Archive for February 6th, 2008

So here’s some lovely news from New York about gay marriage. It’s a little long, but worth it if you’re interested. It seemed to be the best that I could find out there.

There’s a second link to an article that makes mention, and drags poor Jason West from New Paltz back into the mix. He got into trouble as mayor there in 2004 as he “proposed” (pun intended) to marry a bunch of gay couples–even though it wasn’t legislated by the state? Hmmm. Oh you’ve got to love him for his stance on the matter, and his conviction! You really should read the link in this paragraph. It’s great! He’s funny.

However, the “bad news” from the other link that mentions him from the first paragraph says that charges are now going to be reinstated against him for all the ruckus he caused. Oh dear.

If you haven’t read any of the above, what it all has boiled down to is that there has been a court ruling to recognize that gay marriages (or same-sex, if you prefer) can now be recognized within the state if they are performed anywhere outside of the state.

Like in Canada!

Yes, all we happy homos (like PA)…

…can all end up in wedded bliss…

Still, it’s just the beginning. No doubt there will be appeals, and fights, and blah, blah, blah. I mean, Massachusetts tried to get the whole ball rolling, and legalize it, but that fizzled out.

But what about Canada, you say? How did we get there? Well, basically it was a whole lot of bitching, and fighting, and it was not ultimately decided by Parliament. No, it was actually decided by the Supreme Court of Canada (if memory serves…I am really not that into politics, even if they do surround issues that may impact my life…I may have been too depressed to even pay attention depending upon what was going on in my life at the time.)

Anyway, based upon that decision, it did actually go to “vote” in Parliament but it was a sort of “sham” vote since it was already deemed legal from a civil perspective. The voting process was merely for the politicians to say “yes” or “no” in order to either state their convictions or their constituents’ positions. If it’s the latter, and it’s the hottest item on the ticket, that’s how you hope to win your seat, right? Regardless, other issues on the ballot, of course.

So, it’s more of a “civil” issue here. That is not to say it is like a “Civil Union,” like in the UK. Or, is it just England. I don’t know if it is in Scotland as well as they have a different Parliamentary process. No, it is completely legal here, and it can be performed in churches, shuls (well, Reform Judaism or course!) It is entirely up to the religious institution/location. Or you can just head down to “City Hall,” and do it on the cheap. Or find someone who has a license to marry people, and do it on the beach! I went to a marriage ceremony for two women who did that!

Now, is there a chance that gay marriage will “go away?” Yes. Here we have something called The Notwithstanding Clause. If you didn’t link to the first article, this one might kill you. Do you speak, “Legalese?” It’s not that bad, really. It’s not actual legislation, but more an overview, and an explanation of what it’s about and some discussion.

What the Notwithstanding Clause is basically about, and what it can do is take some of the rights out of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and toss them out the window. (I’m not going to link to the “Charter” as it is actual legislation and you will kill me.) Some rights are considered “entrenched,” or untouchable. However, gay marriage is not one of them. It is not, or was ever specifically written into the “Charter,” but it’s awfully gray…still a Human Rights Issue.

The Notwithstanding Clause also has a “shelf life,” if you will. It can only be invoked for a period of five years. This is basically due to the maximum length the Federal Party at the time will be in power–in a Majority Vote setting–yes, that should be right. Still, that’s an awfully long time to sit and wait under ridiculous, asinine, fear-mongering, despotic, hypocritical, discriminatory…fuckwads.

Stephen Harper (aka Bush Lite) has actually uttered the words: “Notwithstanding Clause.” I have discussed this with people (I can’t stand talking with people about religion, and politics when they get so inflamed!) They seem to think that if he wins a Majority Government in the next Federal Election, he’ll invoke the “Clause.” I disagree.

Harper is the leader of our most right-wing party, the Conservatives. They’re really only one of two that have a chance of taking over the House. The other are the Liberals, and they have a majority support of gay marriage. Actually, I think there might have even been a few Conservatives who supported it, much to the party’s horror *laughing* Our other “larger” party is the poor, downtrodden NDP who is “lefty, lefty!” They are in full support of gay marriage, but will never get a majority or minority in Parliament!

So we’ll see if the “Clause” ever gets invoked in this manner. I still don’t think it will. It’s only ever been used in the past on a Provincial level–never Federally. This is a huge Human Rights Issue as well. What about all the people that have already gotten married? Stamp them null and void?

I think Harper is just shooting all of this out of his big yap to keep his electorate happy. He surely must have bigger fish to fry. Anyway, good luck to you pink New Yorkers, and also the rest of you in the U.S. Keep up the fight!