Selection Of Your Comments
May 13, 2004
First, congratulations and thanks for your brave and successful struggle!
Now the question: My partner, Jason, and I are Americans and were married by a Unitarian chaplain in Ontario near Niagara Falls last year (July 18). We waited the requisite 12 weeks and then ordered certificates from the office in Toronto. I just recently gave up on that order and placed a second order, but I was wondering if you had heard of others having this problem. Or, is this typical of all marriages, gay or straight?
Unfortunately, this appears to be a problem for all marriages (and for those asking for birth certificates too). There appears to be systemic problems in managing day-to-day operations. Try complaining to the Ontario Ombudsman's Office: 416-586-3300.
There is also a problem in the legislature. Ontario has yet to change many statutes.
This is a virulently homophobic article that trots out the tired and debunked old arguments against same-sex marriage as though they still hold up. Let's do our part to highlight the outright bigotry, and also let CBC know this sort of commentary should not be presented without at least a caveat. Would they publish anti-Jewish diatribes unchallenged? Would they publish overtly racist rants without comment?
We were copied on this letter to the CBC:
May 19, 2004
I have to tell you that I can't believe that CBC posts this kind of article. It is unacceptable from you. Stop this kind of article. Are you racist? Or are you out of your mind and think that gay people don't deserve to be treated the same as heterosexual people? What is going on? I demand public apologies for this!
Luis Gomez Montreal,
May 19, 2004
Do you know how I respond to Landolt's "viewpoint" hate literature posted at cbc.ca which you posted in the media links at your site? I complained to the cbc and the ombudsperson and told them to take it off their site. I would like to post my comments however, in the space under the article.
May 19, 2004
I cannot believe that, in light of your expressly stated mandate to maintain "accuracy, integrity and fairness in [your] journalism", you would print Gwendolyn Landolt's grossly misinformed drivel attempting to pass itself off as an opinion piece.
As a Canadian who happens to be gay, I demand from you both a public apology and a rigorous application of your policy whereby further expressions of such profound ignorance, if published at all on the CBC website, be accompanied, in the name of the "accuracy, integrity and fairness" to which you are held accountable, by an accompanying piece debunking any lies and fallacious arguments contained therein.
A sorely disappointed and irate viewer,
I was just about sick to my stomach reading Ms Landolt's lies. Her 'viewpoint' is so filled with mis-information, outright lies and sickening hate I am in shock that the CBC would post it - that MY taxes had to go to publish filth and garbage. I hope you remove her "column" forthwith, so that others are not mislead by her hate-powered message.
Where to begin...??? Her opening salvo calls my relationship "completely false". SEZ WHO?
Then she has the gall to say "when an opposite-sex couple enters into marriage, their relationship is much more than just a personal agreement between them based on their feelings for each other, which is the case with same-sex relationships". How dare she attempt to reduce, demean and diminish my marriage to such trivial things as "feelings"? Is that what her so-called "marriage" is? How would she feel if others were to say that of her relationship?
She SAYS heterosexual marriages are "a public commitment to society to provide a home and role models for the rearing of children". Since when? All 3 of my very heterosexual sisters were married (two of them twice) and not once were their intentions to provide a home or role model for children ever even questioned. They were not brought up when the ministers asked all of the legal questions. Two of them have children, the other does not.
She SAYS, it is "irrelevant that some heterosexual couples are infertile or choose not to have children", but she neglects to say why it is irrelevant. It is not a requirement of marriage.
She SAYS "one of its main purposes is to procreate". Again, pure and utter hogwash. People who are not married procreate all the time, and many, many heterosexuals do not procreate within marriage. Similarly, many gay people have children - by previous marriages, by adption, by artificial insemination, etc. Are our families to be denied equal protections, rights, responsibilities before the law? And if so, why? Surely not just because Ms Landolt doesn't like or approve of us. Surely not because of the false premises she puts forth in the Viewpoint column. Does she really have such a low opinion of the institution as to reduce it to mere baby-making factory status?
