6.12.2005

vox populi

The Star has a good story on Canadians' opinions on gay marriage.

Now, I feel that same-sex marriages have to be legal regardless of public opinion. Equality can't be subject to popularity polls. Nevertheless, it's interesting to read a wide variety of opinions. Plus I was envious of the reporter's cross-Canada drive!
Canada gets ready for gay marriage

David Graham
Staff Reporter

For three weeks last month I went back in the closet.

I disguised myself as a middle-aged straight man, rented a navy blue Saturn and drove from Vancouver to St. John's with frequent stops to talk with Canadians about same-sex marriage. If anyone asked if I was gay, I came clean. I didn't want to misrepresent myself. But I did want people to speak freely and from their hearts.

One more thing. While I have strong convictions on the subject, I have no vested interest. I ain't the marrying kind.

I took this cross-country trip to grasp the true voice of Canadians.

I'd already heard the politicians, religious leaders and gay activists. And I'd studied the polls that told me that 40 per cent of Canadians support gay marriage, 40 per cent oppose it, and 20 per cent are undecided. I also knew that opposition was declining and support was growing, as some undecideds were perhaps having a change of heart.

I intuitively felt that this was not a simple yes or no issue. I believed the real voices of Canadians had more complexity, depth, and nuance.

It is a story that would be told in quiet tones by unsure and often conflicted voices.

That's why I drove more than 8,000 kilometres across the country — to hear them.
Read some of your neighbors' opinions here.

29 comments:

redsock said...

Ken Cameron, 64, Red Deer, Alta.:

"If I had livestock that didn't breed, I would have to destroy it. ... If I owned livestock that was homosexual or if I had cows that were hallucinating because they were eating bad grass, they're gone."

[bangs head on desk]

L-girl said...

Wow. The implications of that statement are mind-boggling. I must have gotten some of that bad grass, since I'm not breeding.

L-girl said...

On the final day of my journey, in the middle of a cold, wet afternoon, I find myself being unceremoniously evicted from a dark waterfront pub in St. John's, Nfld., with my arm cocked behind my back. I am apparently being put to the sidewalk for engaging two patrons in a conversation about same-sex marriage — the same exchange I have been pursuing with hundreds of Canadians over the past three weeks. (Though, to be fair, it also could have been simply because I am a reporter or, most objectionable of all, someone from Toronto.)

This is interesting! I admit as a writer and interviewer, I'd love to experience that.

David Cho said...

Dang, I hate having to register for every sexing publication on the Internet.

But I will say this. Every strip mall of America has been taken over by mega corporations such as Walt Mart pushing out Mom and Pop businesses in the process.

The homogenization of the American business landscape is deeply troubling.

The GOP should fight this kind of homo as well while they are at it, instead of obsessing with the sex kind.

L-girl said...

The homogenization of the American business landscape is deeply troubling.

The GOP should fight this kind of homo as well while they are at it, instead of obsessing with the sex kind.


WHOO-HOO!! Go Cho!! I'm with ya, baby.

Lone Primate said...

I agree with Laura that this is an issue of rights, and not the sort of thing you put to a vote. We're not talking about what colour the flag should be or the words of the national anthem or something, but the ability of people to be happy in an aspect of their lives that is completely parallel in all other respects to that of other people, and in which they have no choice. I can see no reason that they should be miserable or made to feel like second-class citizens simply because they are living lives in ways that others would not wish to live themselves.

Ken Cameron sounds dire, but he's about what I expect when I hear that 40% of the country opposes gay marriage. Typically, they're older, and, typically, they're rural. Canada is increasingly urban in character, and, of course, the attitudes of the young become the common attitudes as they grow older, and as elder generations, with their attitudes, pass into history. I made a point on another blog site recently that if you were to go through most of these articles and replace the words "gay" and "same-sex" with "mixed-race" in front of the world "marriage", you would have an article that largely reflected attitudes before the Depression, or maybe even up to the 1950s, but which are anathama now. By extrapolation, it's not hard to imagine how horrifying attitudes like Cameron's are going to be in two or three generations.

David Cho said...

Laura,

Excuse me for going off tangent a bit here, but I closely witnessed how Big Government and Big Business go hand in hand (and thus the Democratic and Republican parties).

