A Black Eye for Canada's Gay Rights Rep
Canada Citizenship and Immigration recently released a new study guide for immigrants who wish to become Canadian citizens. Thanks to Federal Minister Jason Kenney, the guide does not contain any reference to Canada's gay rights.
I've put in a link below. The Globe and Mail article includes links to related items. Be sure to check the awesome Adam Radwanski column, “Jason Kenney's mixed messages." Also, please let me know if the link works, because I've never done this before.
I would really like to know what the American Soulforce members think of this. It's always good to get an outside viewpoint. I would also like to encourage other Canadians out there to write, phone, or e-mail their Members of Parliament. I've made up a bit of a summary here.
The original draft of the guide included the following statements:
“Homosexuality was decriminalized in 1969 and more recently civil marriage rights to same-sex couples was legalized nationwide in 2005”, and “Equality Rights - Canadians are protected against discrimination based on race, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or age.” These two items were deleted on orders from Kenney's office.
Kenney's spokesman, Alykhan Velshi, said “we had to ensure the guide did not become encyclopedic.” I wasn't aware that two sentences could be “encyclopedic”.
Now Kenney is trying to deny everything. He's using the Bart Simpson defense: “I didn't do it and you can't prove I did.” (See the “Update” link at the bottom of Adam Radwanski's column.)
People are entitled to know about their rights - all of their rights. That's as crucial to citizenship education as information on laws and responsibilities. The Tories (Conservatives) don't like gay rights, so they dumped a reference to human rights in general. That's despicable.
This is a black eye to Canada's reputation. I was always proud of Canada's record on gay rights. The Tories seem to be ashamed of it. Hey, Jason! Gay rights aren't an embarrassment to Canada; you and your homophobe buddies are!
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