The great, former US President Ronald Reagan was once quoted as saying that he didn't care what kind of relations two mature adults had in private--as long as they didn't do it in the streets and scare the horses. My take exactly. Unlike some of my conservative colleagues, I really couldn't care less what grown men and women do in their bedrooms, or even what kind of gender-bending they may engage in behind closed doors. However, some liberalizing moves--specifically those reverberating from north of the 49th parallel--should be cause for concern.
Liberalism has long been associated with the concept of progress. It's a knee-jerk link. Liberals are viewed as being socially progressive, while conservatives are all too often portrayed as stuffy, knuckle-dragging throwbacks from an era when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Granted we can thank the liberal media and a few mouth-breathing paleocons straight out of "central casting"--like the now-late Strom Thurmond, and Trent Lott--for helping to foster this unfortunate image; however, it's the brand of extreme liberalism that's being foisted onto some North Americans that is really about as anti-progressive as you could possibly get. Unless, of course, you consider Soddom and Gomorrah "progressive" societies.
The US Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, has recently struck down a Texas sodomy law prohibiting homosexual hanky-panky. Many hard-right conservatives immediately shifted into auto-panic, wondering what the heck had happened to this supposed right-leaning high court. Well, it looks as though the common-sense Reagan Conservatives on the bench prevailed in this one. It's time for the paleocons to simmer down and realize that the fact that two adult men can now legally engage in "sword fighting" or "sausage fests" in the bedroom doesn't mean that America is going to implode. Besides, let's be realistic, shall we? Do we really want police forces throughout the USA peeking into the bedrooms of citizens to clamp down on the behavior that Judge Antonin Scalia (who wrote the Supreme Court's minority report on the case) finds so objectionable? The feds should focus first on finding bin Laden, then bringing Saddam Hussein and Enron's Ken Lay to justice--and THEN maybe America can deal with the sexual habits of "Will and Grace". Unless, of course, the impeccable fashion sense of gay men is cause for elevating the Homeland Security color level from "code orange" to "code flaming-bright periwinkle".
What is of serious concern, however, is the further step recently taken by the Canadian courts--and the impact the move may have on the US. The Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled that the prohibition of same-sex marriage constitutes an infringement of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As of the decision, American and Canadian gay couples have fled to Ontario to be united in holy matrimony. As far as I'm concerned, the gay community can have all the freedom it wants, but it has no right to usurp and corrupt a sacred, deeply-engrained, religious tradition that lies at the very foundation of our western culture.
There was nothing more disturbing than watching gays flitting around Toronto with rainbow-colored "just married" signs, and flashing matching groom wedding bands. If they want to invent some kind of civil event to cement their commitment to each other, then fine; but to make a mockery of a sacred event that is, by its very definition, the most meaningful possible union between a man and a woman, is absolutely unjustifiable. And at what point do we draw the line now? Maybe people can start dragging their cats and dogs to the altar in order to legitimize the special relationship between pet and pet-owner? Give me a break.
For the court to use the equality clause of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to justify homosexual marriage is a total cop-out. The clause was never intended to be applied in this way--nor should it ever have been left up to the courts to interpret the legislation in order to socially re-engineer society. But unfortunately, because constitutional amendment in Canada requires the total consensus of all provinces and territories for three years, the real power in the country lies not in the hands of Parliamentarians, but with the select few Liberal-appointed cronies that make up the high courts of the land. This is exactly why all the constant whining and chest-thumping by the conservative Canadian Alliance opposition about amending the constitution to allow for an elected senate isn't good for anything--except maybe for putting on a good show to make the Parliamentary Affairs Channel a little less coma-inducing. Thankfully for the Alliance, the voting public doesn't understand that Senate reform is nothing but a pipe-dream.
That's right: No judicial confirmation hearings, no elected Senate, no real power to make any amendments to the constitution. Woe, Canada!
It's now fully expected that Jean Chretien's overwhelming Liberal majority will use the court decision as a catalyst for passing legislation to formally legitimize same-sex unions--all while the right sits and stews in total frustration, but has no real power to do anything about it. By contrast, in the US, George W. Bush now has the opportunity to preempt any attempt to legalize gay marriage--and he has numbers in both the House and the Senate working in his favor. So far, Bush has declined to endorse an amendment to the US Constitution banning the legalization of homosexual unions; however, he has firmly stated that he supports the notion that marriage is strictly between a man and a woman. No doubt that if the rumblings about same-sex marriage get any louder, Bush won't hesitate to take measures to quell them--and rightfully so; but Bush had better do so soon, while he's still in the driver's seat. One would hate to think what might happen should such an issue be left for a liberal Democrat to deal with somewhere down the line.
Is it any wonder that the annual United Nations standard of living ranking has just listed Canada in 8th place--trailing even America now? In the past few years, Canada has slid from first place, to third place, and now down to a dismal eighth. Perhaps it has a little something to do with the ongoing flood of immigrants who are unable to communicate in either official language, or the fact that the new liberal mayor of Vancouver (Canada's third-largest city and newly-declared 2010 Olympic Games host) thinks that progress is about providing a "safe", government-sponsored place for heroin junkies to shoot up in the middle of the city's tourist district. Or, just maybe, it has something to do with the notion that in trying to be so socially liberal, my homeland is starting to look about as appealingly progressive as the cesspool of Soddom and Gomorrah.
As much as the United Nations and the USA are constantly butting heads, maybe the fact that America is now ranked ahead of Canada on the UN list is a testament to George W. Bush's brand of balanced, common-sense, conservative governance--and Canada's descent into Liberal Hell.