She SAYS, "These differences include relationship duration (as homosexual relationships last only a fraction of the length of time of most marriages “ between two and three years"). [This is] a bald-faced lie from the pit of hell. My friends Bobbi and Flo were together for 47 years! The first lesbian couple married in San Francisco in February have been together 52 years. I have been with my partner for close to twenty years. She is so full of shit, her eyes must be brown.
She SAYS, "The fundamental capacity for faithfulness is axiomatic to the institution of marriage". Um, tell that to the British Royal Family, several cabinet ministers, not a few MPs, Presidents, congressmen, etc. Surely she knows the sad saga of Liberal MP Tom Wappell leaving his sick wife so that he could marry his secretary. Or maybe she hasn't heard about Art Eggleton's little trip to Rome to have his "marriage" of what, 19 years? annulled so that he could marry his secretary.
She SAYS "If homosexuals and lesbians truly desired the same kind of commitment signified by marriage, then one would expect them to take advantage of the opportunity to enter into marriage or civil unions or registered partnerships." Did she forget that we have only had the first option for less than a year now, and the second option is so second-class that perhaps she should consider it for herself first. See if she likes it.
She SAYS, "According to the 2001 census, only .05 per cent of same-sex couples cohabitate in Canada." Actually, only that many people had the courage to admit it on a government form. Wait til the next census. Besides, how many people makes such discrimination justifiable?
She SAYS, "It is well documented that same-sex relationships include many serious health risks, such as mental health problems, substance abuse, and a greater risk of suicide." Well, I could deconstruct this and examine the real reasons gay people might have mental health problems. Could it just possibly be that so many people like Landolt have spent their entire lives telling us we are sick and in need of curing or healing? Just asking. I mean, can you imagine growing up being told you are evil incarnate? It might just have a bit of an effect, don't you think?
She SAYS "Homosexuals experience a significantly reduced life expectancy" but has no facts to back up this slur either.
She SAYS, "There is also a much higher level of violence in same-sex relationships as research indicates that domestic violence affects half of same-sex couples." Oddly, she doesn't cite the "research". Wonder why?
She SAYS, "Family studies also show that children reared by same-sex parents are more likely to experience sexual involvement with their parents" Now this is just plain sick and twisted. I personally know at least 3 dozen such children and I know from experience that Ms Lanndolt is lying through her teeth on this. Has she not heard the admonition against "bearing false witness against her [gay and lesbian] neighbours"?
She SAYS our children are more likely "to be homosexual/lesbian in orientation". Completely, utterly and demonstrably wrong. Maybe she should ask the very real children of some real live gay people (not that she knows any) - she can check out COLAGE (Children Of Lesbians And Gays Everywhere) and find some realities.
She SAYS, "Homosexuals have a right to choose their lifestyle". That's mighty 'white' of ya, Massa Landolt. I 'chose" my lifestyle - of love and kindness, committment and passion, working for freedom, justice, equality, dignity - things Landolt apparently knows nothing about. My husband and I are long-term, participating members of our Church. Being gay is not a lifestyle, it is simply part of our lives.
Trouble is, Landolt doesn't just stop there; she adds, "but, it is detrimental to the rearing of children". Pure hogwash. If she'd like, I can put her in touch with several such children and she will readily see how wrong she is.
She has the nerve to ask, "how can marriage be denied to those who want to marry a child, or a sibling, or more than one spouse". Where does she get these ideas from? I know of no one who wants to marry a child or a brother or sister, and the only people I know of who want more than one spouse seem to be heterosexual men. I'm surprised she didn't compare our relationships to beasiality or necrophilia. (Others have.) She really does need a reality check, or at least a humanity check, 'cuz she seems sorely lacking in both fields.
She asks, "Once we start expanding the definition of marriage on the basis of equality and non-discrimination, how will it be possible to exclude anyone?" Well actually, gay people are the only ones that are excluded. Heck, even Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka were permitted to marry - murderers, child molesters, etc can all get married - so long as they're heterosexual. Some recommendation that is.
