mart cartel of world thieves.

If we are to beat back this exercise of unnatural (s)election, then the queer community needs to find a voice and feet again. We need to actually get out to vote. How hard is it to do so every two or three years?

Here in BC, four years of Lorne Mayencourt representing the largest "queer vote" riding in BC (Vancouver-Burrard) was enough for most gays or so it would have seemed. They certainly made it clear to Mayencourt and Lorne himself lashed out at us after the election. How many queer folks said Lorne can't win and did not bother to vote. I suspect the percentage of voters was higher in the rich "straight" condo towers that encircle low rise walkups in the gay village.

We helped elect a queer man that openly supported one of BCs best known homophobes get elected. In Vancouver-Burrard we queers choose to let someone else do it to and for us.


Defend Marriage uses deceit

Sometimes we are too smart. That's the case in North Vancouver. NorthVancouver Politics takes issue with Defendmarriage.ca over using a website that uses a URL that suggests you are going to Don Bell's site, the Liberal MP for North Vancouver.
"I have to say I don't know what irks me more: the blatant unauthorized use of another individual's identity or the misrepresentation of the facts camouflaged to suck unsuspecting individuals in to present a point of view." - NorthVancouver Politics June 9, 2005

This North Van Political blogger tears a strip of the Defend Marriage folks for their underhanded tactics. Jordan of Langley Politics who tipped me to this story asks why the Liberals had not registered the name to keep it away from the likes of people who would do just this. They should have, yet you wouldn't think the people purporting to be defending marriage and family values would go to such deceitful lengths.

I guess I am wrong again. Watch out as some of the Canadian Evangelical leadership take on even more American style campaigning here in Canada to defeat the evil men in this world, people like From the Heartlands

Vancouver-Burrard Votes not counted.

71 Voters lose vote in BC

It could be over because some polling clerks screwed up. What a hell of a way to end an election. Our own little Florida. Perhaps not that crooked, but the results are the same.

Elections BC told CBC this afternoon it "an unfortunate error made by an elections official" and says "the ballots were disqualified because they weren't properly certified." in the Vancouver-Burrard constituency. NO KIDDING!

More at From the Heartlands....

Tim better appeal in Vancouver Burrard

It still has a way to go in Vancouver-Burrard
45 Liberal MLA's will take their Oath of Office in the Legislative Chamber, but Lorne Mayencourt won't be one of them, as he's still not the official winner in Vancouver-Burrard, "At the very least I'll be a visitor and I look forward to that because I really enjoy the whole ceremony. It's very important to me." Lorne Mayencourt on CKNW, June 9, 2005

It has been quite a ride, first it was reported Lorne won then they discover Tim Stevenson was ahead. Then Tim again, then after the absentee ballots were counted Lorne had an 18 vote lead. That lead fell to 11 votes after a judicial recount.

It seemed Lorne was about to take it after all. We discovered as mentioned first at Langley Politics, that 71 ballots were not counted in the judicial recount. Today we are learning from Tim Stevenson that the ballots were not included due to mistakes made by polling clerks or returning officers from elsewhere in the province.

So Lorne will not get to take a seat in the Legislative Assembly yet. I expect that by the deadline today, Tim will have filed an appeal of the decision not to count these 71 ballots. They do not know who the ballots are for yet. They just know that there was some kind of error on the envelopes of those ballots.

Unlike Florida, there are no missing or hanging Chads to find. We have the 71 ballots, we know who voted, we just have to decide to count them or not.

If it is like Tim has said, that the error is on the outside of the official BC Elections envelope, they should be counted. It is not a case where someone has voted twice.

I was just getting used to the idea that Lorne, the gay Uncle Tom, would be given a second chance to redeem himself. I don't think he deserves it. Tim, the gay community was widely chastised by Lorne after the election, he said we abandoned him, that he faught with passion for our issues. You and the gay community know better.

You have an obligation now to appeal this judgement, to sieze the opportunity for us.

For more on Lorne Mayencourt, Tim Stevenson, the gay Uncle Tom, Mary Polak, Lorne's Homophobic girlfriend use the Technorati search box in the side bar here and at From the Heartlands


A Canadian Gay Anthem?

From Toronto Dose

Dawn Whitwell is a gay Toronto writer and comedian. She re-wrote the national anthem for Dose . Check out her lyrics below, click here to listen to it.

O Canada
I love your Gay Pride Day
Lezzies, Gays and Bis
Sashay! Sashay! Sashay!

We can't forget our Trannie friends
With all their surgeries
Queer & Questioning
Or Two-spirited
I think we all agree

Queers dress the best
And throw a fab soiree
O Canada, there's a big fat eh in gay.
O Canada, don't knock it 'till you've tried a three-way.

— Dawn Whitwell


The Grad you never had

Schools OUT? Yahoooo!

not so strictly ballroom, Vancouver's only same-sex dance organization presents The Grad you never had!.

