Last edited: February 16, 2005

Where Do You Draw the Line, Stephen Harper?

An open letter to Stephen Harper re: same-sex marriage in Canada

Saskatchewan’s LGBQT Family, February 14, 2005

By aunty em-dash, lesbian mother, daughter, aunt, niece and cousin

What if you could draw the line exactly where, deep down, you really wanted it to be? All of Canada knows you’d draw it prior to the July 2002, Ontario Superior Court ruling that prohibiting gay couples from marrying was unconstitutional. But how far back would you really like to go in your heart-of-hearts, Mr. Harper? Would you like to draw the line prior to:

1996, when sexual orientation was added to the Canadian Human Rights Act?

1992, when the Canadian Federal Court lifted the ban on homosexuals in the military?

1989, when Canadian Human Rights Commission defined a homosexual couple as a family?

1978, when Canada got a new Immigration Act, and homosexuals were no longer on the list of inadmissible classes?

1969, when homosexuality was de-criminalized in Canada?

Or maybe you’d really like to go way back to 1857, before Jewish marriages were declared legal in Upper Canada?

Or prior to 1847, before Catholic marriages were legal? Would you like to go back all the way to 1846, Mr. Harper, when only Church of England marriages were legal, and male same-sex relationships were ‘death-penalty’ offences?

Where would you draw the line, Honourable Leader of the Opposition? And what about your caucus members? You’ve been patting yourself on the back for your ‘free vote’ approach to a vote on same-sex marriage, but at the same time you need to vet your members’ speeches on the issue. Well, I challenge you to a ‘free rein’ approach. I dare you to allow every one of your caucus members to speak freely about where they’d like to draw the line, while swearing on a Bible that they’re telling the whole truth. And that includes you.

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