, 08.25.2019 05:45 AM

My latest: a Prime Minister to all, not a few

The bar isn’t much to look at. 

It’s on the tougher side of downtown, in a place where you cross the street when you see a couple guys coming your way. 

There’s a big marquee out front, announcing its name, and a pair of weathered wooden doors that are open to all, but not all dare step inside. 

No liquor licence. Envelopes stuffed with bills, handed over to the cops, are all that keep it open. 

Whenever there’s a raid, the bar’s owners will sometimes get tipped off. Not always, but sometimes. The raids happen, ostensibly, because people gather there – people who dare not speak their name out loud. 

Their sin? Dancing. The city doesn’t want them to dance together. 

In the early morning hours of June 28, the cops raid the place again. There are uniformed officers outside, and some plainclothes officers inside, posing as patrons. 

The cops go after one of the women in the bar, a regular. They push her and strike her. She gets mad and pushes back. They assault her some more. 

A crowd has gathered out on the sidewalk, watching what the cops are doing to the woman. A cop brings his baton down on her head and she starts to bleed, a lot. 

She’s mad, but not just at the cops, who are punching and kicking the bar’s patrons. As she’s being pushed into the back of a police van, the woman yells at the crowd: “Why don’t you guys do something?”

And they do. Just like that, just like a light being switched on, they do. Remembering, perhaps, all the years of bullying and beatings and actual murders, they erupt. They hit back. 

By the end, they’ve trapped the cops inside the bar. And, later on, it’ll take dozens more cops to rescue them. 

The bar isn’t in your town, but it could be. The raid, or something like it, doesn’t really happen in your town anymore – but it used to. 

And the kind of people who would go there? They’re found in your town. Lots of them. 

The bar really existed. Stonewall’s, in Lower Manhattan in New York City. Anyone could go there to dance and have a drink, but only one of kind person generally did so. 

Homosexuals. Gays, lesbians. The ones who – in those days, and in these days, too – weren’t allowed to dance together. Or come together. Or even, you know, be. 

The ones who would be denied jobs, or hotel rooms, because of the way they were. The ones who would be often beaten and sometimes killed for being who they were. 

Their uprising that June night – that’s what that lesbian who the cops were beating called it, an uprising and not a riot – would later bear the name of the bar: Stonewall. Every year, bit by bit, in cities and towns all over, there would be a commemoration of what happened at Stonewall’s bar that night. Remembering. 

In time, the remembrances bore another name. A name that described what they were really about. 

Pride. Pride in being, at long last, in being who they are. Being how God made them. 

Now, I don’t know Andrew Scheer all that well. He’s a family man, he goes to church. If he stayed that way, nobody would really care what he thinks about the various Pride events that happen across Canada every Summer. He’d just be another guy. 

But he’s not just another guy. He’s not a nobody. He’s the leader of the Conservative Party, and he’s running to be Prime Minister. 

When you’re a Prime Minister, you don’t get to pick and choose which Canadians you represent. You represent all of us, or you represent none of us. 

So, I ask Andrew Scheer: are you going to be one of the guys on the sidewalk, watching and not doing anything about what you see? Or, are you going to step forward, and say: “I support you. I will help you. I will protect you. You are no better or no worse than me.”

That’s what the Pride stuff is about, really: equality. Support. Humanity. 

Get off the damn sidewalk, Andrew. 

People are starting to notice. 

49 Comments

  1. Nicole T. Laroche says:

    Well said Warren, as usual.

  2. Peter says:

    Fair enough up to a point. He should be punching back with an unequivocal statement on where he stands on SSM. Harper nipped this one in the bud by stating firmly and openly it was a closed issue. But I am really getting tired of the significance so many gays, etc. are claiming attaches to attending or not attending their blessed parades. They aren’t just about equality and humanity, they’re also about open displays of sexuality, which is simply not to everyone’s taste regardless of whose sexuality is being celebrated.