She SAYS, allowing gays to marry "will bleach out the central features of opposite-sex marriage that now provides cultural affirmation, support and encouragement to married couples who make the tremendous sacrifice to give birth to and rear children". The truth is that cultural affirmation, support and encouragement ought to be given to all couples who marry, regardless of their intent or ability to give birth and rear children. And it is time society gave that same cultural affirmation, support and encouragement to all couples who wish to have their love affirmed publicly and acknowledged by the state. I am praying that Landolt will be healed of her hatred.
I am also praying that you will take such twisted filth off the CBC website.
Yours in anger,
May 19, 2004
Thank you for pointing out that horrible column! I wrote immediately to the CBC and the Ontario ombudmans, both. Yikes!
May 19, 2004
Last night (May 18th) CTS's show "Nite Lite" [Christian Television] had it's host and a woman who claimed her father had died of AIDS on their phone in talk show about "The Consequences of Growing up in a Homosexual Household" You can imagine how the show was! The woman claimed her father had countless partners (as all homosexuals do) and contracted AIDS - which they made seem that all homosexuals will get...this is 2004!?
... I watched for as long as I could stomach it ... What shocked me was the host and her both saying "only a small maybe 2% of homosexual radicals" are for same-sex marriage and I looked up at my wall at the pic of Harvey Milk and remembered his words "You've gotta come out..you've gotta give them hope"
I hope that those on this list will urge ALL of their friends to speak up and not allow these demented folk to use their broken record misinformed hate rhetoric over and over!
Very Best Wishes
May 19, 2004
In contrast to your article, it's interesting what is happening in British Columbia:
As part of our own Gay Guesthouse business, we have been arranging gay weddings since last June and have hosted a number of gay weddings at our Guesthouse. We have found the Provincial Marriage Commissioners whom we have dealt with to be very positive and sincere in their dealings with our same sex guests/clients. In our case at least, we have found them to be very accommodating in helping our guests to structure a ceremony to meet their personal and religious beliefs. The ceremonies have all been wonderful.
May 20, 2004
Hi Kevin and Joe,
I just wanted to let you in on an interesting experience that I had today. I had written a book called "Aunt Susans Wedding" over ten years ago for my two daughters to celebrate the upcoming marriage of my sister and her girlfriend Sherrie. My children at the time were five and six.
This past week I came upon the manuscript and after showing it to many people (including a classroom of children) I was encouraged to submit it to publishers. I found a few who I felt would be more open minded. (like what's the big deal ?) I wrote to Green Leaf Publishing to ask for their submission guidline. The publisher himself replied with the submissions info as well as a letter telling me that "We would not be interested in a story about a gay wedding."
Now I know this company has a nice selection of picture books. How do companies condone princesses and purple ogres true love and not two consenting human women ?
Just an interesting point of view.
Ease, Joy and Glory,
May 21, 2004
Consenting adults seeking legal recognition of their life-long, monogamous, committed relationships that happen to love another person of the same gender are supported in their fight to obtain legal recognition of their relationships by the following organizations:
There are just as many statistics that can be quoted to support equal marriage as are posted by Ms. Landolt.
We need only to look next door in our own communities or tune in to the news to see that polygamy, incest, domestic violence, promiscuity, childless marriages, mental health problems, substance abuse, decreases in life expectancy, suicide and many other societal problems exist, have existed and continue to rise at an alarming rate among the self-declared heterosexual community.
Ms. Landolt refers to census statistics in her article. Self-declaring as a same-gender couple can be a dangerous undertaking for most people. Let’s face it, even though laws exist to protect people from discrimination, job security, community retaliation, family estrangement and the like still exist. In addition, same-gender couples cannot accurately report that they are “married” because they are not afforded the right to marry. The existence of individuals in committed same-gender relationships is certainly underrepresented due to the reasons noted above.
“Marriage” has evolved over time from early human development where a man would drag a woman to his cave and own her to a contractual obligation involving property rights, then into a religious ceremony and now to a public declaration of love and commitment. At one time in our collective history, interracial marriages, interdenominational marriages, 2nd marriages, single-parent families and blended households were all looked upon with the fear and distain expressed in Ms. Landolt’s letter.
