Same-sex marriage
7 min

What happens when two lesbians raise a baby in Iowa, two men fall in love in Australia, and McGuinty reads my column on xtra.ca

BY ROB SALERNO – Lots of great videos making the rounds on YouTube today.

In Iowa, where some lawmakers are trying to overturn the state supreme court’s 2009 decision that legalized gay marriage, one amazing young man delivers an incredibly powerful speech about his experience being raised by his lesbian moms:

It appears marriage equality is safe in Iowa for now, as the Democrat-controlled senate is blocking attempts to ban it. 

This next one’s been making the rounds for about a week now and has already been viewed 2.5 million times. In Australia, where activists are trying to convince Prime Minister Julia Gillard to legalize gay marriage nationwide, this video by Get Up Australia follows a gay couple from meet-cute, to courtship, to love, through tragedy, loss and joy, to the moment when one proposes marriage to the other. The framing device that obscures that it’s a gay couple until the final reveal is a little too clever for my tastes, especially since everyone who sees this pretty much already knows it’s about gay marriage. But it seems to be stirring up a lot of discussion, so let’s hope that it moves enough Australians to change Gillard’s mind.

Finally, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty released his own It Gets Better video yesterday, timed with the unveiling of proposed legislation that would impose stiff penalties on bullying in Ontario schools. I’ve heard some complaints about McGuinty’s performance here being a bit robotic — but then, when is McGuinty not? When he tried to humanize his performance in the election debates in September, people thought he was on ecstasy.

Actually, I think this video is pretty great. It’s like he read my open letter to Stephen Harper about the Conservative Party It Gets Better video and took notes before recording it. Unlike the dreary CPC effort, he’s not merely parroting a meaningless phrase over and over. He tells gay kids that Ontarians care about them, that he cares about them. He acknowledges that he has work to do as a leader to make things better for all youth. He tells kids not to bully other kids who are different, and to stand up when they see other kids being bullied. And for kids who are really at the end of their ropes, he tells them to call the Kids Help Phone (Youth Line would also have been an acceptable option).

What do you think?

Finally, a Montreal-area director revamps those old Canadian Heritage moments to celebrate Canada’s passage of marriage equality in 2005. Enjoy!


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