In Defence of Miss California
Like most proponents of same sex marriage, I watched in horror as the people of California voted against gay marriage in a recent referendum. It is yet another example of why the rights of minorities should not be decided based solely on the whims of the majority. As horrific as this moment was, it shows that clearly there are a lot of people out there who feel the same way as Prejean. They were asked a question and they answered it. Should they all therefore be punished? Prime Minister Jean Chrétien once held the same position as Miss California. Parliament even passed a motion to that effect! (I am proud to say, that I used to work for one of the few Liberal MPs who did not follow the party lines and voted against that motion). It was only after an Ontario Court ruled that denying gays the right to marry violated the charter that the PM changed his mind. Should Jean Chrétien and all of the MPs be punished for the way they voted on that original motion? I think not. I hate to say it, but the Donald made the right call.
Hate speach is one thing, giving an honest opinion in response to a question is another. I have no problem with the sections of our Criminal Code that aim to protect society from the promotion of hatred; however, we on the left wing have to be more careful about the way we villify those who disagree with us. We have to stop attacking the individual, and focus on the idea, because anyone can humiliate someone into biting their tongue, but it takes a true intellectual to actually pursuade their opponents to agree with them.