    • Nicole says:

      There are no expressions of sexuality at a pride parade that are any different from heterosexual couples holding hands in the streets or kissing in public. This talking point from homophobes trying to suggest that pride parades are like an orgy and OMG what if the kids see this is simply unacceptable and completely false.

      Scheer is a Catholic who grew up in the 80s and 90s when LGBT issues became openly discussed and acknowledged. He is not old enough to pretend that his hesitancy has to do with how his generation was raised. Catholics his age are in very large numbers very accepting of same sex marriage, adoption etc. As it stands, his hesitancy looks like he is trying to placate the vocal religious minority that populates a large number of CPC supporters instead of acting as a leader for all Canadians. Warren is entirely correct here.

      • Peter says:

        I get all that, Nicole, but I still feel you are reciting a political orthodoxy. If heteros got together to organize a parade celebrating their love, complete with hand-holding and public kissing, do you think it would be a hot-button issue whether our political leaders attended or not?

        • Campbell says:

          “If heteros got together to organize a parade celebrating their love, complete with hand-holding and public kissing, do you think it would be a hot-button issue whether our political leaders attended or not?”

          Obviously not, but that’s either a disingenuous question, or one that spectacularly misses the point.

      • Fred from BC says:

        “There are no expressions of sexuality at a pride parade that are any different from heterosexual couples holding hands in the streets or kissing in public. ”

        Unless you count the nudity and simulated sex acts, all of which have occurred (and been recorded) at various Pride events…I don’t see much of that from regular couples walking down the street in my neighborhood but hey, maybe yours is different…

        (don’t even get me started about the 9-10-11 year old”drag kids”…)

      • Don says:

        There is a massive gulf between two heterosexuals holding hands and the Toronto Gay Pride Parade where they celebrate fisting and other sexual deviance openly.

        Two of my best friends are gay and they are disgusted at what passes for Pride in Toronto.

        So sorry you can’t see any difference.

      • Fred J Pertanson says:

        Sorry, Nicole. I have to disagree with you. I used to live in Toronto and attended a couple of Pride parades – back when the police were welcome. One year, there were men running around totally naked and the police looked the other way. If this was you or I walking down the streets of Toronto, we would have been arrested. So the parade allows for a double standard and I found it offensive. I stopped attending them.

        Sheer has every right to stay away.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      Peter,

      Not everyone is entirely comfortable with aspects of pretty much anything in life. That’s a given. But it’s also conveniently beside the point in the proper exercise of true party leadership. A leader calls the top shots and sets the party’s tone: it’s a deliberate abdication of leadership not to represent Canadians at Pride events. Successive Conservative leaders cower behind the fear of their own membership rather than confidently dictating the party’s course. A real leader puts dissident members in their place. But it takes the best qualities of leadership to do something simply because it’s the right thing to do. Representing all Canadians is never a half-hearted, conditional or qualified effort. To my knowledge, that’s the lesson MacKay, Harper and Scheer have failed to learn to this day. Being genuinely prime ministerial, in all that it entails, continues to escape those otherwise sentient individuals. Excuses no longer cut the mustard in 2019. They simply aren’t good enough or even remotely acceptable for a potential PM of all Canadians.

      • Peter says:

        Well, Ronald, as President of the Canadian League of Equal Opportunity Prudes, I’m with Warren. Our leaders should represent all Canadians.

        • Jeanbatte says:

          I wholly agree that the Prime Minister should represent all Canadians. But does a leader of a party need to be seen as PANDERING:A manipulative device used by politicians to agree and support the popular view of a particular group or groups of people in order secure their vote? You can bend and twist and shape it any way you want, but what were Trudeau Singh and May doing if not pandering. I did not see former PMs, Chretien and Martin taking part in the recent parades.

          • Fred from BC says:

            “I did not see former PMs, Chretien and Martin taking part in the recent parades.”

