Vancouver
2 min

And they’re off

Homophobia's a card in this game

SEX-POSITIVE DYKE MP. Libby Davies, who is running for re-election in Vancouver East, wants to change bawdyhouse laws to legalize bathhouses and better deal with prostitution. Credit: Xtra West files

Prime Minister Paul Martin’s effort to push the same-sex marriage issue until after a fall Supreme Court ruling won’t keep queer rights issues out of the federal election on Mon, Jun 28.



Candidates’ stands on same-sex marriage will be a prime target for the rightwing, who will be campaigning to defeat candidates supporting it. Focus On The Family, a US-based Christian group is pulling its $1.5-million advertising campaign championing heterosexual marriage, but is still expected to kick up a fuss about gay rights. Last week, Catholic bishops called on Roman Catholics to take the issue seriously and make it an election issue.



Ted Mouradian, NDP candidate in St Catherines, Ontario says the rightwing focus on same-sex marriage will hurt them at the polls.



“This shouldn’t be a prime issue; we have health concerns, we have environmental concerns, we have job creation concerns,” says Mouradian. “If you look at the polling, gay marriage is a blip in the polls. If the opponents of it use it as a prime election platform, they’re going to really lose out because most people don’t care.”



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QUEERY THE CANDIDATES



Okay, you can ask your local wannabe MP what they think of same-sex marriage-Hey, Liberals, why is a human rights issue a free vote?-but there are other issues you should be pinning on them.



What would you do to prevent a kiddie porn law that takes away the rights of artists and youth to express themselves about sex? What would you do to prevent the abuse of real children-including young queer people-not imaginary ones?



• Will you repeal Criminal Code laws that restrict sex outside the home, that restrict anal sex in group sex situations and which make sex work unsafe? Do you think the government has any business regulating consensual sex?;



• What will you do to prevent the Canada Border Service Agency (formerly Canada Customs) from picking on material bound for lesbian and gay bookstores? Would you call off the upcoming Supreme Court battle against Vancouver’s Little Sister’s bookstore? Would you stop censoring ideas and images at Canada’s borders?;



• How are you going to make sure immigration and other government departments treat same-sex couples fairly?;



• Will you or your party introduce a bill that includes gender identity in all Canadian human rights legislation?;



• In a court ruling last year, lesbian and gay widows won benefits they were denied because their spouses died at the wrong time, between 1985 and 1998. The feds are appealing that decision to prevent paying out. What would you do to trash that appeal?;



• What would you do about the miserable state of AIDS funding in this country?