Thursday, October 08, 2009

Talk About Self Centered!

I've been leaving the situation around Jan Buterman alone quite intentionally. Frankly, there just aren't enough details in the public arena to make any particularly useful commentary on the case itself.

However, that hasn't stopped the commenters over at No Apologies from getting going - in particular someone purporting to be Stephen Boissoin. (I'd guess that it is him, the writing style is consistent with other ravings of his I've seen, but it's possible that it's a poseur)

Up to this morning's comment, Boissoin wasn't doing much beyond spouting pretty standard Christian dominionist nonsense. Other than repeating his combat-centric language, it was quite unremarkable. This morning, on the other hand, he opened his mouth, and the mask slipped:

* Screen capture used since NoApologies admins have a habit of sanitizing their comments sections.

Mr. Boissoin has all of the rights that he cites from section 2 of the Charter. It is unfortunate that it has been necessary for sanctions to be imposed for his exercise of those rights in a manner that infringe upon the rights of others. The Charter sets out personal rights and freedoms. Each of us is responsible for exercising those rights in a manner that respects the rights of others.

What Boissoin doesn't quite seem to understand is that his rights are not absolute rights that overrule the rights of others. His demands about repressing GLBT people run smack into the tension between his rights and the rights of other individuals.

However, his last statement is particularly ridiculous:

I want these rights and I do not want to have sex changed transgendereds teaching my children. Catholics pay taxes and they have every right to use them for their benefit, like anyone else. The government is to serve the people.

I see ... and a transsexual has somehow taken a position in life where they have no right to appeal when they believe they have been mistreated, Mr. Boissoin? Is access to the law and justice only available to those who are in your opinion sufficiently pious?

Lastly, just what is it that you think is so evil about transsexuals? Hmmm? Afraid that the evil "transness" of these people might rub off on your children? (Didn't we get past that after the grade school "girls/boys have cooties" thing?) If you're really so afraid of such things, then perhaps you should pony up the dollars to send your children to a nicely sequestered private school, where none of the reality of the world will come before their eyes. (I hate to think how well they will handle that) ... and no, a statement of faith that denies the existence of a recognized medical condition doesn't make it go away - no matter what the Vatican says.

[Update 11:45 8/10/09]
Oh, but it keeps getting richer. This has Mr. Boissoin into quite a lather - and he's getting more and more irrational and strident.

I hate to disappoint Mr. Boissoin, but a transsexual is not necessarily a homosexual - before or after transition. Sexual identity is not the same thing as gender identity.

But, before falling into a long discussion about the distinction between gender and sexual identity, let's take a closer look at what Mr. Boissoin is saying:

I do not want gays of any sort teaching my children…no transsexuals, transvestites, transgendereds etc and I would fight tooth and nail to ensure that this did not happen.

Would his statement represent anything acceptable if it was about people's ethnicity? Let's take a look, using language that was perfectly acceptable in the Southern US not so long ago:

I do not want gays coloreds of any sort teaching my children…no transsexuals, transvestites, transgendereds Blacks, Chinese, Indians etc and I would fight tooth and nail to ensure that this did not happen.

It's not very pretty, is it? Just what make this acceptable when he's talking about GLBT people? Nothing. It's the ugly side of humanity coming to the surface. It is a sad statement indeed that the writer goes on like this. Frankly, this kind of closed mindedness is disappointing to see, as it is really no better than the arguments against racial integration not so long ago - and it is no more valid than those arguments have turned out to be.

Then he goes on to misrepresent Canada's marriage laws by claiming that a refusal to marry someone who is transsexual would result in the minister facing a human rights complaint.

While I agree that a transsexual certainly is a different situation than two men getting married, I think that the principle laid out in the Civil Marriage Act regarding faith and same sex marriages would apply:

Freedom of conscience and religion and expression of beliefs

3.1 For greater certainty, no person or organization shall be deprived of any benefit, or be subject to any obligation or sanction, under any law of the Parliament of Canada solely by reason of their exercise, in respect of marriage between persons of the same sex, of the freedom of conscience and religion guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the expression of their beliefs in respect of marriage as the union of a man and woman to the exclusion of all others based on that guaranteed freedom.

Now, this does leave the provincial marriage commissioners in a bit of a grey area, for they are contracted to the government (and thus act as an arm of the government) - they are thus bound by their duty as a civil servant to serve all members of society equally within the scope of their contract. (Remember, the government in Canada recognizes no specific religion, and therefore its agents must act in a similarly atheistic manner)

However, someone who is an ordained minister would be acting in their capacity as a member of that church's clergy. As such, it would be difficult indeed to make a case that a clergyman refusing to perform a marriage on theological grounds had unreasonably engaged in discriminatory practices.

(As an aside, I'm reading a little bit into this clause in that I am assuming that the courts would tend to rule that the same principle applies to transsexuals as applies to homosexual people in such a matter)


Diane Gall said...

and no, a statement of faith that denies the existence of a recognized medical condition doesn't make it go away - no matter what the Vatican says.

Neither did one make the sun go around the earth.

You'd think that people would get the hint that science (medicine) should be left to scientists (physicians) and religion left to religious leaders.

Exorcism doesn't banish schizophrenia and prayer does not correct gender identity disorder.

MgS said...

Well said!