            And yet no one ever accused them of being anti-gay, did they? Funny how that works

            (It’s almost like there are two different standards being applied, isn’t it? Hmm…)

  3. Walter says:

    Everyone agrees that the PM must attend national events.
    This includes things like Remembrance Day ceremonies, 9/11 Memorials, and dedication of Afghan War Memorials.

    Is there anything such as a National Pride parade and flag raising, or are those all local events? I imagine this is why not a single PM had attended a Pride Parade until this corrupt PM did to distract from his general incompetence.

    • lyn says:

      Walter says: I agree with you when the Pride parade becomes a National event the PM should attend.

      It makes me laugh…can you see Trudeau helping the young lady out when the RCMP are punching her out…not a chance!!! He would run the other way with his security in tow!!!

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      Justin has set the new national standard. Scheer had better clue in fast if he doesn’t want to be just another One-Term Trudeau.

      • Walter says:

        Trudeau has set the new national standard of elbowing a woman and grabbing a man in the House of Commons – plus he has broken the law 13 times.
        Instead of following Trudeau’s lead, I think we should do our best to never repeat anything that Trudeau has done these past 4 years.

  4. Robert White says:

    I had an outdoor gig to play back in 1979 where the RCMP drove a marked police cruiser with requisite cherries on top right into the middle of the field in Vincent Massy Park where
    my music peers were lounging on the grass listening to my band pumping out 10,000 watts & having a good time.

    It’s not a Pride story but I fully get why gays, lesbians, straights, et cetera don’t appreciate or want police interloping on their cohort of friends when they are socializing, or having an outing/party, or gathering at a bar/concert for entertainment purposes.

    As long as I live I will never forget the RCMP police cruiser being driven right into the middle of the Vincent Massy Band Shell field just so that the gathered crowd would be intimidated by their menacing presence & perceived threat of police brutality if anyone stepped out-of-line.

    Police are often menacing to everyone whether gay or not. Police have always been typically aggressive towards anyone that is non-conformist or rebellious politically or socially.

    Today, pretty much all police departments have learned to respect difference from their own perceptions of social norms & mores. Back in 1979 things were far different from today. And back in the Stonewall Bar era it was even worse than 1979 was for acts of brutality by police.

    The Watts Riots were prototypical of that era of police brutality.

    RW

  5. J.H. says:

    It’s not mandatory for Muslim Lib MPs because of religious beliefs to attend Pride parades & that’s ok. But it should be same for all.
    As well, many in LGBQT community see they’re being used for photo ops by Trudeau & LPC and as a political weapon, they resent it and don’t attend Pride parades because of it. Also lots of us have family & friends in these groups and resent being marginalized by hate from Liberals, because we & they don’t agree with some of the vulgarity on display and choose not to support it.

    • lyn says:

      J.H. EXACTLY!! The Muslim Lib MPs don’t go because it is against their religion but it is NOT ok for a Catholic. What’s the difference here folks.

      • Mark says:

        I agree, lyn.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:

        lyn,

        The diff since you’ve obviously missed it is they: a) aren’t a party leader and b) aren’t aspiring to serve as prime minister. If Scheer wants to resign as CPC leader tomorrow, sure, I’ll give him a PASS.

        • J.H. says:

          By that token then, a Muslim politician, no matter how well qualified, holding to the tenets of his religion, who does not go to Pride parades because of this, cannot aspire to be the PM of Canada? Have I got that right?
          I’m presuming you & WK are saying the same would hold true for an equally qualified person of any faith whose beliefs do not allow him to participate in a Pride parade?
          Just askin’.

          • J.H.,

            Nope. He or she can aspire and even become PM.

            Where your argument misses the boat is in defining capacity: the PM is not there in a private, personal capacity. He or she attends in a civil capacity, which should be completely divorced from one’s religious beliefs. He or she attends such events as a secular, non-religious representative of the Canadian people at large.

            That’s why the Americans have separation of church and state. Personal, strongly held religious beliefs are not meant in the Constitution to animate the comportment of a civil official exercising his or her powers of office. That’s why there’s no state religion in the U.S. but I digress.