Equal marriage is providing individuals who are in love and voluntarily enter into a life-long commitment to one partner will not open the proverbial floodgates to all kinds of social ills. Legalizing equal marriage will provide all of Canada’s citizens with the right to choose – with equal rights for all.
and Stefphany Cholakis
May 22, 2004
I just read the essay, "Same-sex Unions Are Not Marriages," by Gwendolyn Landolt, National Vice-President of REAL Women of Canada, on your web site ...
All along, I thought that Canadians were kind, decent, moral, kind, and tolerant people. I have always had a very high regard for Canada's diversity and fairness. Then I read this column, and my idols came crashing down!
Ms. Landolt must have a very special sort of tunnel vision to find obscure references to back up her point while completely missing the vast ocean of scientific data that disagrees with her. She doesn't even deal with it! Nevertheless, there is a plus side; she has a special talent that would come in handy if anyone drops a contact lens.
I think you have a duty to print opposing views, but also I think you have a responsibility to make sure that those views are connected in some way to reality, and that the writer is actually qualified to have an opinion on the subject--if only to save the writer from embarrassment when their ignorance is found out. For example, if you printed an article by an astronomer, would you print an "opposing view" from the Flat Earth Society? So I ask, who was on vacation when this got out? Why wasn't Ms. Landolt referred to a supermarket tabloid, which is a more appropriate venue for her work?
I don't know what disappoints me more; that she would debase herself by writing it, that you would take advantage of her by publishing it, or that there are otherwise decent Canadians who actually think she has a point.
May 31, 2004
I was deeply offended to read the column written by Gwendolyn Landolt published on May 18. I found it not only to be highly inaccurate, but highly insulting to all: homosexuals and heterosexuals, married and unmarried. Had this column been written about any other minority group, I am sure the CBC would have immediately realized that it constitutes hate speech and never have published it. As it stands, I am ashamed that our national media organization stood behind it.
I am not denying Ms. Landolt's freedom of opinion or speech. I also recognize the right of same-sex couples to marry is a controversial issue. However, Ms. Landolt's column contains many arguments which are not only false but highly offensive.
She first implies that a heterosexual marriage is intended to provide a stable home for children, while a homosexual relationship is not. She also states that it is `irrelevant that some heterosexual couples are infertile.' This second statement is neither clarified nor backed up, with respect to the first. I for one would like to know if she is considering heterosexual couples who choose not to have children rather than those who biologically cannot, single-parent households, and couples who choose to adopt their children rather than give birth (heterosexual or homosexual.) It seems to me somewhat fallacious to claim that one exception to her rule is `irrelevant' while others are meaningful.
I think that many of the currently married people I know would be offended to be told that one of the `main purposes' of their marriage is to procreate. True, many married people have children, but it is certainly not demanded of them -- not by law, and not by society in general.
Ms Landolt's statements concerning the duration of relationships are also both offensive and inaccurate. She compares the durations of heterosexual marriages -- which are formalized and planned, and not generally entered into lightly -- with all homosexual relationships. One can suppose that the average duration of all relationships, from one-night-stands to marriages, would not differ so greatly between homosexuals and heterosexuals.
Her claim that (all) homosexuals are promiscuous is a false generalization, and inapplicable to the argument at hand. The question before Canadians is if homosexuals should be allowed the right to marry, not if all homosexuals should marry. Those who are promiscuous would probably not marry, just as those heterosexuals who are promiscuous (a demographic which Ms Landolt conveniently neglects) generally do not.
I could go on. However, I am sure that the outrage sparked by this `article' will have generated many emails like my own, covering most salient points.
The CBC should be ashamed to have printed this unabashed piece of hate speech. It demonizes the homosexual community, who comprise a significant portion of Canadian voters and taxpayers. Neither does it do justice to those who oppose extending the definition of marriage to include homosexual couples -- most of whom (excluding Ms Landolt, we can suppose) are reasonable, intelligent people who are not filled with hatred and xenophobia.
I believe that the citizens of Canada, of all sexual orientations and marital statuses, deserve a prompt apology from the CBC.
Thank you very much,
Sara Janes (Toronto)