M.P. John Bryden uses children to mask his anti-gay intolerance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"It speaks volumes that Mr. Bryden does not acknowledge that in 1995 it was concluded by Ontario Court of Justice’ Honourable Mr. Justice James P. Nevins that Ontario’s Child & Family Services Act was discriminatory to exclude same-sex parents from adoption since no evidence was presented to indicate that homosexual couples could not provide a warm, secure and loving environment for their children."
Wayne Powell, Aug. 1, 2003

 

 

 

The Inquisition targets same-sex marriage - Document promotes hate

 

 

 

"I invite Mr. Bryden to come visit my extended family, and the Director of the Children’s Aid Society in Hamilton, to discuss this issue ..."
Wayne Powell, Aug. 1, 2003

 

 

 

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"Factors which appear to have a Significant effect on the healthy emotional and psychological development of a child are more related to conflicts in spousal relations than family type or structure ...When one reflects on the seemingly limitless parade of neglected abandoned and abused children who appear before our courts in protection cases daily, all of whom have been in the care of heterosexual parents in a 'traditional' family structure, the suggestion that it might not ever be in the best interests of these children to be raised by loving, caring and committed parents, who might happen to be lesbian or gay, is nothing short of ludicrous."
Mr. Justice James P. Nevins
In the matter of the Child and Family Services Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C-11, Sections 136(1) and 146(2), [1995] O.J. No 1425

 

 

 

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"Same-sex couples in Ontario and many other provinces in Canada can already adopt children without any legal or judicial consideration of the gender relationship of the parents or their sexuality. The Ontario Family courts already consider same-sex couples applying as parents as “equally normal” to opposite–sex parents, to suggest otherwise, as Mr. Bryden has, is a blatant 'head in the sand' falsehood."
Wayne Powell, Aug. 1, 2003

 

 

 

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Advocacy News - Bryden's Bigotry

August 1, 2003 (updated Aug. 7)

Bryden's Bigotry
Hiding behind children to mask his intolerance

"The psychosocial research into lesbian and gay parenting indicates that there are essentially no differences in the psychosocial development, gender identity or sexual orientation between the children of gay or lesbian parents and the children of heterosexual parents."
The Canadian Psychological Association, Aug. 6, 2003


Last summer, following our first victory for equal marriage in Ontario court, Liberal party Member of Parliament John Bryden (Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Aldershot) released a "Summer 2002" report that promoted discrimination against same-sex parents by using children as fodder for his campaign. We confronted him with his mis-information on a subsequent radio program and hoped that his notions regarding rights of children and parents would have been corrected. But bigots are not interested in truth, as the Vatican illustrated yesterday.

Bryden is back, again using children to flame fears in his constituents. In an editorial he wrote, published today by the Flamborough Review, Bryden claims that Canada's new, inclusive definition of marriage "compromises the ability of the courts to consider the gender relationship of parents in child custody and adoption cases."

The disengenuous Ontario M.P. knows better. He's been a reporter and editor and knows how to research. In our discussion with him last year, we pointed out that this issue of child custody and adoption for gay parents had long ago been decided, and that same-sex marriage rights had no impact on his constituents' rights for children whatsoever. Bryden, however, seems to be not interested in truth. He would rather inflame.

"There will be more than leaves burning this fall when MPs return to Parliament," Bryden brays. "There will be fireworks."

His argument is spurious. Same-sex marriage, he claims will "require the courts to consider same-sex parents as more normal than a single-parent. This could bias the court against a single parent in child custody cases."

"I am not looking forward to the debate," he claims. We don't believe him.

The only thing that does seem truthful about his editorial is his admition that he is "opposed to one group gratuitously taking over the cherished symbols of another group."

Bryden shouldn't use children to support his bigotry. He should come out of the closet like the rest of us, rather than hiding behind babies to mask his intolerance.


The following is a response to Bryden's editorial, sent to the Flamborough Review today:

I want to thank Mr. Bryden, MP for continuing to show his constituents his irresponsible ignorance and irrational fear of same-sex parents and homosexual marriage. Unlike the judges and lawyers that he alleges in his editorial are incompetent and bad decision makers, Mr. Bryden puts forth arguments on this issue based on incomplete information, personal judgments, and misunderstanding. I’m asking that his constituents remember this intolerant “View” when it comes our time to elect a new representative to Parliament. I invite Mr. Bryden to come visit my extended family, and the Director of the Children’s Aid Society in Hamilton, to discuss this issue and to help put a face to his homosexual constituents and their concerns, so that instead of promoting the division he espouses, we can help close the gap.

As a homosexual man, living in his Flamborough riding for the past 4 years, I am pleased to announce that my spouse and I (we are both “husbands” to each other) were legally married on June 13, 2003 at Guelph City Hall. We were warmly welcomed by city staff there, and our marriage was solemnized in the company of our friends, family, and our new Godson, in a wonderfully affirming ceremony officiated by United Church Minister Harold Steed. Upon arriving back at our Flamborough home, a stream of our neighbours came out on the street to congratulate us and share in our joyous occasion. We have been committed in our relationship for 14 years, and have been qualified as adoptive parents in Hamilton for the past 2 years, but exchanging vows and being given a Marriage License was an indescribably important step for our relationship and for our passage into the greater community as married peers. This was not a “group” effort to gratuitously take over a cherished symbol; we weren’t born from wolves, my parents were married too. This was a personal journey towards the shared institution of marriage and family. Not much different than anyone else’s marriage really, though it was very special to have the FORZIERI Jewelry and Watchesopportunity that we had assumed would not be afforded to us in our lifetime, simply because we are perceived by some as “different”. We have both been blessed by an accepting community that we are proud to be a part of, thank you Ontario, Flamborough, Dundas, Hamilton and Halton Region. I can now speak to this issue as an equal and legally married peer.