NSSB Dance Mail-list: notsostrictly@hotmail.com

Phone:604-688-WEST, ext 2145

Email: notsostrictly@hotmail.com
Mailing Address: P O Box 21510, 1850 Commercial Drive, Vancouver V5N 4A0

Martin to appease Liberals Social Conservatives

Paul Martin has struck a deal with Liberal MPs to amend Bill C-38, The Civil Marriage Act to include;
1. Stronger guarantees that Charter rights will not override religious freedoms
2. Justices of the Peace who do not want to perform civil marriages of same-sex couples will not have to do so
3. Churches will not be required to rent out their halls for same-sex weddings
4. Religious educational institutions will still be allowed to preach that
homosexuality is against God's law
, without being subject to hate crime
I expect many will have something to say about these amendments in the days ahead, A little Bit Left and Section 15 have already put out some thoughts and warnings... At first blush I see no need for them and they set into law state sanctioned discrimination. I will too in the days ahead.

Time to Act Out! Time to ACT UP!

Act Out! ACT UP!

It's so close I can taste it!

We are weeks away from same-sex marriage becoming legal in Canada from coast to coast to coast!

There is one more push happening, we need to get this done. You need to send our parliament a message. It's Time to Act OUT! Its Time to ACT UP!


The government has said it will pass the equal marriage bill before summer, even if that means extending Parliament past its scheduled June 23 end date. But anti-equality Liberals are putting huge pressure on Paul Martin. We have to make sure he doesn’t back down!! MPs are being flooded with messages from a vociferous minority that wants a decision delayed. We need you to send a message to all MPs. Even better, call your MP! Get contact info by finding the info page for your MP at Step 1. - Canadians for Equal Marriage

To help you get the message you support equal marriage, same-sex marriage, gay marriage Canadians for Equal Marriage have set it up to send a message to all MPs. No time for the timid. It is Time to ACT OUT, Time to ACT UP!

Pride Places and Dates

My Gay Okanagan blog has Links and Pride Dates for BC, Canada and the United States.

Please feel free to send your info onto me.


Gay-straight clubs in Saskatchewan

CBC SASKATOON – While the debate over same-sex marriage heats up in parliament, students in three Saskatchewan high schools are taking a more low-key approach to the same-sex issue.
They've put together clubs that welcome both gay and straight students to educate teens about issues surrounding homosexuality.

Thanks to The Dominion Weblog for pointing us to Saskatoon's quiet effort!

O'Brien leaves, and its news?

As I wrote this morning at Politics in BC, is it really news that Pat O'Brien left the Liberal party...

An Idealistic Pragmatist had this to add "...This is why I can't react to Pat O'Brien's defection with anything but laughter. If he really thinks this one little issue is worth torpedoing his career over, then he's even more of an idiot than I'd realized."

Wonderdog wonders... "Perhaps O'Brien has a principled objection to gay marriage. Or perhaps he simply expects that quitting the Liberals over this issue is his best hope for reelection. I'm betting it's a bit of both, with a strong dose of the latter."

"Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say," blogger Pample the Moose adds. "If Tom Wappel, Dan McTeague et. al want to join him, the more the merrier. The hearings are nothing more than a stalling mechanism at this point."

Progressive Bloggers is asking this question today... Can you be progressive and can you stay true to the Canadian ideals of equality without supporting SSM?


Liberals to get C38 passed

You have to hand it to the Liberals, they played this well. Don't get me wrong, I want Bill C38 passed. Liberals can have Cake and eat it too and Harper thinks he can win an election.

You can see how the backroom stuff is done and you have marvel at the Liberal party and its strategy. Just when you think there is no way out ... Read more about the Liberals going Toews to Toe with the Conservatives at From the Heartlands.

Ford is too gay friendly?

Update June 7, 2005, Gay & Lesbian Leadership Smart Brief: Anti-gay group suspends Ford boycott during "dialogue" A Texas-based Ford dealer has brokered a meeting between the automaker and the American Family Association, which last week called for a boycott of Ford products because the company supports LGBT events and organizations and provides employee benefits to same-sex partners.
"In Texas, in the Bible Belt, it would have had more effect here than in other parts of the country," the dealer said. "It's abundantly clear that AFA heard loud and clear from Ford dealers that they thought the boycott was a stupid idea," said Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. 365Gay.com (6/6), The Detroit News

Ford too Out Front for the American Family Association

Check out the American "Family" Association's Boycott Ford website. The American "Family" Association (AFA) wants you to boycott Ford Motor Company because Ford's policies do not discriminate against gay people.

The AFA is suggesting that Ford has done more for Gay rights than any other American company. They go on to say...

"While this is hardly known to the general population, it is well known by numerous homosexual organizations. In fact, the Human Rights Campaign (a national homosexual organization whose goal is homosexual marriage) gave Ford a 100% corporate rating."

