Selection Of Your Comments
May 2, 2003
I'm in the middle of writing a paper for university and just wanted to tell you how helpful your website has been -without it I would've missed the recent decision in Barbeau v. British Columbia to allow same-sex marriage!
Just one quick question: do you think that the decision in British Colombia can stand up to national or even international scruitiny?
Thanks for doing what you do,
Kat, melb, australia
The decision in B.C. will most certainly stand up to national scrutiny - it is consistent with the lower court decisions in Ontario (July 12, 2001) and Quebec (Sept. 6, 2001). We just finished an appeal in Ontario (decision pending) which you will see also will uphold the finding that the prohibition against same-sex marriage.
As for the international impact ... places like Belgium and Holland will recognize Canadian same-sex marriages once the law is enacted here (as those countries already recognize same-sex marriage in their own countries). Other countries may not, but this will change over time and the Canadian experience will have an influence on the countries that will follow us in the future!
May 4, 2003
Dear Kevin and Joe,
I just wanted to thank you very much for your persistent and excellent work for same-sex marriage. When Mike and I get married in a year or two, we will remember you with gratitude. I can see clearly that there are so many people who are benefitting and will continue to benefit from your work for a long time--not just in Canada.
Thanks! and please keep it up as long as you can. I know it must be very hard at times.
May 6, 2003
I am writing to thank you for what you are doing. My partner Tammy and I live in Edmonton and are looking forward to marrying legally someday. We are making plans to have a commitment ceremony and would very much like to marry legally. We join you in making same sex marriage legal Canada wide. We look to you for inspiration and encouragement.
First off, thank you so much for all you are doing for gay people in our Country. The success you have worked for seems inevitable now. We all owe you so much.
These Elsie Wayne comments are a disgrace. I know how busy and involved you have been but I was wondering if you could email eveyone on your mailing list with the email address of this woman so that we can write to her and tell her that she is a bigot. I don't have the web knowledge to do this but I think it would just prove to her that a lot people care about equality in our Country and that she, is in fact, in the minority.
We have created a page that documents Mrs. Wayne's comments, and others, and we have included her contact information there. We encourage our visitors to write! In addition, we have dedicated this year's equal marriage Pride tour to her with a promise that we won't stay home and keep quiet, despite her requests. Please join us on the tour or support our expenses involved in assembling a Pride float for Toronto (we have a $5,000 deficit from last year!)
Mail a donation or donate online by clicking below:
May 9, 2003
Elsie Wayne asked in the House of Commons on May 8, 2003, "When it comes to people who wish to live together, whether they are women or men, why do they have to be out here in the public always wanting to call it marriage?... They do not see us getting up on floats to say we are husband and wife. We do not do that."
The answer is quite simple. No one has ever questioned Ms. Wayne's right to marry her chosen partner. No one ever questioned the right of Canadian men to be "persons" under the law either, but Canadian women had to fight for that right. Five women refused to "shut up about it." They insisted on pursuing the matter to the highest legal authority they could, and in 1929 they won: women were declared to be "persons."
Now in 2003, lesbians and gay men are refusing to shut up. To get the right to not just live with but marry our chosen partners, we have to get out in public and make our voices heard. When we do so, we are often met with ridicule and insults, as when Ms. Wayne equated same-sex marriage and child pornography in her remarks to the House. What an insult to couples living together - and sometimes raising children together - in loving, committed relationships!
Ms. Wayne claims to stand for "family values." Which families is she referring to? Not to families headed by same-sex couples. Not to families with lesbian daughters or gay sons who have welcomed their children's partners into the family circle. What Elsie Wayne stands for are Elsie's values, and never mind that these values exclude the families of some of her own constituents.
Elsie Wayne's remarks perpetuate hatred and ignorance. To quote PC Leader Joe Clark, "As a citizen, she is entitled to express her personal opinions but should be conscious of their impact on others."
