Sunday, July 03, 2016
Stephen Harper, Justin Trudeau, and the Gay Pride Parade
For almost ten years Stephen Harper waged a stealthy war against gay Canadians.
He forced a second vote on gay marriage, he voted against every gay rights bill that ever came before Parliament, including those designed to protect gay people from hate crimes.
He cut off funding for all LGBT organizations, he did nothing to fight homophobia, and nothing to protect gay kids from being bullied to death.
But today Justin Trudeau is about to make history.
By becoming the first Prime Minister to march in a gay pride parade.
The one in Toronto today, and the one in Vancouver later this summer.
And for more than a million gay Canadians it will be a very big deal. As it should be a big deal for every decent person in this country.
For it marks the moment when an embattled community's struggle for equality and respect is finally recognized by its own government.
After being treated for so long as if it didn't exist.
And coming so soon after the Orlando massacre that deeply affected LGBT people in this country as well...
It couldn't be a more welcome gesture of solidarity.
And by being at today's parade Justin will also be joining the rest of us in standing up to this latest threat to kill us from the ISIS crazies.
And helping us to send out the message that we are not afraid.
And of course that love is not a crime...
Which is also a message that sadly still needs to be repeated.
For although LGBT Canadians have made a lot of progress in their long struggle for equality, they are still discriminated against, still bullied in our schools, are still the victims of the most violent hate crimes.
Most racial or religious hate crimes in Canada involve only mischief, but violence occurs in two-thirds of the incidents in which sexual orientation is the key factor, new data released Thursday suggest.
And are still insulted and threatened in the most deranged manner.
Homophobia and hate is still rampant in our society — just ask Pride Toronto.
“If you were my child and you turned out gay I’d burn you alive,” said one particularly vile message.
So there is still a lot of work to be done, and many battles to be fought before our long struggle is finally over.
But at least the bestial bully Stephen Harper has been defeated...
At least we survived his decade of stealthy bigotry.
And at least now we have a new and decent Prime Minister...
A real friend of the gay community, and a Prime Minister for all Canadians.
Who is about to find out how much that community and its straight friends and allies love him.
For I can only imagine what a million people cheering him wildly as he goes by will sound like.
So although we will be mourning our dead, and have to face more threats to kill us, just for being who we are and who we love.
It will also be as it always is, a day to celebrate our survival.
It will be a historic occasion.
And a rainbow day to remember...
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