Galvanizing Canadians

Galvanize 1. b: to stimulate or excite as if by an electric shock

-(merriam-webster)

Photo by palindrome6996

News out of Canada today still lacks in-depth information and examination, but so far what is coming out is that a same sex couple who got married back in 2005, while trying to get a divorce, were told by the Canadian government that their marriage had never been legal. The British-American couple was shocked at this revelation, and according to the Toronto Star (newspaper) the same applies to thousands of other same sex marriages between non-Canadians that have taken place in Canada since 2004.

If you remember back to 2004, it was the height of same-sex marriage phobia in the United States, and the re-election of George W. Bush.  Americans, as well as people from all over the world who could manage it, went to Canada where the country had embraced its role as a nation where same sex marriages could be legally performed and recognized. The government even used this image, as they do to this day, as part of their promotion of  Canada as a world leader in human rights.  The reports that have surfaced this week indicate that government lawyers are now arguing in court that if same sex marriages aren’t legal in the home country of those getting married, then the marriage isn’t legal in Canada either.

In the coming days the government as well as the lawyers may change their story. The prime minister, unsurprisingly, claims ignorance as to any change in government policy.  But regardless of what elected officials, lawyers or the media say, this development should be enough to galvanize Canadians who value human rights and equal treatment. The spark that reawakens a movement that has, perhaps, fallen asleep to what seemed like mission accomplished.  Suddenly betraying thousands of couples should be an electric shock that sweeps representatives out of office, and embarrasses lawyers and others into resignation and generally speaking – the social wilderness. This is the time to take something horrible and turn it into a rally cry to demand justice, a real, lasting justice that cannot be undone.

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ctrp325 Prop8 on Trial

Ballot initiatives are not the only battle ground in the struggle for equal rights in the United States. One year after California voters passed a proposition banning gay marriage, a court battle has begun to overturn that ban and prove that gay and lesbian couples should have the same right to marry as heterosexual couples do.

My guest is communications consultant, videoblogger, world citizen Jeffrey Taylor who joins me on the program from San Francisco. In this podcast he helps explain what this trial means, what both sides are doing in court, what could happen depending on the outcome, and all other aspects of the trial. We also get into the difference between fighting a battle for equal rights through the ballot box versus doing it in the courts and in the legislature.

Those wanting more info about the trial can follow NCLR or Jeffrey on twitter

Also his blog The Accidental Activist or the Prop 8 Trial Tracker are good places to read and follow deeper links.

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bm296 An LGBT Magazine in Turkey

Kaos GL started publishing in the 90’s in an effort to get LGBT issues into the public sphere as part of the struggle for equal rights and equal protection under the law.� But what is the state of the state when it comes to gay rights in Turkey? What are the major obstacles and issues that the community struggles with on a daily basis, and how does a community oriented publication survive in the current cultural and political climate?

While in Istanbul I had a chance to sit down with Bawer of Kaos GL to discuss these questions and more.

Music:

Gavin Castleton – The Human Torch

Various Artists from the Slumdog Millionaire Soundtrack – Jai Ho

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Respect to Stonewall

On June 28th 1969 NYC police raided the Stonewall Inn. That night police arrested and beat numerous people, especially transgendered and gender non-conformist people. Outraged and tired of the oppression, people from the community gathered outside the Inn while the people inside tried to barricade themselves, and eventually a fire broke out.

But that’s just my summary of an event I wasn’t alive to experience. With this post I encourage you to reflect on, remember, or perhaps learn about the Stonewall Riots, if you haven’t already. Naturally I also wish to show my solidarity with LGBT friends throughout the world, who to this day have still not had many of their rights recognized and respected, as humans and citizens. The struggle continues and I hope very much that like those brave people at Stonewall, and well before Stonewall and long after, I too can help advance the cause of equality and justice, regardless of sexual orientation or gender.

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