Thursday, July 21, 2005

Steamroller of Tolerance

The inexorable march to gay rights and same-sex marriage gets a broad historical view in today's The Globe and Mail. The piece by Allan Levin (writer and historian from Winnipeg) says the cascading forces of modernism made the latter inevitable.

Note: The article requires free registration to access.

He goes back over a century to trace the key steps that brought his nation here. He writes:
Whereas a hundred years ago, even the most liberal of Canadians preached that non-Anglo-Saxon Protestant immigrants must adapt, conform or leave; we now live in a multicultural environment that, while far from perfect, has deemed as unacceptable and illegal property restrictions, ethnic quota systems, and discrimination based on race, colour or sex. The extension of gay rights must be understood as part of this historic transformation.
He notes that the bluster about attacking same-sex marriage by Tory leaders is partly due to our president. "With his conservative bent, evocation of the Lord at every opportunity, and oppposition to same-sex marriage, abortion and stem-cell research, he has given the traditonalists an authority they have not had for years." He adds that with Bush leaving town in 2008, "the more moderate and progressive (by U.S. standards, at any rate) Democrats" can return and bring their own flavor of modernism.

He contrasts U.S. political trends in sodomy, fornication, obscenity and church/state separation with Canada's. Basically, he says that they've done it. Catch up.
Wide acceptance of same-sex marriage in the U.S. has a way to go - it's legal only in Massachusetts - and more liberal Canadians continue to lead Americans on this and other moral issues. Nevertheless, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper has declared that he will make his opposition to same-sex marriage a key point of his platform in the next federal election. That would be ignoring more than a century of history that suggests we will look back on the great same-sex-marriage upheaval of 2005 and wonder what all the fuss was about.

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