        • Fred from BC says:

          “The diff since you’ve obviously missed it is they: a) aren’t a party leader and b) aren’t aspiring to serve as prime minister. ”

          The Prime Minister is also an MP, and why should a Muslim be excluded from becoming PM for his religious beliefs? Religious beliefs are much like like personal ones, and neither should keep a normal person from qualifying for office.

          You’re saying that people should be *forced* to attend Pride Parades, and that’s just PC bullying. The CBC just published a story where a prominent gay activist claimed that they didn’t even want Andrew Scheer to attend anyway. Why should he force his way into a useless, exploitative photo-op with people who don’t want him there anyway?

          • J.H. says:

            Agreed Fred. It seems that under the criteria that Ron & WK appear to be laying out, in the future, if a Muslim aspired to be PM of Canada, under their scenario, because of his religious beliefs , he would be disqualified as not meeting Trudeau’s national standard.
            Strange world we live in Master Jack.

          • Fred,

            Well, quite obviously, if organizers don’t want Scheer, or any future CPC leader there (think MacKay), then, of course, common sense dictates that they not attend. Who goes to any type of event when a request has previously been made that you not attend?

          • Fred,

            Here’s what I’ll do: head to Ottawa and barge into both the LPC and CPC caucuses. Should be a warm welcome and smiles all around!

  6. Max says:

    Well now, how’s about that Liberal stalwart veteran Cabinet Minister Hon. Ralph Goodale? Let’s apply that same lens to all of them! Whether you’re a backroom MP who is “a nobody” 1o feet from the parliament buildings or a leader. Having said that, looks like the Liberal War Room is firing some test missiles with that old video of Scheer. And it’s working by evidence of your posting here.

    • Fred from BC says:

      “Well now, how’s about that Liberal stalwart veteran Cabinet Minister Hon. Ralph Goodale? Let’s apply that same lens to all of them! ”

      You mean the same Ralph Goodale who himself voted *against* gay marriage in the HOC (along with 30+ other Liberals)? Yes, let’s…

  7. I could not agree more–if people change so should those among, that wish to gain global contacts and thereby benefit from being in office. Now, lets not forget that —‘all politicians who aspire for provincial or federal office are doing it more for themselves than any so called claim of public service. Its just too obvious and silly to claim otherwise. With that in mind, lets look at the associations of anti-science, anti-history, anti-gay-, anti-human-rights-groups/associations/and-education-anti-environment-anti-small-business-(which curtails multinational control)-anti-rights for FN/women/the-Constitutional-laws-that-protect-most……Care to answer why this list not only existed and was acted on but why you (and the media) continue to play out as though none of these truth are real —and the decade they played out –didn’t happen as per your refusal to air and of the real conservative RECORD-to date???????????

  8. Doug says:

    I’d be impressed if a Pride organization were to ban all politicians sitting or nominated from attending. If Pride is truly a celebration, it should be apolitical.

  9. Gilbert says:

    Andrew Scheer is a social conservative. Why is it any surprise that he doesn’t attend Gay Pride events? If he did, he would only do so for votes, and that would show a lack of principle. He has no desire to change Canada’s laws regarding marriage, so why is this even an issue? Do we demand that social liberal attend pro-life events?

  10. Eastern Rebellion says:

    I doubt he will attend any Pride events. He’s not wanted, and he would be loudly scorned and berated by the SJW crowd unmercifully if he did. That’s the way things are these days. I am sure there are a good number of his supporters who wouldn’t attend the parades either, for whatever reason. These events have become a political litmus test, and your attendance is mandatory, or else.

    • Fred from BC says:

      “He’s not wanted, and he would be loudly scorned and berated by the SJW crowd unmercifully if he did. ”

      Absolutely…and this is EXACTLY why they want him to attend. They want every Canadian news channel to show footage of a Conservative politician being booed at Pride.

