Sunday, 31 May 2015

YES to Marriage Equality

If I can say one thing -

Congratulations Ireland!

If I can add another one -

Congratulations Canada on ten years!

(If I can add a third thing to say? Congratulations Ontario on the vote for Bill 45! I wonder what McDonalds will resemble with menu calorie postings. Plus cheers to banning flavoured tobacco!)

Celebrating YES in Ireland. Photo taken from

Photos loaded ethernet wires and Wi-Fi signals of couples kissing and smiling in Ireland. I imagine wedding halls are filling with reservations. Pictures of the red, yellow, blue and purple stripes joining the green, white and orange have flashed on my screen this week. I'm pleased that the majority of those that voted in Ireland chose marriage equality. I'm proud of the 1,201,607 individuals that voted on a yes, whether they were LGBTQ themselves or allies. 1,201,607 million supporters of the right to have an official document with a man's name and a man's name or a woman's name and a woman's name or the name or two of an intersex or questioning person! 1,201,607 million believing in a type of bond which needs no gender to fulfill.

Meanwhile as Ireland celebrates its nascent success, Canada celebrates its first decade. Ten years from the 26th, Canada's court ruled same-sex marriages legal.

My only concern is that Canada's legislation was chosen by the law while Ireland's legislation was put to a vote. Though Ireland used democracy at its basic to bring the law, putting itself ahead many countries without democracy, a vote was used to legalize a human right? The right to choose to marry shouldn't be upheld on the sole idea that the majority want it. Take a look at aboriginal rights and disability rights. Progress on them didn't occur because the majority stood for it and progress may not have happened if we chose to simply uphold the views of the majority. LGBTQ individuals deserve to have the same rights as another person regardless of the number of votes for or against themselves.

Meanwhile, we're not where we need to be with LGBTQ rights yet. The law in Ireland will allow religious congregations to refuse holding a same-sex wedding. Outside Ireland are countries where homophobia is still a crime. In Canada, a Torontonian MP was caught this year criticizing lesbian couples parenting in 1999. Yet we've come this far from decriminalizing homosexuality and now allowing same-sex marriages in both countries. We need to celebrate the couples that married and will marry in love regardless of their genders. We need to celebrate the successes made in this world in Canada, Ireland and many other countries. At the same time, we need to reach out to LGBTQ individuals and continue to show our support for them. We need to stand up where we see wrong. We need to advocate for global human rights. We need to end discrimination worldwide, whether it remains under the floor of the CN Tower or blazes in Russia.

Meanwhile, we have a reason to celebrate for one more country has joined the ranks of those which legalized same-sex marriage. So as we wait for menu labeling to come into effect, go celebrate. Hopefully there'll be fewer cigarette butts outside the restaurant door and perhaps replaced by a pride flag in the air.

Pride Toronto, 2014. Taken from

- FA

P.S: On the topic of marriage equality, what happened with the training guide by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to detect marriage fraud? Racist and classist. It targets ethnic groups and immigrants in terms such as "University-educated Chinese nationals marrying non-Chinese" and "Photos of activities taken in the Niagara Falls area, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Toronto." (I've heard of and know successful couples in both situations.) It discriminates against low-income individuals with "Sponsor is uneducated, with a low-paying job or on welfare" and "Couples who do not have a honeymoon, not even a couple of days away, usually because of university and/or no money" as conditions. (Only in a country without child marriage and child labour laws would I worry about a person's education level when getting married.) What happened to the Canadian Charter of Human Rights? Is this called standing on guard for thee or protegera nos foyer et nos droits? (The final line in the French anthem translates to Protect our home and rights.) The right to marriage stays true regardless of income, education, ethnic background, partner's ethnic background, personal choice or how much a marriage differs from the traditional white-dress-suit-and-bowtie-lavish-rental wedding.

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