, 11.01.2019 03:16 PM

God, gays and Scheer

I wrote this some time ago – you know, during that period when I was secretly running the CPC campaign.

(More seriously, I was reminded of the below column by this report – although, I must say, some Conservatives are clearly using LGBTQ issues to take out Scheer, when they’ve never before shown much concern before for LGBTQ issues.)

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. 

20 Comments

  1. Douglas W says:

    He didn’t listen. Now, he must go.

  2. Mike Jeffries says:

    “To view it (gay) as a sin means that you think that being gay is a choice…” says Kory Teneyecke.

    Anyone who *truly* knows about gay understands that it isn’t a choice. Who in their right mind would make that choice in this inherently heterosexual world! Hence gays have suffered as Warren so poignantly paints their picture with words that should shock.

    Is it out of fear that he would lose his Christian base that Andrew won’t march in a gay parade nor support the basic right for a gay person to marry? Or is it like ‘Fred from BC’ who wrote on this blog that “you don’t need the support of a such a small group (what are they, 3 % or so? ) to win a majority government,”?

    “A small group”? If that is Conservative opinion then it is so last century! That group (bigger than 3%) is supported by their heterosexual family, friends, and so many progressive thinkers like Kory across Canada. The Conservative Party needs to understand that this is almost 2020 and Canada has changed. It has. Not only is gay marriage present in Canadian Law, but immutably present in the minds of perhaps a majority of Canadians!

    • Lyndon Dunkley says:

      Scheer could lead the next ten pride parades in leather chaps and Conservatives still wouldn’t win a single vote from those who hold lgbt+ issues as their primary deciding factor.

      • Mike Jeffries says:

        Yes, the Conservatives *need* a “primary deciding factor”. There are many fiscally conservative gays who support Donald Trump simply for that reason that they want lower taxes and a strong economy and believe in smaller gov’t.

  3. Sam Davies says:

    This historical lesson is precisely why I loathe how the Ford’s handled the whole BLM anti police Pride thing (never mind how they also refused to attend). For older generation LGBTQ, the presence of uniformed cops has a very different oppressive connotation. Only an historically ignorant jackass would preach forgive and forget to those that experienced such terrible prejudice and violence from law enforcement in that era.

    I’ve always assumed the decision to not attend was a statistical calculation that ensured base support.

    • Fred from BC says:

      “I’ve always assumed the decision to not attend was a statistical calculation that ensured base support.”

      Just as the decision TO attend ensures base support for the Liberals and NDP.

  4. Derek Pearce says:

    I honestly wonder– is it that this person, who meets new people every day, who even for a Saskatchewan So-Con is relatively cosmopolitan– is that he actually *doesn’t even know* any gay people? How can he have made it to the job he has (and all that entails) but still have lived such a cloistered life?

    Time/ and polls/the Overton window/call it what you will, but it’s a fact that once someone opposed to equal gay rights or (even icked out by gay people) get to actually know someone gay, usually their opinion changes over time. It’s a huge part of why gay rights progressed: because we refused to live in the closet anymore and once our friends and families had to deal with either acceptance or discrimination, they overwhelmingly chose acceptance.
    I honestly am fascinated that he made it this far in Canadian politics while holding such retrograde dogmatic views.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      Derek,

      It’s not like there has never been any gay CPC members in caucus or cabinet. Hello, Scheer.

    • Fred from BC says:

      “I honestly am fascinated that he made it this far in Canadian politics while holding such retrograde dogmatic views.”

      Were you surprised when Stephen Harper won government three times without marching in any ‘Pride’ parades?

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:

        Fred,

        Yes, that worked — at least until 2015.

        • Fred from BC says:

          “Yes, that worked — at least until 2015.”

          Until the Barbaric Cultural Practices hotline, yeah.
          I’ve always wondered about that, actually…was Harper just tired of being Prime Minister and wanted to move on? He always seemed way too smart to try such an amateurish ploy.

          • Ronald O'Dowd says:

            Fred,

            Harper told Mansbridge that he still liked the job but they saw the polls and the worldwide right-wing wave and simply got desperate. Strangely enough, going desperate worked for Trudeau this time and I didn’t even see that one coming…

  5. Phil says:

    Totally agree that Mr Scheer and any leader must govern for all people and not by personal conviction. By that standard every federal leader would have a huge list of reasons not to vote for them.
    The problem though is well understood, gay marriage is not going away – nor should it. Ditto abortion rights.
    In fact most things proposed by social conservatives are not going to change by electing a conservative, liberal or NDP (funny to think of it happening) government.
    This is precisely why the conservatives need to abandon this base. There are and have so-con Liberals and they have to toe the party line.
    SO-cons have a place to express their views and live an exemplary life, it’s called a church, maybe a mosque or a temple. My Christian upbringing above all else preaches live and let live, above all do not judge. Too many electors and candidates work on pushing the opposing view to the edge of the spectrum when in reality most of us who live in the middle.
    Even if we were to opposed homosexuality we could become better people ourselves if we moved to the middle engaged those whose opinion we don’t share and respect their right to their opinion. When a white man from the prairies can do that a person being gay is no less an impediment to friendship than being black or female immigrant or pur lain.
    We are all just people, Canadians who live in a great country. Scheer does need to improve his record on tolerance but he also shouldn’t be forced to for example march in a parade, he should do that on his own volition. Apologies need to be given the same credence as those afforded Mr Trudeau for blackface.
    I think he could reach across the divide that separates S0-con from mainstream in many ways. DEMANDING his caucus and his candidates and his membership do the same is the only way any conservative will detract the liberal argument of hidden agenda.
    The So-Con base should be advised to find salvation in their place of worship and vote conservative only if they agree with what a mainstream right of centre ideology can offer.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      Phil,

      And the CHP isn’t there for nothing. I know staunch Catholics who left the CPC to support it.

      • Fred from BC says:

        Yet another reason to reject Proportional Representation: the Christian Heritage Party would be guaranteed seats.

        • Then thier influence would be explicit, rather then in the back rooms of the Conservative party.

        • Ronald O'Dowd says:

          Fred,

          You have to tailor your proposed PR to respect Canadian values and consensus political expectations. In other words, you don’t want the type of PR that Israel has, with all the respect that we owe them.

          • Fred from BC says:

            I know. I just don’t want yogic flyers, tree huggers and ex-porn stars in my government (as in some of the European ones). Government is too important for that.

            I say start small: 50+ percent of the vote gets you elected, anything less and we knock off all but the top two and allow people to re-vote somehow.

        • Ronald O'Dowd says:

          Fred,

          I don’t know about guaranteed seats but most of them are not totalitarian, fascist or communist so I have no problem with them being democratically represented in Parliament.

          It’s when you want to overthrow the political order, by force, then I have a problem with your party being elected.

          • Fred from BC says:

            “I don’t know about guaranteed seats but most of them are not totalitarian, fascist or communist ”

            Maybe not most, Ron…but *some* will be, I think.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*