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Joho on Gay Marriage

Joho published a piece on gay marriage this morning.  I’ve cut the beginning out and reproduced it here.  I also recommend reading the Bob Herbert piece that he references.

Are we Sodom?. Bob Herbert’s column today in the NY Times "Bliss and Bigotry" made me cry. It’s a good column, but it did not provoke my sadness and anger so much as allow it. I keep surprising myself with how much the issue of gay marriage means to me. Every day I find it means more. When I was a young a-hole in the ’70s, my line of grad school patter said that homosexuality is an inferior form of love because the sex carries no risk.

10% of the population is gay.  That means it’s likely we all know a gay person. I know lots, in fact.  What impact does excluding those people from societal institutions like marriage have on them?  On society?

On a deeply personal note, I have 5 sons. It’s not inconceivable that one might show up on my doorstep one day and announce that he’d found the man of his dreams.  What humane and just society could tell him that he had no right to happiness?  To equality?  As a parent, I certainly couldn’t.

All of which brings me to the reason for this rant…

Recently I’ve had a spate of Conservative Party hopefuls show up on my doorstep, since I am a member of the Conservative Party.  The local nomination meeting is next week.  They all uniformly support a number of causes which I agree with, but none, yet, has come forward to support anything but the "traditional" definition of marriage.  I’ve sent each of them away with a simple message.  In my Canada, the law applies equally to everyone, and everyone is equal before the law. My Canada has strong, vibrant, inclusive institutions that celebrate all people regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation.   That’s the Canada I want for me, and for my five children, and for their children. 

Stephen Harper, Belinda Stronach, and Tony Clement… I vote Conservative.  You need to win me at the convention, and a wishy-washy commitment to allow members to "vote with their conscience" won’t do it.  I need to see leadership from anyone who would be the future prime minister of Canada.

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