Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Predictable: Vellacott's Tirade

Following up further on the recent Saskatchewan Court of Appeals ruling, we find MP Maurice Vellacott whining about how this ruling impinges upon his right to inflict his particular morality on everybody else:

The Court has hereby belittled religious faith by writing it off as something “you do in your head or on weekends” without it impacting all of a person’s life. This crowding it into a corner or to the edge of the gangplank is a secularist push premised on a false dichotomy.

No, Mr. Vellacott, you arrogant little arse, that isn't what the Saskatchewan Court of Appeals has done at all. The Saskatchewan Court of Appeals quite specifically says that government services must be equally available to all citizens.

Back in July of 2005, I suggested that, as an analogy on this matter, we look at how official bilingualism policy is implemented. When it comes to bilingualism requirements, federal government services must be available in both official languages, but not necessarily by the same person. Bilingualism is rooted in the Charter, yet attempts have been made to implement policies in a fair-minded fashion.

This is arguably an apples-and-oranges comparison. There is a huge difference between someone being able to speak French adequately to provide services to a citizen requiring them and choosing not to provide services to someone based on beliefs. What the marriage commissioners who are complaining need to realize is that they are solemnizing CIVIL MARRIAGES, not religious matrimony. Quite frankly, what they believe from a religious perspective is utterly irrelevant to the conduct of their job.

It is not as if there is some real impediment to carrying out their job (such as not speaking the language or physical obstacle). If providing services is "that immoral" to them, then it's high time they got another job. I will note that there are certain industries where I would not work simply because I think what those businesses do is immoral or unethical. Simply put, the responsibility is mine - I have to take ownership of that aspect of my life and find alternatives.

Commissioners who hold a "traditional or heterosexual" definition of marriage should not be forced to find another career or be subjected to fines and punishment, Vellacott said.

"We talk about people being in the closet, well now they are saying somebody of a faith perspective is supposed to keep it in the closet," he said.

Yes, I realize that one's faith can be seen as permeating all aspects of your life. That's just fine with me - until someone tries to demand that I live by their rules in order to be served. I'm sorry, but at that point, individual freedom is now being used to limit others in the lawful, peaceful conduct of their lives - and that is wrong.

Had I encountered Mr. Vellacott's attitude when I was dealing with a branch of the Saskatchewan Government this past year, I would have cheerfully sued the government (and the official involved) because their actions would have stood in the way of my ability to live my life peacefully.

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