Friday, January 13, 2012

Harper's Message to Gay People - We Dont' Want You Here!

Anyone who thinks that Harper and his bullies were unaware of the efforts by the Department of Justice lawyers to try to delegitimize same sex marriage is a fool. Obviously the Prime Minster knew. It is extremely unusual for the Federal Government to get involved in a divorce case and this case had to have been prepared a while ago at the highest level of policy makers. There is absolutely NO WAY that the PM wouldn't have known about this. On the contrary, the order to pursue this surely came directly from his office.

And this is the Harpercon's basic political strategy, poke around the edges of a major issue before jumping in. This is how it has been with the death penalty. The Conservative caucus overwhelmingly favours the return to the death penalty because all they really understand is the politics of hate, and revenge is an intimate associate of hate. However, knowing that they can't simply attempt to reinstate the death penalty without huge political consequences, they have instead begun the gradual chip-away. They stopped trying to save people who might be extradited to other countries and face capital punishment, and they are not attempting to save Canadians abroad who might be facing this most tyrannical act. Obviously in the long term their hope is to bring the death penalty to canada for any crime except those regularly committed by rich white men (that is to say corruption and money crimes). They don't care that the death penalty has no effect on crime, as their recent crime bill demonstrates, prevention of crime or rehabilitation are not on their radar - only punishment - swift, hard, preferably violent, punishment. Again, this is the CPC agenda of hate.

Here we once again have another attempt by the Harpercons to chip away at something they hate - equality for gay people. They know that they cannot attack gay marriage directly so they instructed their lawyers to pick away at the basic legitimacy of gay marriage in an area where they didn't think people would take much notice. Test the waters for potential dangers, attempt to gradually shift people's minds toward a world in which gay marriage is not legitimate. So in an unprecedented effort they chose to attack marriages which the state would not normally question - marriages of people who reside elsewhere. It is a test for blow-back. The Canadian government has never brought into question the issue of how foreign governments have viewed a marriage. If your marriage is recognized here that has all that  has historically mattered. As one commentator pointed out, marriages between Jews and Muslims are illegal in Saudi Arabia (one of Canada's great allies). But imagine the uproar if Justice Department lawyers had argued that a Jewish-Muslim couple that had been married in Canada could not be divorced because they were never actually married!! We don't, of course, have to imagine because the government would never allow this to happen. This point demonstrates very clearly that this has been a very clear and conscious effort by the government to delegitimize gay marriage.

Make no mistake, the Harpercons are engaged in a concerted effort to rightwing, born-again Christian, intolerance of the US deep-south right here to Canada. And keep in mind they are doing it with the support of about one quarter of the adult population. Now that's democracy!


Anonymous said...

But then why is the government changing the law to allow these divorces to occur?

kirbycairo said...

A) That is what they say now, they have lied many times,
B) If the do change the law it is because they made a calculation and found that the blow-back was too strong.

But there is simply no way that the government didn't know that the Justice Department was doing this.

In the absence of a believable explanation, one looks for another possibility.

It is simple -
- Federal lawyers almost never get involved in divorce cases.
-Their involvement is not only rare but when it does occur it is related to some large issue with political implications.
-Few issues could have the political implications as gay marriage,
- If Justice Department lawyers were working on this, it is not reasonable to believe that the Cabinet didn't know about it.
Thus -
We can reasonably surmise that government, which has always had strong beliefs concerning gay marriage, at the very least knew about it and could reasonably have orchestrated of encouraged the effort.
We can reasonably assume, therefore, that the government's surprised was either feigned or that they were caught by bad timing.
Since the coverage was wide and the response was fairly powerful, we reasonably assume that the government tested the waters and found them more perilous than they had hoped.

That is the way many governments have operated for centuries.

I find it fascinating that the rightwing is all into real-politik until such a narrative seems to suggest that they are manipulating the system, then they plead honesty and sincerity.

Anonymous said...

The really strange this is why the Dalton Liberals stood aside on this whole issue.

In any case, it seems that it was the one-year residency requirement for divorces that was the tricky part. Not normally a problem for couples who marry here but live abroad, since they can divorce there.

Since Canada really is at the forefront on this issue, it isn't surprising that we didn't get it 100% right from the start.

Anonymous said...

The "Dalton Liberals" have nothing at all to do with the issue. Under the constitution, the provinces are only responsible for marriage ceremonies and licences. The definition of marriage falls to the federal government. The Crown's argument is all about the definition of marriage - it has nothing to do with whether the ceremony was properly held or the marriage certificate properly issued.