Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tidbits of interest for Canadian gays

Just over three years ago, my husband and I signed the necessary paperwork to make our marriage legal in Canada. We had held a ceremony with friends and family a year earlier, just before the Canadian court rulings started to come down, but had been waiting until Parliament had passed legislation before we took the steps to make it legal. During the 2004 election campaign, we decided it might be best to go ahead anyways, just in case the Conservatives won.

According to Statistics Canada's report on the census that was released today, our decision has put us in an elite group (or at least so I'd like to think - grin!) of 0.6% of the country's population that declared that they were in a same-sex married couple. We like to think that we're doing our little part to reinvigorate and perhaps rework the institution of marriage. Mind you, with less than 50% of the Canadian adult population listing their status as married, the first time this has been the case since the census was first held, I'm sure that someone will soon be arguing that it's "us gays" who have undermined the institution.

There has also been much hubbub about the decision of Stephen Harper to prorogue Parliament, and speculation about whether this will lead to a new election. Frankly, I'm more interested in the pieces of legislation that were effectively killed (click the link for "Government says it won't reintroduce Clean Air Act"), left to die on the order paper. If an election is called, Alberta, BC and Ontario won't get those extra seats they were hoping for with Bill C-56 (Expanding House Seats Bill) dead. But on a brighter note, Vic Toews' regressive Bill C-22, the Age of Sexual Protection Bill, is also dead. I found this bill particularly objectionable as it did nothing to eliminate the blatant discrimination against gay sex from Canada's Criminal Code, leaving the age of consent for anal sex at age 18 (despite court rulings in Ontario that this is unconstitutional), while raising the age of consent for other sexual acts to 16.

Now that my courses are back in swing, and an Ontario election is in the offing, I'll try to post a bit more often. I've been a bad blogger this summer, but I like to think that it's been in a good cause.

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