May 9, 2003
Dear Ms: Wayne:
We read of your comments in the house yesterday, and we must say that you and your views truly disgust us. We know you do not speak for the Conservative Party, as your present leader, Mr. Joe Clark as spoken out in favour of our right to marry. Also, one of the leadership candidates, Mr. Brisson is an openly gay man. You don't speak on behalf of your many gay and lesbian constituents, or their families. Who do you speak for Ms. Wayne? Are you a spokesperson for the homophobic, and bigoted Alliance Party, if so perhaps you should cross the floor.
You remark; why do they have to appear in parades, we don't ride on floats to show that we are married. No that's true, but you don't have to. You can legally walk down the aisle and marry the person you love. We on the other hand can't do that, at least not until July 13, 2004. If you think that gay and lesbian folk flaunt their sexuality, I suggest that the next time you walk down the street in either St. John or Ottawa, you open your eyes and see what's going on. I'm sure that you will see the same sort of happenings that we out here in Vancouver are accustomed to. Everywhere we look we can see heterosexuals kissing in front of us, holding hands without shame, dancing together, and even laying close beside the one they love on the beach. Shame, shame, shame, that we in the homosexual community must be forced to watch heterosexuals continually flaunt their lifestyle in our faces.
The best advice we can offer you Ms. Wayne , is that it might be best that you say nothing at all, because it is rather obvious that what you do say makes little real sense.
May 10, 2003
Dear Ms. Wayne:
As the Atlantic Region (male) Representative on the Board of Directors of Egale, Canada I am writing to express how appalled and ashamed I was as a Canadian to hear and read your recent comments made concerning gays and lesbians and the fact that you feel we are not entitled to our rights of full equality under the laws of this country. What shocked me most was the venomous tone to your voice and the look of total disgust on your face as you voiced your hateful and homophobic remarks before the nation. Even more appalling and disgraceful, is the fact that you took the liberty as a Member of Parliament to voice these hateful comments on the floor of the House of Commons, a total abuse of your position as a Member of Parliament.
As a politician, you do not only represent the riding of Saint John. You are elected in that riding but your mandate is to represent the people of Canada. While you are entitled to your views and beliefs, that does not give you leave to incite such hateful and homophobic rhetoric in an institution which is supposed to value, respect and protect all of it's citizens. Earlier this week I read an article in which the homophobic Rev. Fred Phelp's clan demonstrated at the funeral service for the children's television hero, Mr. Rogers. Picketers held signs saying that "Mr. Rogers is in hell" and accused Mr. Rogers of being gay and stating that "he was a faggot who poisoned children's minds". One picketer carried a sign saying "Thank God for September 11th". Well, Ms. Wayne, in my humble opinion, the comments made by yourself are every bit as damning and destructive as those of the Phelp's followers. Your choice of venue was no better.
Even more appalling is the fact that you linked homosexuality with child pornography and sexual predators of little children. Whether this was done purposely or not has yet to be determined but the affects of such messages is very damaging. It is this type of hate-mongering and homophobia that has a very adverse affect on the youth of our country, particularly youth who may be questioning their sexuality. They are very severely influenced and affected by such messages of hatred and condemnation, which can leave them scarred for life. Some even decide to end their lives. How shameful of us as a nation that we not only allow, but breed such hate and contempt within the walls of the very institution that was founded on the basis of justice and equality for all. How very sad that the religious views and beliefs of some can be used to condemn and oppress our community without compunction. You harbor your hate and contempt for the gay and lesbian community, yet it would appear that you know nothing about us - at least nothing factual. The views that you put forth are filled with rhetoric and misconceptions. Despite your distorted views on homosexuality Ms. Wayne, not all gays "dress up as women", and not all lesbians ride motorbikes, though there is nothing wrong with those who do. We are all very important and productive members of society.
