Toronto Diary
2 min

Are gay-straight alliances really ‘government tyranny’?

There’s a difference between being opinionated and being intelligent. I have no idea why, but there’s an unfortunately large segment of people who can’t seem to discern this fine difference. It’s easy to feel strongly about a pet issue, but intelligence requires you to carefully examine the opposite of what you believe in and use that difference of opinion to fill in the gaps of your own argument.

This opinion letter from Intelligencer made its way into my inbox today, which I’d attribute to the fact that it seems to consider a government reminder about tolerance to be tyranny. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t really consider it tyranny until massive government opression. But that’s just me.

Bill C13, The Accepting Schools Act, is an exercise of raw governmental power, the kind of legislative action that befits a bully with access to the coercive power of the state. Bullies such as these are immensely more dangerous than those found in school corridors. For that reason they are better known, not as bullies, but tyrants.

Here’s the thing: he almost makes a point. Almost. I’m not going to say that he necessarily has a valid, cohesive point here, but at least what he has is just logical enough for it to be debatable, but also completely backwards enough that you can mock it relentlessly.

Does Bill C13 go against religious beliefs? Some of them, yes, but not all of them. And that’s the one major hole in this whole argument: homophobia is not a cornerstone of any real religion. There has never been, nor will there ever be, a religion based entirely on homophobia. It’s not a religious tenet; it’s a personal opinion. And you can’t use freedom of religion as a means of validating your own personal likes and dislikes.

The key to freedom is compromise. We can’t have a society where everyone can do whatever they want free of consequences. Part of living together as a community is that our rights infringe on one another’s from time to time. Laws are set in place as a means of ensuring that fairness is maintained for everyone, and yes, that means that there are some things you can’t do. You can’t shoot another human being in the head, you can’t steal from their homes, you can’t discriminate against them, and you can’t claim victimization or persecution because you’re being given the same shake as everyone else. 

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