Rationalizing the new international effort, current Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Honourable 'Gold Plated' John Baird, told the globe and mail, “Societies that protect religious freedom are more likely to protect all other fundamental freedoms. They are typically more stable and more prosperous societies.”
So if I am correct, John Baird will be working to make life better for LGBT folks too. I can see Egypt recognizing the error of it ways, protecting Christians and poof! the LGBT population in Egypt will be protected as well. Pretty clever of the Harperites to do this by stealth. I know when I want a sympathetic ear, I seek out the nearest evangelical church. After all, they just want all of us to have a life...
A Fellow Blogger has a much longer piece on his blog, A Message from the Minister of Closets & Denial
... Baird, to his credit, has found himself on the right side of a number of important - albeit losing - votes. Yet, I would argue, that Cabinet raises the stakes. A place in the Ministry provides an important point of access to the Prime Minister and to the rest of Cabinet. This is a position that could be exploited in more detail to advocate on behalf of issues that affect the queer community. Indeed, given his role at Foreign Affairs, the chance for influence is even greater. Rather than backing the Harper Government's ludicrous ideological agenda abroad, one that includes the establishment of a watchdog to function as an 'ambassador' for religious freedoms, Baird should be instead stressing the need to promote freedoms in general, and not assigning a hierarchy to human rights. The recent outcry over the treatment of Christians in Egypt is a clear case of this idiotic thinking. While Christians may be restricted of rights and attacked physically, homosexuality is met with large penalties. In many other countries, including increasingly homophobic regimes in Africa and the Middle East, homosexuality remains punishable by death. Clearly there is a disjuncture between reality and the goals of the current government. Sadly, however, it is a pipe dream to expect Baird to take any firm role in advocating for increased rights and protections for the LGBT community at home or abroad. ...Nope, no problems in Canada. We have consensus on that one, after all no one is killing LGBT youth here, right? No one is killing our youth in violent protests or storming into their bedrooms to drag them out and kill them.
They may not be physically pulling the trigger here in Canada, stabbing the knife into the hearts of our young people. They are much more circumspect here, we just try to jamb batteries down your throat, ostracize you, call you names, threaten to beat you up, tell you god is going to get you. Jamie Hubley was verbally and physically attacked in school, out of school and online, in his own bedroom.
Many young people face the same fate everyday in this country. LGBT kids and kids suspected of being LGBT are harassed to the point of depression and suicidal thoughts. This bullying has to be ended. Somehow having a federal minister who is in the closet, creating an office to 'raise concerns for religious freedom' is unseemly. While I don't mean to seem to be dismissing the plight of those attacked for their religious beliefs, they should be protected. What I can't accept that on the other hand, this government has not lifted so much as a finger to even say "F--- You! queer kids. If they did that we would at least be able to say they know we're here.