The views you put forth do not reflect the views of Canadians. Public opinion polls have shown that the majority of Canadians agree that gays and lesbians are entitled to equal rights, and that includes the right to full and equal access to marriage. Are you that out of touch with your constituents? Perhaps, as it has been suggested, this is the end of an era for politician Elsie Wayne. One can only hope. The honourable thing to do would be to step down as Deputy Leader of your party and resign your post as Member of Parliament. But that is not likely to happen. So to conclude I would like to leave you with the following suggestion. In your comments you said, and I quote, "If they are going to live together, they can go live together and shut up about it. There is not any need for this nonsense whatsoever and we should not have to tolerate it in Canada". My suggestion would be that you follow your own advice. We would all be much better off for it.
May 10, 2003
Dear Mrs. Wayne,
It was with much disgust and outrage that I write to you regarding your hateful and hurtful comments in the House of Commons this past Thursday.
To think that someone who holds public office and, as Deputy Leader of the "Progressive" Conservatives, represents people across Canada could put on such a display of narrow-mindedness as you did that day. To have an opinion is human -- to propagate misinformation and hatred is inexcusable. It is irresponsible and it is wrong. You should be ashamed of yourself.
As for getting up on floats once a year, we get to do that once a year at a gay pride parade. "Straight" people don't need to because they get to celebrate themselves and their love every day in front of our faces. From the older heterosexual couple holding hands to the teenage boy and girl kissing on the sidewalk, your sexuality is shoved down our throats everywhere we go. You and your husband can walk down the street hand in hand and no one would notice. If my partner, Larry, and I were to walk down the street the same way, we would be verbally harrassed -- perhaps worse. So pardon me if we make a big deal once in a while. We don't get to flaunt it in public like straight people do every day. And Larry and I don't walk around in dresses or get up on floats in them. My jeans are quite comfy thanks. But I will defend anyone who wants to.
I think making a big deal about injustices is a good thing. If it weren't for people making a big deal out of women not having the right to vote, you wouldn't be Deputy Leader of the Progressive Conservatives. You would be considered a second-class citizen of Canada, much like I am right now, thanks to people like you. Glory be to God to live in Canada indeed!
Jason Curl, New Brunswick
May 12, 2003
Dear Ms. Wayne:
The disparaging remarks that you made against gays and same-sex marriage on 08 May 2003 are deplorably unacceptable. As a Canadian citizen, I am appalled with your words and revolted that you are a member of Parliament.
Your statements indicate your outdated and bigoted perception of the world, and that you understand very little of our social fabric.
Shame on you, Madam, shame on you! It's time to come out of the cave.
Professor Nicla Gargano, Hamilton, Ontario
May 13, 2003
Dear Ms. Wayne,
On behalf of the New Democratic Youth of Canada and scores of Canadians in general, I would like to express my shock and outrage regarding your recent comments on same-sex marriage. There is no reason for you to spout such words towards any group of people, and I am distressed that you, a Member of our esteemed Parliament, would choose to go against the spirit of acceptance and diversity, which are supposed to be trademarks of our society.
Sexual minorities have made many advances over the years. Scores of us are now out and open in society, living happier, more meaningful, lives. Your suggestion that if two people of the same sex are going to live together, "They can go live together and shut up about it" is both offensive as it is saddening. Same-sex couplehood is, I would like to stress, already a fact of life. There is no rational reason why a committed couple of the same sex cannot participate in the rights, privileges and responsibilities of marriage. As well, our courts have ruled that anything less will not do. For, as Victor Hugo wrote, "There is nothing so irresistible as an idea whose time has come." As a gay man and proud Canadian, I am personally hurt that you would act in such a manner. I ask that you apologize to all Canadians as your actions hail from an era of intolerance to which the majority of us would loathe returning to.
May 14, 2003
Her [Elsie Wayne's] complaint included the phrase, "historical definition of marriage". Who's definition? The Norse had roughly a dozen variants. The early Irish had 17. Various African cultures have multiple variants. Then there's the concept of the polygamous marriages that exist in other cultures.