  11. Steve T says:

    By my reckoning, showing up at local Pride Parades has done zero to tangibly help the LGBTQ community. Legislative changes, and basically getting out of their way so they can succeed, is what helps people. Pride Parades are rarely (any more) marches or demonstrations to advocate for specific changes; they are merely a community celebration.

    However, given that most in the LGBTQ community would not vote Conservative anyway, these parades are also an opportunity for those already opposed to Conservatives to attack Conservative policies in completely unrelated areas. That’s why the Libs, NDPs, and Greens jump at the opportunity to attend. They achieve their coveted virtue-signalling (again, achieving nothing of consequence for the LGBTQ community), while also allowing them to rally behind anti-Conservative messages.

    Now, all of that said, it would be helpful if Scheer made direct and specific repudations of his 2005 comments regarding gay marriage. Of course, many Liberals (including current cabinet ministers) also voted against gay marriage back then – but they aren’t running to be PM.

  12. RKJ says:

    Scheer would do well to push a reset button with his war room. One of the reasons Harper lost was his unwillingnness\inability to express human compassion for various social issues. Justin Trudeau seeks out compassion issues – words come out of him just like s..t going through a goose. Whether or not he believes what he’s saying, he does touch a feeling with many Canadians. Scheer would be wise to make a few comments about how his own world view has changed….. These comments cost nothing but do serve to speak to the human side of political leadership. If Scheer and his war room are unable to do this, they’ll likely lose this election – to the detriment of Canada.

    • Fred from BC says:

      “One of the reasons Harper lost was his unwillingnness\inability to express human compassion for various social issues. ”

      I would agree with that assessment. ‘People skills’ were never his strong point. In fact, he never really wanted to be a politician at all: he was happiest as a policy wonk under Preston Manning (the two of them actually wrote the Clarity Bill before it was commandeered by the Liberals). Harper did one term as an MP, apparently did not enjoy it enough to run for a second term, but was then ‘drafted’ into being a party leader…and the rest is history.

      (at least that’s what my memory tells me)

      At any rate, I’ve seen leaders who were telegenic, personable and dumb as a post beat people who were superior in almost every other respect. As a group, we voters really aren’t that bright, are we?

    • Doug Brown says:

      Really? I find his so called compassion completely insincere. His team may have found issues that resonate, it the script is sappy and the acting wooden.

  13. t arm says:

    New Litmus Test for those seeking to become Prime Minister of Canada. This is in addition to the requirement that you are pro choice and totally intolerant of any opposing view based on conscience or religious belief.

    1. Articulating that you respect the law as it stands and will ensure the human rights of all Canadians is not enough.
    2. Must attend one or more Gay Pride Parades.
    3. Must show you are enjoying yourself at the parade by using a squirt gun at least once.

    Those not willing to comply need not apply for the job no matter their qualifications. Those in compliance can apply no matter their qualifications (even high school drama teachers)

    • Fred from BC says:

      4. Must also attend Caribana, Greek days, Italian days, Vaisaki/Dihwali, Christmas and Easter Parades, Halloween festivities (for the Wiccans, of course), Black Lives Matter protests and any other event not celebrating whiteness, maleness or patriotism of any kind.

      (Remembrance Day seems to be optional)

  14. Doug Brown says:

    Listening on the radio today, I heard that many Pride organizations require attending politicians to sign-off on some list of requirements in order to attend. The guest on the talk show stated that some of these requirements are either nebulous or over-reaching to the point that no politician should feel comfortable attending. I’m unsure if this is true.

  15. John Matheson says:

    We live in a democracy. There are other parties you can vote for if you do not like Scheer and the Conservatives. You can try to drop rhetorical bombs on Conservatives as Hitler tried to blitz London. But you will find it will only increase Conservative resolve. Conservatives are not going to surrender over this.

    We have seen these gay pride people commit indecent exposure in front of CHILDREN during their pride parades. This is a serious criminal offence. There is no reason why any rational politician should support this kind of illegal behavior.

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