Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bill 44 - Brain Damaged and Going Forward

If the reports on the news this morning are correct, Bill 44 went ahead last night with at best minor amendments. (Sadly, none of the online outlets have stories posted to confirm this, so I have had to refer to the tabled amendments.

The Bill is amended as follows:
A Section 9 is amended in the new section 11.1
(a) in subsection (1) by striking out “explicitly with religion, sexuality or sexual orientation” and substituting “primarily and explicitly with religion, human sexuality or sexual orientation”;
(b) by adding the following after subsection (2):
(3) This section does not apply to incidental or indirect references to religion, religious themes, human sexuality or sexual orientation in a course of study, educational program, instruction or exercises or in the use of instructional materials.

I'm still suspicious of these changes. In legal terms, what constitutes "primary" and "explicit"; come to that, what constitutes "incidental or indirect"?

For example, one can hardly study Europe in the Middle Ages or Renaissance without spending a great deal of time talking about the impact of the church on society - is that "incidental"? Come to that, a discussion about the Iranian revolution in 1979 would hardly be "incidentally" about religion, would it - religion is right smack at the center of that discussion. Are those excluded in by that wording, or is notification required?

The fact is that this is such a poorly conceived piece of legislative trash that the courts are going to spend decades deciding what the parameters really are ... and it will have done nothing except waste resources for no better reason than to attempt to appease the sensibilities of those offended by having to recognize GLBT people as legal equals.

I think I'll leave the rest to Rick Bell to express disgust with the whole ridiculous farce that is Alberta's government:

Meanwhile, Liberal Leader David Swann figures Ed's outfit "don't get what human rights are about."

They don't get what a lot is about, but when has that stopped them before?

"This is the worst of politics," says Swann, a man who obviously hasn't clocked enough kilometres through the Toryland trenches.

It has been worse and it will be worse again.

On his last sentence, I disagree with Rick Bell. I have never seen a government so overtly hostile to minority populations - even Don Getty's reign of stupidity wasn't malicious. This bunch is, and is becoming even more so.

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