Resisting the pull of cynicism since 1969.

Monday, June 06, 2005

The strange, narrow world of Pat O'Brien, former politician

Okay, here's the thing. I support equal rights for everyone, including for committed relationships of gay people, straight people, bisexual people, or any combination of the above. This means, among other things, that if women can marry men, I think they should be able to marry women, too--simple logic. In the interest of full disclosure, I'll also state that I'm queer myself, so hypothetically I could stand to benefit from any laws that extend more rights to queer people. But I can't help but react with some amusement to the fact that in a day and age when we're dealing with the threat of international terrorism, people being killed overseas in wars and genocides, various scary environmental crises, and all parties in Ottawa save the NDP acting like children most of the time, the single issue everybody in the friggin' country has a strong opinion on is...whether a certain segment of the population should be allowed to legally marry. I mean, isn't that just a little bit silly?

Oh, I can understand reactions of mild pleasure over this issue among supporters, (since any new rights that we didn't have before are good things), and I can see reactions of mild distaste among people who would rather not be reminded that queer people exist in the first place. But I don't get why anybody's legal marriage should arouse feelings of outrage or ecstacy in anyone. It's just a relationship contract, people. A private relationship contract that affects no one other than the people who decide to sign it, and only changes a few minor life circumstances for those people, too. Either way things go on Bill C-38, no one's going to die, and nobody's going to be saved. It's not going to bail anyone out of a horrible fate, and it's not going to condemn anyone to one.

This is why I can't react to Pat O'Brien's defection with anything but laughter. If he really thinks this one little issue is worth torpedoing his career over, then he's even more of an idiot than I'd realized.

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