The US election has helped highlight some of the differences between our two countries. For instance did you know the US National Anthem does not mention God. Did you know the Canadian National Anthem does. Beside all of us Standing on guard, we implore that God keep our land glorious and free!
The recent American mid term election was about George W Bush and Iraq, a war Canada choose not to participate in. Americans had lost faith on the war, in the President and his party. It was not the first time Bush was faced with a tough election.
Prior to the 2004 election the Republicans joined forces with Evangelical Christians to create another enemy closer to home. The President was calling for a Constitutional Amendment to prevent homosexuals from entering into marriages. It would destroy the American Family if homosexuals were allowed to foul the sanctity of marriage. The Republicans already the party of choice for evangelicals consummated their marriage once again.
Petitions were started to to get measures on the ballot to ban gay marriages in State Constitutions. The reason, to get evangelicals out en mass to vote for Republicans and President Bush and a measure on gay marriage was icing on the wedding cake. In the States where votes to ban gay marriage were on the ballot, George W. Bush got extra votes and managed to deflect attention from his administrations failings in Iraq and the War on Terrorism. It was a very clever strategy, if less than ethical.
Bush was re-elected, gays in many States were prevented from going to court to get the right to marry. Bush won, the evangelicals won, America lost 2836 soldiers and thousands injured, some 600,000 Iraqis have dead and no American knows where Osama bin Laden is.
Gay Americans were vilified in order to continue the Republican war. Even as the war on Terrorism was begun, highly skilled linguists, people trained in the languages used in the middle east were dismissed, they were unfit to serve, they were gay. Their dismissal handicapped the American Military severely, they had a shortage of people that could speak, read and understand the languages of those the US was at war with.
Canada while imploring God to keep us glorious and free has gone a different route than George W. Bush. Gays in Canada's military have married in Military chapels with the full support of the Canadian Armed Forces. Canada's largest protestant faith group, the United Church of Canada has accepted gays, lesbians, trans and bisexual people into the ministry, as partners in their faith.
Take the just released United Church advertising campaign. Its catchy and meant to get your attention. Print ads that have a Jesus bobble head doll, whipped cream and two gay guys on a wedding cake.
The contrasts between Canada and the United States couldn't be more clear. Where there exists no formal separation of Church and State in Canada the practice of common law and the Charter of Rights prevent politicians from taking action as George W. Bush and Republicans have.
In fact any Canadian politician outside the province of Alberta would be soundly defeated were he or she an attempt to vilify a segment of Canadian society as American President George W. Bush has. More on Alberta in another blog in the future.
There will be a change in the USA toward more acceptance of Queer communities, it could be five years away or twenty, its up to us and the people elected.
The Democrats recent victory is a step toward a more inclusive America, Its not the answer though. Lots of education, lots of getting to know your neighbour is needed. Voters in Arizona have shown the way, follow it.
The rainbow flag has no white, no surrender.
The rainbow flag from Canuck Attitude