Gay and Lesbian Update

This monthly column features news and issues affecting gays and lesbians in Canada and around the world. Look for it on the second week of each month, only in The Voice.

The religious right was preparing to boycott Famous Players over what they thought they had given Canadians for Equal Marriage a public service announcement. When the Defend Marriage Coalition learned the ads were paid for, they refused to buy their own. The ads have since been pulled by Famous Players.

Previously against gay marriage, the Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas Riley now says he favours same sex marriage, and will oppose any efforts to ban it. He is a potential Democratic candidate for Governor. “Once rights are given, they should not be taken away,” Thomas Riley told the Boston Globe.

Tory MP Jason Kennedy got in hot water after he suggested that gays and lesbians could indeed marry, just not each other. The Calgary MP made the comments to the Press while in Toronto. The bill to legalize same-sex marriage is being debated in the House of Commons.

The Liberal Party of Canada has endorsed same-sex marriage. At its recent policy convention, members overwhelmingly approved of the government’s bid to legalize it. The bill is expected to go to full vote in June.

The BC government has been paying to treat homosexuality as a mental disorder, they admitted to Doctors have billed the BC Ministry of Health $237,000 between 1999 and 2004 to “cure” homosexuality, even though it’s not considered by any medical or mental health professionals to be a mental disorder. The Ministry says that homosexuality was removed from the code, but could not explain why it was paying doctors to treat this.

The Anglican Communion has asked the Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church to leave the world body. The Church is miffed at the Anglican Church of Canada’s willingness to bless same-sex unions, and is appalled by the election of a gay Bishop to the Episcopal Church in the U.S. Both churches expect the dialogue and debate to continue.

Quote of the Month

“Marriage is open to everybody, as long as they’re a man and a woman… It doesn’t say you can’t marry if you’re a homosexual. The fact is that homosexuals have been married and do marry.”

– Conservative MP Jason Kenney, Feb 13, 2005.