In Support of Gay Marriage

When I first heard about gay marriage I did not think it terribly important. Gay couples should certainly have all the rights of heterosexual couples, but does it matter if they marry? Isn’t this a tempest in a teapot, a debate about semantics?

No. This is something far more important. The issue is not whether homosexuality is right or wrong, or even about homosexuality at all. This is about who we are and what we stand for. It is about the most noble qualities of our country, about whether Canada is a place of tolerance and diversity or a place of tradition and control. This is about the freedom of every Canadian. Every vote to revoke gay marriage is a vote to revoke my rights also.

For that is what those opposed wish to do: take away rights. Today, at this moment, gays can marry. But some people would roll back the clock. Some claim their faith requires them to restrict the freedom of others, forgetting it is that same freedom which allows them to practise their faith. Some claim that allowing gays to marry will somehow diminish their own relationships. That is their own weakness: they have already surrendered responsibility for their identity to others.

Though I believe homosexuality to be no more a moral issue than the colour green, those who disagree are welcome to their opinions and I will always defend their right to have and to speak those opinions. But such opinions have no place in public policy. Ours is a country governed by rights and freedoms, where individual choice is married to individual responsibility. It is not a country which imposes private morality. Those who oppose gay marriage wish to do just that, and turn our civilization back to a darker age. This must not be permitted. Canada was once an unremarkable land; in half a century we have built a haven of tolerance and diversity. Those who worked this miracle may turn away from their achievement, but their children know freedom and we will not give it up.

I wrote this last year; I thought I had posted it then.

2005-01-22

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