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As I'm sure you well know Canada is on the verge of making one of its most progressive decisions ever. It is planning to finally give gay people the same rights as every other member of our society by allowing us to legally wed.
However, opposition is beginning to build toward this profound ruling. Already various religious and right wing political voices are being raised in objection, all of them hiding their prejudice behind church taught beliefs and supposed religious dogma. The Catholic Church has asked its members to speak out against gay marriage, arguing that allowing gay people to legally love one another contradicts their teachings. Anyone heeding this argument would be well advised to remember that the Catholic Church has also asked its members to restrain from using condoms as protection against AIDS and unwanted pregnancy, making Catholicism, like unsafe sex, one of the main contributors to this worldwide tragedy and directly responsible for millions of deaths.
Recently, on a trip to India, our Prime Minister was also chastised by members of the Sikh religion. Apparently gay marriage also offends the Sikhs, unlike blowing up airplanes or "honor killing" female family members who somehow offend them, which they're apparently fine with.
But the real point here is that while a democracy allows people to worship whomever they like in whatever manner they choose, it doesn't mean that anyone's religious beliefs have the ability to trump the rights of the individual. Church run governments only really exist in certain middle-eastern countries we seem to be fighting to bring democracy to. Canada is known worldwide as a peaceful and highly evolved country. We have distinguished ourselves with our compassion and our fairness. Let's not change that now. It's most important at this time that we do not give in to the carefully cultivated discrimination that our so-called "religious and political leaders" love to foster in order to keep their own desire for control and money ahead of the true Christians teachings of mercy and forgiveness.
The arguments against gay marriage are very emotional and, frankly, never make much sense. If, as the religious right contends, marriage is an institution whose sanctity is somehow threatened by gay marriage, then why do adultery and divorce exist? If, as Conservative Party of Canada pseudo-leader Stephen Harper asserts, this could open the door to all sorts of odd legalized couplings, why are there laws forbidding polygamy, bestiality and the exploitation of children? The truth is, what we're really dealing with here is hatred- the officially sanctioned hatred of an entire group of people simply because they're different from the majority and may, therefore, be denied rights taken for granted by all other people. This is neither Christian, democratic or Canadian.
Certain religious groups as well as certain institutions and individuals fighting to convert the world to their narrow way of thinking have very loud voices. They are well organized and they are media savvy. They know that the best way to get what they want is by creating a climate of fear- and what does anyone fear more than change? And while it's true gay marriage will change society in some way, so did the abolition of slavery and allowing women to vote. Change isn't always a bad thing.
So please, if you believe in equal rights for all Canadians, don't stand on the sidelines while this debate unfolds. Write to your MP, give you opinion to the media, talk to your friends, do whatever you have to in order to be heard because the vocal minority certainly will. There is going to be a battle here and, as with all important battles, it's going to take some effort to win it. Please speak out. It's never been more important.