Worked for a major oil company for 8 years in the environmental compliance department. The company selectively fought in favor of certain environmental regulations which were painful enough to put Mom and Pop stations out of existence, but palatable for their deep pockets. It worked like a charm every time.

One might argue that the enviroment was helped after all, but such selectivity wasn't limited environmental regulations.

So they bought off both Republican and Democratic politicians to push anti-small business regulations. That is why I get nervous whenever the two parties agree on something. When they agree, they only agree to screw the majority of Americans.

L-girl said...

I made a point on another blog site recently that if you were to go through most of these articles and replace the words "gay" and "same-sex" with "mixed-race" in front of the world "marriage", you would have an article that largely reflected attitudes before the Depression, or maybe even up to the 1950s, but which are anathama now. By extrapolation, it's not hard to imagine how horrifying attitudes like Cameron's are going to be in two or three generations.

Oh yes, I agree completely. In the US, I would say that those attitudes changed during the 1980s. During the 1970s it was unacceptable (or at least crass) to actively oppose inter-racial relationships, but they were still not accepted as commonplace. (Think Archie Bunker.) True acceptance as something unremarkable happened through the 80s, into the 90s. I'm convinced same-sex marriage will take the same route.

L-girl said...

That is why I get nervous whenever the two parties agree on something. When they agree, they only agree to screw the majority of Americans.

It's funny how many things we agree on David, considering the gulf between our beliefs. I gave up on the Dems long ago, believing them to be part of the problem - one giant duopoly system working for corporate America. I still voted Democrat when I felt it was necessary, but hey, things couldn't have gotten this bad without their complicity.

Lone Primate said...

Jimmy Carter for Prime Minister. :)

Crabbi said...

"Dang, I hate having to register for every sexing publication on the Internet."

I know - it's tedious. Have you tried BugMeNot? Just go there, input the publication's URL and get an e-mail address and password to use for logging in. (The Star's is rats@rats.com/ratsrats.)

BTW, is "sexing" a less vulgar way of saying "effing"? Pardon my ignorance, but I've never heard that expression before - probably to busy dropping the f-bomb. Anyway, if that's the case, that is totally funny.

L-girl said...

Jimmy Carter for Prime Minister.

Will someone please explain this to me?

L-girl said...

BTW, is "sexing" a less vulgar way of saying "effing"? Pardon my ignorance, but I've never heard that expression before - probably to busy dropping the f-bomb. Anyway, if that's the case, that is totally funny.

I had never heard it either! And I didn't even get as far as you, Crabbi - I couldn't figure it out at all. (Duh!)

You can also do what I do. Register for every sexing thing under the sun, then never clear the cookies.

Lone Primate said...

Jimmy Carter for Prime Minister.

Will someone please explain this to me?


I always thought he was the last good president. I'd have no problem voting for him. Reagan on up... with the possible exception of Slick Willie... no way. But Carter was a human being. Maybe the only once since FDR could see past his money to the average person. Don't give up on the Democrats... just the ones who deserve forsaking.

L-girl said...

Carter was a good president, though his reputation is out of proportion to what he actually did while in office. Obviously he's done a lot more since.

I have so, so, soooo given up on the Democrats. I have given up on the entire system. Hence the decision that led to this blog.

I did everything I could to try to defeat Bush, but I firmly believe that both parties are part of the same corrupt system. There are good people here and there, but they are absolutely the exceptions.

It may be less apparent from your side of the border.

David Cho said...

"sexing"

Yeah, I made that up just this morning. Have always dreamed of coining a new word.

L-girl said...

Yeah, I made that up just this morning. Have always dreamed of coining a new word.

And you think I'm something because I'm published! I've never invented a word, that I know of.

andym said...

"If I had livestock that didn't breed, I would have to destroy it. ...
To quote an old SNL bit, Ken you ignorant slut! At 64, if YOU were a cow, you'd have been hamburger meat long ago. Can that be the end of cow-human comparisons? How about not comparing gays to animals, but to other people--ones who are allowed to marry, and show public displays of affection, and ask for time of work to accompany a spouse to a medical appointment without having to lie about who its for.

Anonymous said...