I think it’s distressing that Mr. Bryden promotes views that threaten the well-being of a significant number of his valuable constituents, children, adults, heterosexual and homosexual alike. It seems a particularly pitiable tactic that, after previously promoting a view against families without both a male and female parent, Mr. Bryden is now trying to pit single heterosexual parents against married and common-law homosexual parents in a struggle for adoptable children and custody rights, as if there is a “parental pecking order” that should be preserved above the best interests of an individual child.

As is the hallmark of bigotry and prejudice, Mr. Bryden doesn’t realize that the greater affect of his public position offends and hurts many real people; physically and emotionally. How would your readers react if someone told them that they couldn’t marry or live in our community because the colour of their skin might make it difficult for their children? He is telling me, that I am a less valuable human being because of my sexuality, even though my family life, my day-to-day behaviour, my lifestyle and my commitments to our community and society are essentially no different than his and most of your readers. Without coming to know me as a human being, Mr. Bryden is judging that I will make a less valuable parent just because I share my life with another man, that somehow our relationship and our extended family will lack role models to promote a healthy upbringing for our children. He is saying that my desire to express my commitment and love for my partner, through the legal and ceremonial bond of marriage, is less authentic than his. He is telling the scores of people in his riding that have personally supported and assisted our ongoing effort to adopt children into our family, that they are wrong not to give us poor marks because we are gay. He is telling the many existing same-sex couples and parents in his riding that they, and their children, are less worthy and less likely to succeed than others. He is saying that children can not be brought up to grow past difficult times and intolerant situations and to become valuable members of our community without being protected by two-parent heterosexual parents. That somehow the lives of adult children raised by homosexuals may be less evolved than those of “normal” two parent heterosexual families.

It speaks volumes that Mr. Bryden does not acknowledge that in 1995 it was concluded by Ontario Court of Justice’ Honourable Mr. Justice James P. Nevins that Ontario’s Child & Family Services Act was discriminatory to exclude same-sex parents from adoption since no evidence was presented to indicate that homosexual couples could not provide a warm, secure and loving environment for their children. Nevins stated then that "Factors which appear to have a Significant effect on the healthy emotional and psychological development of a child are more related to conflicts in spousal relations than family type or structure." , also "When one reflects on the seemingly limitless parade of neglected abandoned and abused children who appear before our courts in protection cases daily, all of whom have been in the care of heterosexual parents in a "traditional" family structure, the suggestion that it might not ever be in the best interests of these children to be raised by loving, caring and committed parents, who might happen to be lesbian or gay, is nothing short of ludicrous."

In 1999 Ontario’s Child & Family Services Act was amended to give the full, unprejudiced and equal right to children to be adopted by homosexual single and same-sex couples throughout the Province without consideration of their sexuality as a factor of parenthood.

It’s contentious for Mr. Bryden to suggest that the ability to achieve legal marriage status would in anyway change that. Same-sex couples in Ontario and many other provinces in Canada can already adopt children without any legal or judicial consideration of the gender relationship of the parents or their sexuality. The Ontario Family courts already consider same-sex couples applying as parents as “equally normal” to opposite–sex parents, to suggest otherwise, as Mr. Bryden has, is a blatant “head in the sand” falsehood. Mr. Bryden and others opposed to same-sex marriage and parenthood are simply and purposefully dismissing scientific, judicial and social services precedents that indicate that homosexual singles and same-sex couples, in general, make terrific spouses and parents.

Readers sitting on the fence on these issues should try to understand that possessing a homosexual sexual orientation does not mean that a person lacks parenting skills, nor does it mean that they are child molesters, nor does it mean that their children will be pressured into becoming homosexuals, nor does it dictate that their children will suffer because of society’s prejudice against homosexuals. All of those judgments are based on deep-seated prejudice and bigotry, not fact, and together we can work to change our understanding and acceptance of homosexuality.

The promotion of same-sex marriage will not cause “widespread distress”, the sky to fall in, keep Prime Minister Chrétien’s soul damned for eternity, nor will it diminish the quality of life and the importance of marriage and family in Canadian society. In fact, the wider promotion of family and commitment, the acceptance of “difference”, and the abolishment of the damning concept of “normal” will enhance all our lives. The giving of equal rights, including the right for same-sex couples to legally marry, puts all Canadians on an equal footing, and is important to the foundation and promotion of healthy evolution of our Canada.

Please contact your local MP and make your views on the subject known before the issue comes before Parliament again in the Fall.

Reference for Nevins J. quotations: “In the matter of the Child and Family Services Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C-11, Sections 136(1) and 146(2), [1995] O.J. No 1425;”

Wayne A. Powell
Waterdown, ON


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