Which "marriage" is she defending? I would hate to believe that someone who is supposed to be an honourable member of the Canadian Parliament, and therefore divorced from the church, for purposes of policy, is defending a Judeo-Christian theory. Sadly, that's exactly what it appears she's doing. Feh.
I'm writing a letter to the lady asking her to study her cultural history before she spouts off with phrases like "historical definition".
Good luck, fellows.
May 15, 2003
Dear MP Elsie Wayne,
You are a disgrace to this nation. I am a heterosexual female and I am outraged by your comments opposing same sex marriage. Children are born into trailer parks, raised without loving parents, abandoned in dumpsters and used as leverage in divorce court every day. They are the product of so called "normal" relationships endorsed entirely by people like you simply because they are heterosexual. Why don't you concentrate on your own family and leave the trials of facing homosexuality to people who actually care. How can you support the crumbling institution of traditional marriage when in this day in age it barely exists.
I hope you are prepared to answer questions about your own sexuality considering your hateful behaviour clearly illustrates your secret attraction to women. Is it the act of love that bothers bigots like yourself? Is it that a hetero family is viewed in a loving "hand in hand on the beach" kind of way regardless of their quiet fetish for sexual abuse, bestiality or perhaps paedophilia?
Homosexuals, on the other hand, are immediately viewed as sexual deviants and cannot be mentioned without images of oral sex or sodomy flashing in your mind. You create this stigma for them. Maybe instead of envisioning men fellating each other or women sucking each others breasts try imagining them working, eating supper with family, celebrating birthdays and paying taxes. Perhaps if you could get past sexual preference you would see that homosexuals have a right to live life as you do. They have a right to be married, have children and show their love openly and honestly.
Your intolerence and outdated attitude has no place in the House of Commons. I hope you feel shame for the horrible pain you put people through as you chip away at their self respect. People who did not choose their sexual orientation but are forced to live in a world where people like you hate them for no reason at all. 75% of singles ad in newspapers or on the internet are placed by married men. Unhappy married men looking for cheap thrills with a young woman or surprise surprise....with a man! Perhaps your spouse is one of them. Perhaps you need to re-think the perfect 1950's bubble you're living in.
Erin Argue, Victoria, BC
May 17, 2003
Dear Mrs. Wayne,
I am sending this letter to you in regards to your comments made on Thursday, May 8th, 2003 towards the gay & lesbian community. I am an 18-year-old gay male residing in New Brunswick. I was very offended, and hurt by your remarks. They were made at the wrong time, place and were completely uncalled for.
To the best of my knowledge, the politicians of this country hold positions because they wish to speak for the public communities and not against them, to make a positive difference, instead of a prejudiced one. Mrs. Wayne, how would you feel if you were walking down the street with your partner hand in hand, and the entire time you were getting looks of disgust and disapproval from everyone around you? How would you feel if every time you turned around, you were being ridiculed for who you are? Mrs. Wayne, you should be absolutely ashamed of what you have said. I am 18 years old and look at what you have said about me and many others like me! Do you realize what ramifications your words could have on others? Right now there could be some 14 year old boy who is already struggling with his sexual orientation, and because of you he could be contemplating suicide, because he does not want to have to deal with the atrocious judgements people like you make! Mrs. Wayne, I am absolutely appalled!
Personally, I do feel that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, however, hurtful opinions such as your own should be kept to ones self. If you had have kept your opinion to yourself, perhaps you would not be in the predicament you are in right now; getting criticism from your fellow politicians, or receiving letters such as this one.
Mrs. Wayne, when it comes to the gay & lesbian community "getting on floats" why shouldn’t we? Can’t we have just one day out of a 365 day year to be heard; considering the other 364 days are heterosexual pride? We have the right to he heard! How do you think women got to where they are today? They marched in parades and got on floats to let the world know that they have the right to be heard, that they have the right to vote, and that they have the right to be in the work force! It was called the suffragette movement Mrs. Wayne, and with out it, you would not hold the position you do. How do you think black people got to where they are today? They marched; they got on floats to let the world know that they have the right to be heard and they have the right to vote, and that slavery is wrong! Martin Luther King Jr. comes to mind.
