Here's my reply to Calgary Herald column posted below it. It's been submitted to the Herald's editorial department for their consideration.
Re Naomi Lakritz. Homosexuals ask for more than
equality nowadays. They want society to condone
their immoral lifestyles. They want us to
redefine marriage. Anyone who dares criticize
homosexuality is immediately smeared as a gay
basher. It is the price of standing up for what
is right in Canada today.
<b>Spencer not the only gay-basher in Alliance </b>
<a href="http://www.canada.com/calgary/calgaryherald/columnists/story.asp?id=F554B846-B5BA-4EA5-8DD9-8C834B11FFC0">Calgary Herald </a>
Thursday, December 04, 2003
Thank you, Larry Spencer, for speaking out. Thank you for reminding Canadians why the Alliance party should never run this country. Thank you for joining a roster that includes Grant Hill, Bob Ringma, Dave Chatters and, most recently, Rob Anders, who do Canadians a favour by opening their yaps every now and then and showing their true colours.
Ringma was the guy who said it might be acceptable to relegate gay employees "to the back of the shop." Hill said gay rights legislation would encourage people to participate in an unhealthy lifestyle. Right, Grant. Once that gay rights stuff gets passed, we'll see heterosexuals lining up three deep to get into Goliath's, Calgary's gay bathhouse. The only way to keep those straight guys at home with their wives is to make sure gays are denied equal rights. There's logic for you.
Chatters chattered how in certain areas, "it's in the interest of society to have the right to discriminate against (gays)." Former Reform leader Preston Manning once said he agreed with Liberal backbencher Roseanne Skoke that gays are "a faction in our society which is undermining and destroying our Canadian values and Christian morality." Manning also wanted gays banned from the military.
What is this thing the Alliance has about gays? They seem abnormally obsessed with the sexual activities of consenting adults who are law-abiding Canadians. Substitute the word "blacks" for "gays" in all of the above utterances and this party's vision for Canada would be Alabama north.
After Spencer said he thought homosexuality should be illegal, Stephen Harper was under pressure to repair the damage. Harper, however, has had his own problem with optics. During his leadership campaign, he hired John Collison as his chief spokesman, even though he knew Collison had been fired as a radio talk-show host for making homophobic remarks about Winnipeg Mayor Glen Murray. Besides, Harper can't fix the ingrained ideas of members of his caucus; he can only tell these people to shut up, which doesn't make their thoughts go away.
But, let's get to Rob Anders, because he's been overlooked in all the hoopla about Spencer. Anders recently circulated his own little poll to his Calgary West constituents, asking them what they think of Bill C-250, which was passed in the Commons in September. The bill adds gays to the list of identifiable groups which can be targeted for hate crimes, as defined in the Criminal Code.
Ignoring that religious freedoms are protected and that the bill doesn't interfere with that, Anders's brochure bears a large photo of the Bible covered by a circle with a line through it. He calls Bill C-250 an "attack on free speech," as though free speech means homophobes have a God-given right to insist gays be treated as if they were sub-human.
Anders rants that the Bible will be criminalized and that religious publications could be subject to censorship or banishment, while faith-based schools won't be allowed to transmit their values to their pupils. He even appeals to Muslims and Jews to rally round his flag.
Someone throw Anders a life preserver, please. He's so far off the deep end that he's gone down for the third time and is drowning in the froth of his own hyperbole.
It will never be a crime to express disapproval of homosexual behaviour. It will, however, be a crime to say gays should be imprisoned, shot, beaten to a pulp, run out of town or denied housing, employment and other rights and privileges. Is that what some members of the Alliance want to be free to say?
Anders's brochure calls Bill C-250 an "ill-conceived proposal" which barters away the rights and freedoms of one group "to advance the special interests of another group."
Gays do have a special interest -- they want to be treated the same as everyone else. The real crime is bigoted politicians sneering at equal rights as something "special."
Alberta is prosperous, the population is growing and the government is debt-free. I have no doubt that Liberals, NDPers, Red Tories, Kyoto Treaty bureaucrats, and other provinces will try to make Alberta into Canada's ATM machine.