It’s Not About Homosexuality. It’s All About Equal Rights.

Since we live in a Democracy (the argument goes), the rights of Gays and Lesbians to marry should be put to a vote by national referendum.

I’ve received a few letters criticizing my support for Gay and Lesbian marriages.

My detractors are deeply offended by the word MARRIAGE. It seems that they’re OK with the description of Civil Union, but not with marriage.

Why not?

What does the word marriage in reference to Gays and Lesbians take away from anyone in our society?

How does the word marriage endanger humanity or the social structure?

But mostly: What business is it of ours how two willing adults want to live their lives together in MARRIAGE?

After exhausting their weak arguments, some of the writers focused their attention to God’s Will, and how homosexuality was a religious aberration akin to evil. I’d be just as happy if these people never write to me again.

What the letter writers failed to understand is that the Right of two adults to marry is neither a religious nor specific social issue.

The Rights of two people of the same gender to an entitlement which is taken for granted by two people of the opposite gender is the issue.

Since we don’t live in a Theocracy, religion must have nothing to do with it.

Since we do live in a pluralistic society governed by the rule of Secular law, the Rights of all people to be treated equally under that law has everything to do with it.

One of the most upsetting arguments I’ve read involves majority rule.

Since we live in a Democracy (the argument goes), the Rights of Gays and Lesbians to marry should be put to a vote by national referendum.

But that said: Charters of Rights are designed specifically to stop the majority from abusing individual Rights.

The perfect example of this philosophy goes back to Nazi Germany. By all standards, Adolf Hitler was elected by a majority, therefore; Hitler’s government was by definition a Democracy.

If majority should rule, as the argument against Gay and Lesbian Rights goes, then Hitler’s Democracy was right to pass anti-Jewish laws. He was also right to ban Trade Unions. And he was right to imprison Gypsies and Homosexuals amongst others.

After-all; Hitler’s Germany was a Democracy until the day he declared it otherwise.

Americans like Thomas Jefferson saw that the Rights of the majority in a Democracy had little need for protection since majority rules.

But what about the minorities? What about the Rights of individuals not to be abused by the majority? Hence; the US Bill of Rights (which you can read to the left of this article) which was painstakingly crafted to protect minorities from majorities.

So what’s the problem?

Why can these people who say that the whole of Canada should decide via referendum on the Rights of a minority community (in this case Gays and Lesbians) not understand that tyranny is just as easily created in the name of majority rule, as it is in the name of a dictatorship?

What also makes this debate so interesting, is that ALL of the criticism directed towards me is coming from a right of center mind-set who are appalled by Quebec’s language laws.


Why is it alright for the anti-Gay and Lesbian perspective to demand protection in Quebec for linguistic minorities, while at the same time, they demand that Gays and Lesbians be denied equal Rights?

I have thought about this issue for quite some time. And like many people, I too was sort of divided until I realized that this debate was not about Homosexuality.

The other argument used by anti-equal Rights advocates for Gays and Lesbians is the slippery slope.

You know: Give Gays and Lesbians the Right to marry, and the next thing we’ll see are people demanding the equal Right for multiple spouses and bestiality.

I’ve heard both arguments. And both arguments are stupid, unworthy, and unfounded.

Equal Rights means just that.

If a heterosexual man is permitted by law to take two wives. Then in the name of equality, a heterosexual woman should be allowed to take two husbands. But no one in Canada is allowed by law to be married to more than one person.

Therefore; the argument for equal Rights concerning polygamy is not relevant. And by the same logic, neither are any of the other specious arguments concerning the slippery slope.

In the final analysis, I believe the essence behind the anti-Gay and Lesbian groups’ Right to marry is nothing less, and nothing more than Homophobia.

Not that many years ago (including today) people cringed at the thought that a Black person and a White person would even be seen together. The same slippery slope arguments were made then as they’re being made now.

And just like those inter-racial arguments were nothing less than racism, the inter-gender argument is too.

Equal Rights for all will prevail, or our society will have a much bigger problem than two people of the same gender wanting to say I do in marriage.

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One Comment

  1. Thanks, Howard. Your editorial stirred some fond memories of being a teen on the family farm helping to bale hay, throwing the bales to my uncle on the flat wagon before we had a baler that did it for us, trying to knock my uncle off, saving the occasional nest of bunny rabbits, the sweet smell in the air. Those were good days.

    Susanne Sauer

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