Friday, February 18, 2005

"Oh, the Times, they are a-..."

The same-sex marriage debate is under way in the Canadian House of Commons. Warren Kinsella thinks its Paul Martin's finest hour and Andrew Sullivan writes that the Prime Minister is "blazing a trail for civil rights". A historic moment and certainly one that makes me proud and happy, especially for my many marvellous gay and lesbian friends who are following this closely. MacKenzie King once sardonically accused the Progressives (forerunners to the NDP) as being "Liberals in a hurry" - and this is too often my criticism of their actions, notably on this file. Nevertheless, kudos to Paul Martin and his party for bringing in this legislation now - though the real revolutionaries remain the brave litigants and judges who set the stage.

But just how far has the country come on this issue? Much further than I would have expected or many people actually realize. Check out this clip from a 1968 leaders debate between Trudeau, Robert Stanfield, Tommy Douglas, and the leader of the Pequistes for the real context. They are debating the legalisation of homosexuality, remember. And then at about the 6:20 mark, our recently-voted "Greatest Canadian" wades in with a comment that really makes you stop and think on how much this movement has accomplished in combatting prejudice and gaining acceptance in the past 40 years. Oh the times have changed indeed.


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