Saturday, April 2, 2011

Canada a Generation Ahead of USA on LGBT Rights

Gay Pride, Toronto 2008
Yesterday, blogger friend Tom Rimington from Virginia quoted from a post I wrote in January about Canadian Gay Friendly High Schools.    Thanks Tom; it's pretty exciting to be recognized!   Tom's observation was (I think) that the USA is far behind Canada in LGBT acceptance.

Since I wrote that post three months ago, I have gradually come out to many family members, friends and close colleagues.  From this personal experience, I am more convinced than ever that there is an incredibly high degree of acceptance of  LGBT people throughout Canadian society.  I haven't had a single negative response!

The provocative title of this post is just my own opinion, but I'm sure that I am right.    As I posted a couple of months ago in Canadian Same-Sex Couples Celebrated 10th Anniversary, Canadian gays and lesbians have had full marriage rights for over 10 years.   This means full rights, not just the partial rights of a "civil partnership" which exists in many European countries and  a few states.  Since one generation is usually thought to be 25 - 30 years long, the USA is already nearly one-half a generation behind Canada.  Does anyone think that every LGBT citizen from every American state will achieve full marriage rights in 10 - 20 years?  Not likely!!


Canada, in fact, has been a world leader in LGBT acceptance since the 1960s.  On Dec. 22, 1967, defending the decriminalization of homosexual behaviour, Pierre Elliott Trudeau famously said:

"The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation."    

In the USA, there are states such as Texas which have sodomy laws still on the books, although these laws are generally regarded as being invalid by a 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision.

In 1992, Canada was one of the first nations in the world to  lift the ban on gays and lesbians serving in the military.   Every study on the effect of lifting this ban, including some major US ones, have shown that there have been no negative effects whatsoever resulting from lifting the ban on military gays.  Every one of the USA's military allies agree:  allowing gays in the military is a non-issue.

Today, in fact, Canadian same-sex military personnel occasionally get married on armed forces bases with the ceremonies officiated by senior officers.   The Canadian military now has members participating in Pride parades.  The main objective is to raise the Canadian military's profile as a "employer of choice" among all Canadians including those in the LGBT community. 

Nearly 20 years later,  Obama is still farting around about DADT.  As my grandfather used to say, "Take a shit, or get off the pot!!"

I have always been enormously proud of my country based on the treatment of all its citizens.  This feeling is reinforced every time I travel to other countries, including the USA, when I observe the conditions under which others live.  My "coming-out" has just intensified my feelings of Canadian pride.  My Canadian citizenship is one of my proudest possessions!
Canadian Military at Toronto Pride 2008:  look at how much fun they're having!  Proud soldiers!

8 comments:

  1. If class warfare breaks out in America (Good vs. Republican), Greg and I are coming to your house. Hope you don't mind.

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  2. Whenever my babbo says Canada is full of gays, I just want to pack my bag and go there right away.

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  3. Buddy Bear: First I apologize for not giving you a heads up that I borrowed your post (totally unlike me)... Secondly, when Michael came home from work last night I told him I wanted to move and become a Canadian...

    I am so happy that you enjoy such an embracing society. I will be (at least) one more generation before the ass-hat politicians on this side of the border "Get It"...

    Regards
    Tom

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  4. All that and healthcare too!

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  5. Cubby: You're welcome any time.... I have lot of room!! I don’t think your situation will improve anytime soon as politics in the USA continues to become increasingly polarized.

    The opposite trend is happening in Canada. We are in the middle of an election campaign here and at times, it’s hard to tell the Conservatives from the Liberals. Both are pretty centrist.

    Dor: Funny! I guarantee there is the same percentage of gays in Canada as in every other country in the world. It's just that Canadian gays are not all in the closet, although plenty still are.

    Tom: No need to apologize! I was thrilled!! There are many blogs written by LGBT Americans who moved to Canada. (Hey.... an idea for a future blog post!!!) They immigrate to enjoy: (1) legal recognition of their same-sex marriage (2) affordable health care and an excellent "social safety net." (3) better standard of living and (4) living in a gentler society where handguns are not being carried by millions of people.

    Downside: Although winter is my favourite season, our winters are not everyone’s cup of tea.

    Will: While it is not perfect here, every United Nations survey consistently ranks Canadians as being among the luckiest people in the world.

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  6. I've said this since I was 10, Canada is a much more civilized country. Even in its rows and troubles it does a better job than the nasty neurotic States.

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  7. You will get no argument here.

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  8. We have a LONG way to go! Now, if I just wasn't addicted to palm trees . . .

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