Canada’s acceptance of same-sex marriage was catalyst for amendment in Michigan to ban it.

I’ve written of my opposition to Proposal 2 to add an amendment to Michigan’s constitution banning same-sex marriage many times already and I’m going to write about it again. Saturday’s issue of the Detroit Free Press contained an article titled Same-sex married couples find acceptance on other side of river that talked about how Canada’s legalization of same-sex marriages got its start with a court ruling in Ontario last year that resulted in then-Prime Minister Jean Chretien announcing draft legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage across the country only a month later.  Since then the provinces of Quebec, Manitoba, British Columbia and Nova Scotia, plus the Yukon Territory have all legalized same-sex marriage as well, but it was the original Ontario court ruling that prompted the call for an amendment here in Michigan the very next day.

The prospect of gay and lesbian marriage becoming common and uneventful across the Detroit River so unnerved the president of the American Family Association of Michigan that within a day of the Ontario court ruling he called for a change in the Michigan Constitution.

In fact, Gary Glenn said that Proposal 2 to ban same-sex marriage on Michigan’s Nov. 2 ballot was inspired by the court ruling.

“We called for an amendment the next day,” Glenn said this week.

Members of his group feared that gay and lesbian couples from the United States would cross the border to get married, bring the license back to the States and promptly sue to get it legally recognized.

But in Windsor, the court’s decision settled into the daily routine so quickly that the tourism arm of the city spent $10,000 to market itself in gay and lesbian publications as a friendly destination for couples from Detroit, Chicago and across Ohio.

What’s more astonishing, at least relative to American political life, is what little protest took place after the ruling faded into the polite ethos of Canadian public life, where even citizens who may feel intensely uneasy with same-sex marriage tend to keep their opinions to themselves.

Here in South Eastern Michigan we tend to joke a lot about Windsor just being another part of the Metro Detroit area because the relatively open border we share means that a lot of people from both sides have spent a fair amount of time across the river and, other than the street signs and money, it’s not all that different from home. Canada is the only foreign country I’ve ever been to and I don’t really feel like it counts because it’s so familiar that it doesn’t feel like another country. The issue of same-sex marriage, however, has brought the differences between Canada and the U.S. into sharp relief for me. I’d like to believe that America is a country where the principles of fairness and freedom are held in high regard, but here in Michigan those principles seem to be in very short supply—Proposal 2 is likely to pass with polls indicating 57 percent favor it—and yet just a few miles away across the border these very principles are being upheld. Canada is more free and fair than America? On this and several other issues it would appear that is exactly the case.

The Conservative cries that allowing same-sex marriages will destroy the institutions of marriage and family and bring about America’s doom have already been put to the lie by several other countries that have allowed same-sex marriages for years now. Canada’s example further shows how much bullshit the arguments against same-sex marriage really are.

23 thoughts on “Canada’s acceptance of same-sex marriage was catalyst for amendment in Michigan to ban it.

  1. I live in Alberta where the Conservative right(rural) is highly opposed to SSM, and the current government is wiling to use the “Notwithstanding clause” of the constitution to ignore the federal courts.  The rest of Canada tends to be more sane.  I do worry though, about our southern neighbors.  The US always seems to have another reason to infringe on peoples rights and freedoms “for your own good” like the “War” on drugs. Is that another one that will be a “Victory” in the history books?  I keep my fingers crossed for the average american. Stay in your shelters just a little longer hurricane Bush may almost have passed, then disaster relief may come.

  2. 57% in favor? Geez, how depressing to think we live in a country that loves oppression.

    Maybe eventually Canada will rub off on us… we can only hope.

  3. I read somewhere that the most conservative Canadians are the near ideological equivalent of ‘liberal’ Americans. So, even our liberals are conservative, and Canadian liberals are really liberal!

    Pretty telling.

    Sunfell

  4. I saw an interesting bit on a Nova Scotia gay marriage (the first under the new law, I think). Apparently they still had to be married as “Husband and Wife” in the final statement to make it legal.

    The local priest (also a gay-rights advocate) said that he felt that was simply an oversight since the law was so new. He didn’t expect it to remain that way for long, but was concerned that it may stop some couples from getting married if it didn’t change.

  5. I live in Nova Scotia and I was extremely happy when SSM was made legal and the first couple made the paper.  I’ve was brought up to believe that two people, regardless of sex, class, race, religion, etc should be able to love one another and enjoy the same rights and freedoms as everyone else.  I extend my hopes to you, Les, that the people of the great state of Michigan, which I’ve visited and enjoyed, will vote against this backward and oppressive “Proposal 2”.

  6. Gee, it couldn’t be wrong if it feels right and doesn’t hurt anyone. 

    Everyone just doing what’s right in their own eyes.

    Yep, no absolute truth, no reality to sin.

    The sacrifices of God are a contrite and humble heart, but the conceit of the world is that everyone can do what they want, without consideration of the Almighty.

    I will pray your moral and spiritual eyes be opened.

  7. Ooops!  Wrong thread!  This should be in the “if you want to proselytize to us, by repeating the same old crap we’ve heard over and over again, then post right *here*” thread.

    I will pray your moral and spiritual eyes be opened

    Yeah, well, I won’t hold my breath hoping that the same happens for you.  rolleyes

  8. …without consideration of the Almighty.

    Whatever do you mean?  We got Brock’s input.

