Why Hate Always Trumps Love: Same-Sex Fiasco and Popular Reaction

Posted on January 13, 2012, 5:10 am by

Here’s a perfect example of what I hate about the Internet:

This story, Canadian Gov’t Dissolves Thousands of Same-Sex Marriages (Including Dan Savage’s), published yesterday (January 12, 2012), is total BS! It’s an incredibly IRRESPONSIBLE piece.
Nonetheless, over 20,000 people (at publishing time) have shared the link on Facebook (where I became aware of it), innumerable have read it, and way too many, not just from the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community, are getting riled up and hateful–gunning for blood, rallies and marches–over a grossly misaligned, unsupported, manipulative and sensationalist piece.
The facts aren’t even there, the author doesn’t even allude to or include the important comments made by Justice Minister Rob Nicholson albeit he falsely refers to him as a Harper lawyer, finding it more important to highlight Harper, the popular villain.
This doesn’t affect me, but the discourse affects us all, and although I also don’t like Harper, I’m against him for real reasons, not opportunistic and destructive propaganda…

NOTHING HAS CHANGED: same-sex marriages still hold up in Canada, the fears and the scandal are unwarranted. This has nothing to do with the government suddenly changing its policy. The reality is quite different.

THE DETAILS: Two women meet, decide to come to Canada to take advantage of our same-sex marriage laws. They leave. Some time passes, and now they want a divorce, so they come back to Canada where they are explained that, being non-Canadians who haven’t lived in Canada for one year after their union, they are not subject to the current Canadian Divorce Act, and since, technically, their country of origin doesn’t legally permit same-sex marriages, well then, Canada cannot consider their civil union legal for the purposes of divorce… A loophole has sprung. Oh my!
That legal gap is what’s really at the base of all this global and fictional “Harper Government disolves all same-sex marriages” drama.

Yet, the one-year law in question has, since it’s establishment, always applied to all heterosexual non-resident marriages performed under Canadian law; now it applies to all such marriages. Similar laws exist for all Canadian unions (people have to live together or apart for x number of months or years to qualify for…; these laws are valuable and protect people, regardless of sexual preferences).
Did any other heterosexual foreign couple finding themselves in this situation get our sympathy or bubble so much bile? Surely there were plenty.

This couple has what it wants: to be officially recognized as “not married”. Now lawyers are involved to challenge OUR one-year law in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, a law which, let’s be perfectly honest, has nothing to do with same-sex issues. None. Nada. And all for a formality, a change in status, despite not qualifying, so they can officially apply for a divorce license, while human rights lawyers are having a field day, helping to fuel reactionary press to gain public support for what amounts to re-writing a law that already makes perfect sense?!
The reality is: Canadians should still be proud, though conscious that foreigners seeking a divorce in Canada because that’s where they got married may face some difficulties since they don’t even live here.
Are Canadians really violating human rights? Silly in the face of what I consider real issues and the thousands dying daily.
All this artificial fuss is going to cost Canadians how much?

So, people reacting so viciously to this headline are really rooting for what? Looser divorce laws for foreigners, that’s all. It’s about dis-union, discord, done legally. Why do people need to involve lawyers and an official stamp? Certainly, it can’t be about benefits, deeds, and such when tax laws and all do not even recognize such unions in the countries in which they file their income taxes.

If just one of the two in the union stands to lose a fortune then I can understand why that one person may want their separation drawn out under the legality of fierce and costly divorce lawyers. Otherwise, can’t they part good friends, be fair, come to some agreement, and hire a lawyer/notary if need be, to amicably settle their own affairs back home? Everyone is turning this into a human rights issue but if it’s about humanity, then civility is the least we should expect from these lesbians on splits road.

Anyhow, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson already stated that the federal government is considering simply changing the laws to make it easier for non-residents to get a divorce. Harper may not like homosexuals and he may be slow to redefine “marriage”, but the Supreme Court of Canada already ruled: same-sex marriages are recognized under Canadian law. At this point, this “fiasco” really isn’t the type of detail Harper bothers with–he’s always been quick to please the public over such trivialities; these things distract and don’t affect his business plans. In fact, I can’t imagine Harper being anything but happy to facilitate gay divorces, and anyhow, turning Canada into a marriage-AND-divorce revolving door oughta be even better for tourism. Could the added revenue from divorce licenses justify (dare I dream?) a reduction in our taxes?

Granted, the issue brings to light aspects that need to be resolved, but it’s to be expected; same-sex marriages are still a new thing many people and nations are still trying to wrap their heads around, and clearly, there’s still plenty of work to be done. Nothing is ever black or white, round peg in square hole in these things.
But using a non-same-sex issue and twisting the reality of the situation because it involves a same-sex couple is hypocritical, even deeply disappointing. After all, aren’t we all fighting for the disappearance of such divisions? Other than the same-sex factor being abusively publicized, what makes this couple so special that it can create such an uproar here, in Canada, and demand that our laws be rewritten just so they can nullify what’s already nullified?
Seriously, is it really our Divorce Act that’s the problem?
Canada is still among the most progressive of nations; the problem is in the couple’s own countries, the U.S. and England, and in the unexpected problem that arises out of using progressive countries as same-sex marriage drive-thrus. Why aren’t they fighting with their own supreme court?!

This should open up a frank and productive discussion on the complexities, shift focus on countries that do not permit same-sex marriages, and help push the reality, recognition and acceptance of same-sex relationships at an international level.
Instead, this triggered a fury of hate and what can only be labeled as bogus-support given that the basis is lies. As long as people are happy to have more anti-Harper fodder clearly, truth is increasingly of little importance in regard to the real Canadian affairs.
In the end, though many will celebrate should this be proclaimed “a victory for human rights,” the victory will amount to very little save an easier step towards disposable-relationships for all foreigners, and nothing about what really matters: tearing down taboos and same-sex unions for anyone, anywhere, in any country.

If people had bothered with the details it would have been real clear real fast just how full of crap most headlines on the subject are. Why? To push an agenda through mass hysteria? Out of stupid ignorance? A deep hatred of Harper? The people at Unicorn Booty should be ashamed of themselves. Not only are they dishonest, they are doing more harm than good. The writer, Kevin Farrell, and syndicated columnist Dan Savage, whose vindictive seems to have been the catalyst for much of the panic, (both Americans, incidentally) should be reprimanded whether or not this was borne out of a negligent misunderstanding or a deliberate twisting of facts.
Meanwhile, what’s really happening in Ottawa?

READ, THINK, DO SOME RESEARCH. THEN REACT AND POST. All of what’s really at stake in a complex issue can rarely be summed up in a headline or slogan. Too often people seem interested in sharing only headlines, not valid info, jumping to quick conclusions that aren’t based on actual facts, spreading false information.
This deters from the real discussions. It’s all so very unproductive, so destructive. How can we fight for truth if we don’t ensure that that’s what we’re spreading?
Building our own, open, neutral, democratic and free communications network, the Internet, demands vigilance, integrity, respect, accountability and responsibility.
Unfortunately, I’m witnessing a gravitation towards the willful spreading of hate, scandals created out of the incompetence of reckless, negligent bloggers or malicious click-obsessed morons, done while believing that this is freedom and enlightening others, and so goes the circle till most don’t even know what’s really happening, again, but quicker.
That’s what I hate about the Internet.
Keep on clicking!
© 2012, Pascal-Denis Lussier
Image: PDL. Some Rights Reserved

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