not add a man and a couple of his sisters, or a man and his faithful friend, Fido
Fidelius? Any and all now qualify."
homosexual behaviour is not normal and even repugnant. Those few that came to
tolerate it -- I mean the societies -- and allow it did not last long. God providentially
and in judgment wiped those civilizations off the face of the earth."
Legal - Canada
March 25, 2003
Fidelius? Will Canada go to the dogs?
The marriage hearings, conducted by Parliament's Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, continue to be a platform for extremist views from witnesses who are intent on expressing alarmist warnings of biblical proportions. Minutes released today, from February 18 testimony, reveal the latest insults to gays and lesbians and all fair-minded Canadians.
"Virtually every present and past known society and civilization agrees that homosexual behaviour is not normal and even repugnant," said Oosterman. "Those few that came to tolerate it--I mean the societies--and allow it did not last long. God providentially and in judgment wiped those civilizations off the face of the earth. Remember those civilizations known for homosexual tolerance and practice-- "
If such statements were made about a race of people, such testimony would be beyond acceptance, but we have repeatedly heard similar statements of hatred directed towards the gay community. Once again, it fell to Member of Parliament Svend Robinson (New Democratic Party) to object, in the absence of due moderation from the chair, Andy Scott (Liberal party).
Oosterman responded by quoting from the Bible's old and new testaments to support his view, saying "they ruled that a man who placed ... references to Bible verses on homosexuality in a newspaper ad was guilty of inciting hatred ... So before this committee I give the above quotes from the Bible knowing that I may be charged with hate crimes."
Mr. Oosterman seemed to be omitting facts in his quick embrace of martyrdom.
"I know you wouldn't want to leave an inaccurate impression with the committee," Robinson said. "There were references to the Bible, but there was also a symbol beside the references to the Bible. Do you recall that symbol? You forgot about the symbol. Do you want to share with the committee ..."
"I only had ten minutes," Oosterman said, "so my time was limited."
"I'll give you the chance now. What was the symbol, Mr. Oosterman?"
"The ad was very clear." Oosterman seemed to equivocate. "It was saying that homosexuality is wrong."
"And what was the symbol?" Robinson asked again.
"It was the same one you see when it says "don't turn" or "don't go down that road".
"Exactly," Robinson said. "And it said to ban these people, right? So it wasn't just religious text, it was a symbol saying to ban these people. And the evidence before the tribunal was that, in fact, particularly young people would interpret that as saying that gay people don't have the right to exist"
Why should we," M.P. Richard Marceau (Bloc Quebecois) asked, "as members of this committee, try to impose your definition and your interpretation of marriage on those other churches who came here advocating a different interpretation?"
"Very simply," Oosterman said, "words have meaning and the words are there: “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” Now, that's not open to interpretation. Once you begin interpreting it, then you change the meaning. In our church circles when somebody says, that's your interpretation, they usually mean I don't like what it says and I'm going to change what it says and come up with another meaning. Words have meaning. To us, this is very clear. Once you start playing with the words and changing the meaning of the words, then you can come up with a different view."
It seems that the Westboro Baptist Church wants the Canadian government to share its dark views on homosexuality and to impose faith-based bigotry on all Canadians. In an attempt to accomplish this, Oosterman resorted to tactics that the chair warned previously to avoid: linking gay love to illegal relationships such as polygamy and incest (REAL Women of Canada) and bestiality (Catholic Women's League).
"Why not add a man and a couple of his sisters," Oosterman asked, "or a man and his faithful friend, Fido Fidelius? Any and all now qualify."
The committee chair has been ineffective in maintaining a dignified discussion of same-sex marriage and has repeatedly allowed hateful statements to be made by witnesses. While such witnesses discredit themselves with their words, some committee members continue to provide evidence that this hearing is what has been called a "cruel joke".
As this committee prepares to take their awful performance on the road across Canada, member Pat O'Brien (Liberal Party) may have given insight into why this "justice and human rights" committee continues to allow these hearings to be a platform that goes beyond marriage to attack homosexuals in general. O'Brien said he hoped to "defend marriage as it's currently defined. I feel very strongly on that point."
At what cost Mr. O'Brien?