  9. Add on: Have you noticed how David (is it our David) always picks the gay marriage threads to tell us what’s what? If it isn’t the same David then Davids in general just don’t like equal rights for gays. Kinda reminds me of that
    Kids in the Hall skit where they say “
    87 moms agree…” or however many moms it is. You know the one? Reminds me of that: 87 Davids agree…

  10. Oh man, what I wouldn’t give for an edit option/
    It’s 30 Helens Agree….

    30 Davids Agree that I should just stop commenting for the night.

  11. Don’t think this is “our” David once again returning to the fold as the email address is different. Then again he could just have gotten a new one. It’s certainly articulate enough to pass as our David.

    David, not everyone believes in your version of God. Whether you feel it’s wrong in your God’s eyes should have no bearing on the rest of us. Give me one good reason that has nothing to do with religion why same-sex marriage shouldn’t be allowed.

  12. DAVID! How dare you lecture others about morality! You worship ME! I am my own father! Does that sound all nice and moral to you!?

  13. Lord Klegg,

    Well hopefully in November more Albertans come to their senses and the Conservatives will get sent packing.  However, the only problem is, it seems that the Alberta Alliance has a much better chance of getting elected than the Liberals or the NDP.  People really need to get their heads out of their asses….

  14. I read an interesting study that suggested that those most vehemently opposed to homosexuality according to their own reports often demonstrate more of an arousal response (according to penile blood flow) to gay porn than those who have no verbalized negative opinion towards homosexuals.  The final conclusion of the study was that the homophobic attitude was a result of repressed sexual urges.  Though to be completely honest I don’t place much stock on the study (it was carried out by Freudians) the however is somewhat entertaining, and I think eminently salient to the discussion at hand.

  15. 30 Helens Agree that it didn’t seem like Our David anyway. “Such a nice boy” they said and made me promise to bring him to dinner some evening.

  16. “Give me one good reason that has nothing to do with religion why same-sex marriage shouldn’t be allowed.”

    The answer is simple, Les. If they allowed same-sex couples to marry, the critics wouldn’t be able to decry a “promiscuous, unpartnered lifestyle,” would they? After all, if same-sex couples married, and lived in stable relationships, they’d look pretty much like the rest of us. . . building homes, buying groceries, and raising children. . .  how very, very banal.

    Regarding Socialist Swine’s comments, I believe that the article you’re referring to would be:

    Is homophobia associated with homosexual arousal? (Adams, Wright, & Lohr, 1996), Journal of Abnormal Psychology. 105(3), pp 440-445.

    There are a couple of alternate explanations for the findings (that homophobic men respond sexually to homosexual material). Anxiety itself can increase sexual arousal, so it may be that the homophobics were particularly nervous about viewing the material. But then there’s also the ‘allure of the forbidden’ as a possible explanation. Sometimes what we know is ‘bad’ can be . . .well, ‘good.’

    Regarding the differences between Windsor and Detroit: As a former Windsorite myself, I’d agree with Les. I’d always believed that little separated Americans and Canadians other than the river. However, as a general statement, America has always had a much larger religious base than Canada, and it seems to me that the divide between us on these issues boils down to a religious versus humanistic definition of morality.

    The religious see things such as same sex marriage as a moral issue—and so do I. But I just happen to believe that it would be immoral to deny marriage to loving, committed couples, regardless of their sexual orientation.

    “The State has no business in the bedrooms of the Nation.”(PET)

  17. Was that a burn, deadscot? Oh gosh, I hope it wasn’t a burn!

    Actually, when David wrote that we hadn’t the ‘Almighty’ into consideration, the first thing that crossed my mind was ‘Bruce Almighty’?  Which in turn led to ‘Brock Almighty’.

  18. Still, I’m a little uncomfortable with “Almighty”.

    I could live with “Somewhat Mighty” though.

  19. It should be noted that the original draft legislation has since died. However, the constitutional reference to the court was kept alive. The reference was heard by the Supreme Court of Canada earlier this month (October). 

    The judgment has yet to be released.

    The interesting bit is that the court is quite ‘pissed off’ because they see this case as one in which the parliament is trying to use the court as a political tool.

    This is apparent when Justice Bastarache said “You are saying basically that parliament wants to introduce and pass this legislation in any case and then you are saying ‘Well, politically it would be better for members of parliament to get a final answer on this question and that it would assist in the deliberation.’ It seems to be a description of a political role for the decision of the court. The legal role is not there. You’re saying the legislation’s going to be passed in any event.”

    And the response to that was one of the BEST I have ever heard.

    In ‘reply’ Mr. Morris said “I see my time is up.”

    Anyway it should be noted that there are quite a number religious organisation in support of same sex marriage and they were involved in this reference.

    If you are interested you could keep this link: http://www.lexum.umontreal.ca/csc-scc/en/index.html
    in your favorites as it publishes the full judgments of the supreme court of Canada.

  20. As a reply to David:

    “Everyone just doing what’s right in their own eyes.”
    That may be true but are you also not doing what seems to be right in your own eyes? After all there are a significant number of religious people and institutions and churches that support same sex marriage. Unless of course you claim that some Christians are more correct than others and are closer to God.

    “Yep, no absolute truth, no reality to sin.”

    If you believe you are more holy than others and despite all being equal under God’s eyes, you falsely believe that you are ‘special’ then apparently you are committing the sin of pride.

    “The sacrifices of God are a contrite and humble heart, but the conceit of the world is that everyone can do what they want, without consideration of the Almighty.”

    Not only that are you committing the sin of pride but you are using the sacrifice of God to serve your small and twisted heart. By using the name of God to spearhead your quest for intolerance and hate, which goes against all the Jesus stood for, it is apparent that your heart is in the grip of the devil. For you are using God’s love to spread hate among his creation.

    “I will pray your moral and spiritual eyes be opened.”
    Since you have given yourself to the devil and are an agent for his evil, you should pray for your moral wellbeing and pray that your spiritual eyes be opened.

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