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Friday, November 05, 2004

Straight but not narrow 

Its impressive how quickly Canadian society has changed.
Today, Saskatchewan became the seventh province to legalize gay marriage. Such a great day! And Saskatchewan as a whole has no problem with it - we're just waiting for some of the churches to catch up. Just last week, the Anglican bishop in Saskatoon found out that two gay choirs were planning a concert in an Anglican church -- someone complained about it, apparently. So instead of telling the complainants to get with the 21st century, the Bishop cancelled the concert.
Well, reaction was pretty swift and pretty negative -- just see this column by Star Phoenix features editor Joanne Paulson who blasted him all over the front page of the Lifestyles section. She writes:
"St. John's and other churches are hiding behind the scriptures -- really the Old Testament -- and using them to discriminate against people. The OT was also against adultery, incest and forced sex, and rightly so. But those are behavioural choices. Homosexuality is not. Neither is it a "lifestyle." Gay and lesbian people are just that, people with a different sexual orientation. They are Caucasian or African or Asian; they have various personalities, some outgoing, some quiet; they are devout Christians or Muslims or Buddhists; they are artists and accountants; they are singers and clergy. The single thing that sets them apart from heterosexuals is that some churches (and segments of society) are still discriminating against them . . . [continuing, she quotes the priest of an Anglican anti-gay splinter group] he said, "Blessing same-sex unions is the same as giving blessings to adulterous affairs and all other kinds of immoral living." It is not the same. Immoral living includes bringing AIDS or Hep C home to your family after visiting prostitutes. Immoral living includes forcing sex or perpetrating violence on anyone. Immoral living, if you want to be biblical, is largely warned against in the Ten Commandments, which you will notice do not mention homosexuality. Marrying someone you love, regardless of his or her gender, is not an immoral act. Neither is singing in a church. The blindness of segments of the Anglican Church on this issue is indefensible."

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