Whoops Ford is done in by the gay community. When we get treated with respect folks, keep it quiet. If you tell the media that a company likes us, they will get beat up by The AFA, James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, or some other Christian bully organization. Imagine the stupidity of the Human Rights Campaign giving Ford a 100% rating in supporting gay rights. Back to the closet boys, and don't come out until... just don't come out.

AFA has more to say...

"From redefining family to include homosexual marriage, to giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to support homosexual groups and their agenda, to forcing managers to attend diversity training on how to promote the acceptance of homosexuality, to sponsoring a "commitment (marriage) ceremony", to sponsoring Gay Pride Parades, Ford leads the way."

I have never heard Ford mentioned as being Gay friendly before. It was news to me. Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky is a Ford spokesperson, but he is straight despite all those rumours to the contrary. Like many big companies Ford advertises in gay communities, sponsors events etc. Like Coors, Ford gives money to pride events. I am surprised the AFA has stopped with Ford. They should be going after Coors.

Coors was a hero for the Christian "we hate Fags" lobby when Coors refused benefits to gays. Coors reversed their anti-gay policies after suffering financially from a boycott the gay community started. Coors the company, now officially supports queer rights of employees and gay pride events.

You won't hear the AFA go after Coors though. See Coors is still owned by the Adolph Coors family. The family funnels profits from Coors into foundations that then contribute millions of dollars to Republicans and anti-gay organizations.

Need to buy a new automobile, why not get a Ford.

See more commentary at Morons.org


APA on Same-sex unions

Below is the postion statement of the American Psychiatric Association on same-sex unions. How much more evidence do the creationists need?

Same Sex Unions
Approved by the Board of Trustees, December 2004
Approved by the Assembly, November 2004

"Policy documents are approved by the APA Assembly and Board of Trustees…These are … position statements that define APA official policy on specific subjects…" -- APA Operations Manual.
"The American Psychiatric Association supports the legal recognition of same sex unions and their associated legal rights, benefits, and responsibilities, and opposes restrictions to those same rights, benefits, and responsibilities.”


The APA expresses a valid interest in the well being of heterosexual married couples in such areas as children's mental health and other aspects of family life. Heterosexual relationships have a legal framework for their existence, which provides a stabilizing force.

In the United States, with the recent exception of Vermont, Massachusetts, and a few other jurisdictions, same sex partners are currently denied the important benefits and responsibilities of legal marriage. Same sex couples therefore experience several kinds of state sanctioned
discrimination that affect the stability of their relationships.

The children of gay and lesbian parents do not have the same protection that legal marriage affords the children of heterosexual couples. Adoptive and divorced lesbian and gay parents face additional obstacles. An adoptive parent who is lesbian or gay is presumed unfit in many U.S.
jurisdictions. Furthermore, when couples do adopt, usually one parent is granted legal rights, while the other parent may have no legal standing.

These obstacles occur even though research has shown that the children aised by lesbian and gay men are as well adjusted as those reared within heterosexual relationships.

The American Psychiatric Association has historically supported equity, parity, and non-discrimination regarding legal issues affecting mental health. Educating the public about lesbian and gay relationships and supporting efforts to establish same sex legal unions is consistent with the Association's advocacy for other disadvantaged minority groups.

The American Psychiatric Association • 1000 Wilson Blvd., Suite 1925 • Arlington, VA 22209-3901 Telephone: (703) 907-7300 • Fax: (703) 907-1085 • Email: apa@psych.org

Another STD ~ LGV makes news

CBC was reporting today that 22 cases of lymphogranuloma venereum have been reported to the country's public health agency, according to an analysis in the May 31 online edition of the Canadian Medical Association Journal(CMAJ).
"Currently in Canada, LGV appears to be primarily occurring among men having sex with men, a high proportion of whom have concurrent HIV infection, other [sexually transmitted infections] or hepatitis C," the analysis says.
Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by Chlamydia trachomatis serotypes L1, L2 and L3. Unlike other serotypes (A to K), those that cause LGV are invasive and preferentially target lymph tissue. LGV can be transmitted through vaginal, anal or oral sexual contact and can be prevented through the use of condoms or other barrier methods. - From report in CMAJ May 31, authors Rhonda Y. Kropp Senior Public Health Analyst,and Thomas Wong, Director Community Acquired Infections, Public Health Agency of Canada

The announcement today in the CMAJ is not something new. Gay community health workers have been aware of this STI for at least the last 18 months. The presence of STI is not any worse than other STI's. Currently HIV and Syphillis are much more worrisome than LGV.

Today's headline news is good in that it may help or alert health officials with identifying this STI of the possibility of being present and prescribe treatment. That is all there is. This will make no difference in the lives of gay men or men that have sex with men.

As a gay man, my advice is not to get bent out of shape on today's news of a old STI now appearing here. You know how to prevent it, and if you get it, like any STI, see you healthcare provider.