By Greg Ellis
My emphatic objection begins at the outset of the article as Jankovic writes “I believe institutionalizing same sex marriage would be an extravagant measure to take in the name of equality. It is a step that goes beyond the realm of rights and goes into recognition”.
Rights and recognition are inherently inextricable and in fact complement each other in numerous ways. Namely, I recognize you as equal thus I recognize your right to the rights I have. Correspondingly, I am befuddled as to how Jankovic can seriously argue that allowing same sex couples to marry is not an issue of equality. Of course it is an issue of equality whether you agree with it’s legal validity or not. If I have something and someone else doesn’t were not equal, one does not equal zero. In the context of something governed by legislation and law, such as marriage, allowing for discrepancies in equality is an abomination of rights.
Indeed, I agree with Jankovic that heterosexual marriage is a tradition imbedded in the history of the Western world for centuries, however I will easily dismiss your religious argument as it has no bearing in the development of legislation. Another Western tradition was slavery, with over 2000 years of history behind it and there was plenty of opposition to the abolishment of slavery especially in parts of the Southern United States.
With this logic should slavery have been abolished?
The bottom line is democracy and the will of the majority is certainly not political, nor cultural, panacea. A vote or referendum on the issue is not necessary because no viable argument can be raised against the legalization of gay marriages when one adduces The Charter of Rights and Freedoms or any basic precept of equality. Recognition being voluntarily committed by citizens is irrelevant. In the ’40s many refused to “voluntarily” recognize blacks as equals but the law eventually forced them to induce change. Should we have waited for citizens to voluntarily see blacks as equals?
The fact that Alberta will not recognize the validity of a same-sex union is an embarrassment to me and perpetuates the notion of Albertans being ill-informed, brain dead hicks. I will certainly not bow down to the tyranny of Alberta’s majority.