Monday, July 18, 2005

"Progressive" Liberals Need to Be Clearer Than This

This isn't going to resonate with many of my readers, but you know how "liberal" I think.

Splashed upon the front page of the Globe & Mail is the headline "Same-sex marriage bill must stand, majority say" and a story of how recently a poll shows that 55% of Canadians do not want the same-sex legislation appealed. Hurrah, I say. I'm for it and I don't think it should be repealed. I'd like the Conservative Party to drop their opposition to it.

But, buried deep within the article is this tidbit that would have have garnered the following headline, "Same-sex adoption should be disallowed, majority say".

In a related question, 51 per cent of those surveyed said they do not support the idea of allowing gay couples to legally adopt, while 46 per cent said they do

Mr. Woolstencroft said he was surprised by the high level of support for the idea. Adoption falls under provincial jurisdiction and laws dealing with gay adoption are a patchwork across the country.

Please allow me to address this on a couple of fronts. I assume that the poll is accurate - that means, if we are to assume that a majority of Canadians (55%) support same-sex marriage, then a majority (51%) don't support same-sex adoption - I don't know what to call it.

On a logical level, this poll is irrelevant - it's a matter of human rights so what the majority thinks does not matter. This is only news because Mr. Harper and a majority of the Conservative caucus opposes it (also, almost a quarter of Liberals, 1/19th of Dippers, etc.). In fact, the sub-headline is "In wake of Tory vow to repeal legislation, poll suggests 55 per cent want it untouched." I think it is published to show how the Conservative Party is wrong to suggest repealing this legislation.

But wait, you can't have it both ways. Would the Conservative Party be right in legislating that adoption applicants can only be non-homosexual couples (or singles)?

More importantly, isn't the Liberal government
wrong for not ensuring that adoption rights are ensured for same-sex couples across Canada? I'm getting mixed messages here. I'm told night and day how the Liberal Party stands up for human rights - how could a party with such a social conscience let this slip unanswered? Specifically, how can the Liberal Party allow a majority to dictate human rights issues?

I took a look at three adoption policies across Canada - Ontario, Alberta, and PEI. Now, I picked on Alberta and PEI particularly because they had not begun allowing same-sex marriage when C-38 was passed.

Of the three, only Ontario makes a specific mention of not being discriminatory against sexual orientation, "How to Adopt a Child in Ontario":
All Ontario residents are able to adopt a child without discrimination on the basis of such factors as race, religion, age, ethnic origin, mental/physical disability, gender, sexual orientation, or marital status. In intercountry adoptions, the Ministry makes every effort to ensure that adoptive applicants are informed about the laws, requirements, and eligibility criteria of the foreign jurisdiction.
Alberta and PEI do not specifically mention that same-sex couples cannot adopt but they do not mention that they cannot be discriminated against, either [ed note - double check that for me and post any corrections in the comments].

Wouldn't it be amazing if Paul Martin actually proposed legislation that progressed human rights that didn't have the apparent endorsement of a majority of Canadians OR didn't come after a Supreme Court ruling?

Nah, it will never happen - that's not how this government works.

Update (July 19, 8:16 am): CTV doesn't mention the results of the adoption poll in their reporting of this item (CTV, Most Canadians want same-sex bill to stand: poll).


Koby said...

Adoption is provincial issue. How does this concern the Feds?

Anonymous said...

It doesn't the feds didn't raise adoption, the newspaer did.

Jim (Progressive Right) said...

Adoption is [a] provincial issue. How does this concern the Feds?

I'm going to keep this line and use this at a later date.

But, my simple rebuttal is, when has that stopped the federal government before?

Keith Fountain said...

You mean, when has that stopped the Liberals before...

Jim (Progressive Right) said...

You mean, when has that stopped the Liberals before...

Good point.

Paul Vincent said...

The opposition should CONTINUE their protests against the bill in hopes of improving it.

Michael Fox said...

Provincial/Federal responsibilities mean nothing to the Liberals.

They're being morally inconsistent on this one.