The point is Mrs. Wayne, people do want to get up on floats to let the world know that they are gay, they are proud to be gay, that there is nothing wrong with being gay, that they deserve to be heard, and that they deserve the same rights as everyone else; that is there right and you nor anyone else can keep them from doing it! I am proud to be gay, I will never deny that I am, and I am usually proud to be Canadian, but at times like this I am not proud to live in this "free?" country.
When it comes to the "tradition" of marriage, Mrs. Wayne, I am wondering of what "tradition" you speak. By "tradition" of marriage do you in fact mean the tradition of divorce? Do you mean families that have a step-father, a father, a mother a step-mother, a brother, two step brother’s, two step sister’s, and a half sister? There is no longer a "tradition" of marriage. I do feel that if people of the same sex want to get married that it is their right! This is supposed to be a free country, where everyone is equal. We are all different, some have different sexual orientations, some have different colored skin, some have different ethnic backgrounds, some have different religions, but we are all equal, or at least supposed to be, but because of people like you and your opinions, we are not all viewed as equals. We all bleed, we all cry, we all have feelings.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this e-mail, and hearing the opinion of this one PROUD, GAY CANADIAN, who will never "shut up". Mrs. Wayne, "there is not any need for this nonsense whatsoever and we should not have to tolerate it" or you at that "in Canada", so please, "shut up".
In search of equality,
Matthew MacBeth, with:
May, 20, 2003
I notice that your site hasn't reported anything about Bill C-250 and the rather shocking attempt by the Liberal Party to pack the Justice Committee with homophobes on the very day the vote was to be taken! I realize this isn't directly related to same-sex marriage, but it certainly is of interest, and I'm not finding out enough about it. It reminds me of something one would read about happening in Alabama rather than in Canada...one might call it "HOMOGATE"!
Svend Robinson accused Justice Minister Cauchon as being behind the plot, but when I wrote to Kim Lunman, who had written the article in the "Globe and Mail". She reported that the Government Whip, Marlene Catterall, chose the "substitutes" (possibly on Cauchon's orders). I wrote to the absent members to see why they didn't appear for the vote, but received no replies.
Thanks again for your great site. I guess the next big news on the marriage front will be to see whether Cauchon appeals the BC decision and whether the futile appeal of the Quebec decision goes forward. After that, we'll have to see whether the Ontario Court of Appeal stays with the June 2004 date or speeds things up a bit (though, since their decision isn't due until Fall 2003, I wouldn't doubt they'll go with June 2004 also).
Regards, Frank Compton
We share your outrage about how Bill C-250 has been handled in the Justice Committee. Like many others, we have written to the Justice Minister to complain and ask for his support. We have also written to Svend to thank him for his efforts. And we have signed an online petition that was circulated. In addition, we have placed graphic links (animated ads) on our home page, in April, and now scattered within our site on multiple pages, linking to Svend's web site and his page about Bill C-250.
However, we are attempting to keep the scope of our site restricted to same- sex marriage. We appreciate the popularity of our site with our many visitors (2 to 3 thousand unique visitors per day). As it grows, supporters like you hope to see us cover other issues related to rights and protections. Perhaps this is a sign of how poorly others are covering and addressing the issues, or maybe this is an indicator of the broad expectations people place on our own advocacy efforts. With the greatest respect, we feel we must keep focussed on the issues related to same-sex marriage, otherwise we risk diluting our efforts and diminishing our effectiveness.
Perhaps when we achieve full and equal marriage, we will take on other issues, and if we do, I promise you will see us apply ourselves with equal focus, dedication, and I hope effectiveness. Meanwhile, we congratulate you on your own efforts to take ownership for keeping yourself informed and acting on your knowledge.