Cultural Appropriations · Rants For Thought

The Luckiest: Canadian Thoughts on U.S. Abortion and Gay Marriage Rulings

Yesterday was a slow day for me. I had a long day at work and came home immediately to take a nap. When I woke up, however, the Internet was in an uproar. Not only was the Supreme Court of the USA (SCOTUS) due to hand down their rulings on the Defence Against Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8, Wendy Davis, a Texas senator, was in a struggle with the Senate to filibuster an anti-abortion bill that would have affected thousands of women in Texas. It was a time of history and change for the USA, and I was honoured to be able to watch it being made.

Today, SCOTUS overturned DOMA and Proposition 8. The Texas bill was successfully filibustered, even after gross negligence by the liberal news media (CNN was discussing how many calories were in a muffin at the time I was watching the Texas Senate Livestream) and some hamfisted last minute changing of the voting rules in the Senate that didn’t go through. None of this directly affects me as a Canadian, but it sure as hell affects me as a woman and as a gay person. This is the stuff that will ensure my rights, and the rights of millions of others like me.

I had a brief conversation last night on Twitter with an American friend of mine, in which she questioned the far-reaching effects of these decisions. And the thing is, no, U.S. policy doesn’t affect Canadian policy. We have legal abortion and no law in the Criminal Code restricting it, and that protects our right to choose, currently. We have national marriage equality laws. But though we do, now – we may not in the future. It’s the push of decisions made in countries that influence us that keep my hope alive for these debates. It’s the cheers of the people in the Texas Senate, and the voices of millions of people around the world that support equality that affects us in other countries and inspires change here.

We have a Conservative Prime Minister who has decided not to touch these issues in Canada right now. However, he has no qualms about doing basically whatever he wants when it comes to Aboriginal land and rights, to name one debate raging here in Canada, which doesn’t leave me much hope that he won’t open these issues back up for debate. And this time, Canada might lose. We might have to deal with the scary proposition of being second-class citizens without the right to choose what happens to our bodies or be married to the people we love. That’s why this stuff is important – rights are never guaranteed.

And one voice can be far-reaching. I had never heard of Wendy Davis before last night, but now, she’s one of my heroes. She stood for just over 12 hours without bathroom breaks, food, water, or the ability to sit down because those were the rules of speaking in the Senate. She pushed the vote so that the bill would die and women’s rights would prevail. And she’s inspiring, because it reminds me that my rights can’t be taken for granted. I am still a gay woman in the world. I owe it to other people like me, and those who aren’t like me, to pay attention to these debates and add my voice to the chorus calling for equality.

We don’t live in a bubble. We can’t pretend we do. The world needs to pay attention to the USA today.

We can’t afford not to – because when we need people to add their support to us, we want them there like we were there for our neighbours.

Taken from blogs.sacbee.com
Taken from blogs.sacbee.com
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3 thoughts on “The Luckiest: Canadian Thoughts on U.S. Abortion and Gay Marriage Rulings

  1. Beautifully expressed. I had to walk away from Twitter yesterday because I discovered to my sadness that an American I’ve been chatting with for over a year is not only violently opposed to abortion (that I knew), she is also strongly for both DOMA and Prop 8. She made a lot of statements yesterday that were hurtful to me, and today I’m struggling with whether or not to quietly ‘unfollow’ or to first explain to her why.

    You’ve reminded me why it’s important that we neighbours be honest, and have the courage of our convictions.

  2. i am very pro choice it is very important to be pro choice. some people do not have choice and it is wrong i wrote a poem about pro choice. it is called your life.

    your life
    it is done
    the baby is now medical waste
    your life is yours alone

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