The whole marriage-is-for-procreation argument is offensive on so many levels. Het couples who can't have children, those who choose not to, older people past childbearing age - just to name a few examples of non-procreative marriage. If marriage is for procreation, we're back to banning birth control! (Which of course they're trying to do, a little at a time...)

L-girl on iPAQ

David Cho said...

"And you think I'm something because I'm published! I've never invented a word, that I know of."

Coining a new sexing word is one thing, but now it is up for my minions to sexing popularize it.

David Cho said...

I'm curious Laura. What was the turning point for you when you gave up on the Democratic Party?

I am pretty close to giving up on the GOP because of

- Iraq (along with neo-conservatism)
- W' irresponsible fiscal policy
- the strong Christian Zionist faction who I believe is the greatest obstacle to peace in the Middle East.

Crabbi said...

Good one, David. Sexing A! (I learned the real meaning of that expression over at G the LB's place.)

The whole marriage-is-for-procreation argument is offensive on so many levels.
Yes, it is. It's offensive to those who choose not to have kids - or who cannot - and to those who do. As if we should all be breeders who unthinkingly have litters. We're talking about children here, fundies, little humans who deserve to be wanted and loved. These are big decisions, you simple, simple people. And I'm not crazy about the assumption of many fundies that one should be married in order to have kids.

And Ken, tell me one thing. If some of your livestock are gay, doesn't that shoot a lot of holes through that bullshit homosexuality-is-a-choice theory? Or are you saying that Bossie just woke up one day and said "Eff this breeding sh*t, I'm running away with Elsie." Hmm? Answer that one, Pappy.

L-girl said...

Coining a new sexing word is one thing, but now it is up for my minions to sexing popularize it.

Minions! Look at you! :)

Crabbi, I think Ken's cows got their lesbiosity from eating hallucenigenic grass. That's what does it, doncha know.

L-girl said...

I'm curious Laura. What was the turning point for you when you gave up on the Democratic Party?

That's an interesting question, David. I've been giving it much thought tonight.

I've decided it was more of a gradual erosion than a turning point, with each spineless capitulation showing me that there really was no opposition party, all through the Reagan/Bush/Bush years.

If I had to pick one turning point where I felt most betrayed, I guess it would be Clinton ending the federal guarantee of welfare. I realized that this is the party of the comfortable middle class, not the party of the working person.

Clinton wasn't much of a Democrat as far as I could see, yet liberal Democrats still embraced him. That helped point me to the door.

Btw, your three reasons are excellent, especially now that you've explained the (highly offensive) Christian Zionist thing to me. I could only hope you are evidence of a trend.

L-girl said...

Sexing A!

LOL! Love it.

redsock said...

"Sexing"?

Okay, I suppose ... but it ain't no "Santorum"!

David Cho said...

You may find this very hard to stomach, but the person who influenced me to turn my back on the Bush Administration is Pat Buchanan.

In his book Where the Right Went Wrong, he argues extensively against the war in Iraq and how the neo-conservative movement flies in the face of traditional conservatism in the mold of Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater (Reagan also kept Christian Zionists at bay)

You will find yourself agreeing wholeheartedly with Buchanan's arguments against the war in Iraq. Keep in mind that many from the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations strongly argued against the war and predicted virtually all of the problems we are facing with the insurgency.

L-girl said...

Ewwwww, that Santorum thing is disgustingly wonderful, or wonderfully disgusting. I'll have to send it to the good folks at Noblesse Oblog, who are working hard to reclaim sanity for Pennsylvania.

L-girl said...

You may find this very hard to stomach, but the person who influenced me to turn my back on the Bush Administration is Pat Buchanan.

Oh yes, this war has made some strange bedfellows. I have found myself agreeing with Buchanan on several occasions. In many ways he is a "true" conservative, and I admire his independence of thought. If he's helped one Republican (you!) turn away from these neocons, I must applaud him for that.

Way back when, Barry Goldwater, arch-conservative, name synonymous with the conversative wing of the Republican party during most of his lifetime, announced that he was pro-choice. What's more, he said that was the true conservative position - less government in our lives.

It's very strange when you find yourself agreeing with people you've always thought of as "the other side".