Friday, May 26, 2006

Sorry, dear, times have changed ...

The pending wedding of two gay RCMP officers is welcome news on a variety of fronts.

For starters, it could give rise to a clever Canadian tourism campaign, aimed at Americans' long- held fascination with our boys in red: "Cause the Mounties always get their man, eh?"

Seriously though, the courage of these officers to "come out" at this time cannot be understated. Not only do the men work in one of the most macho environments around, their primary employer, the federal government, is openly hostile to gay rights.

The courage of these two officers is commendable. They could have done what many gay and lesbian Canadians do - wait in painful silence, hoping someday the front-page assault on the right of consenting adults to love, care and be legally responsible for a same-sex partner will end.

Instead, the officers chose to speak out publicly and shine the light of the nation on their personal lives.

The only outstanding question now is whether the Harper government will match this act of courage with the supreme act of cowardice - rolling back the law and cancelling the marriage of these two men (and thousands of other citizens) later in their mandate.

The fact that the prime minister has issued a gag order to his caucus on this issue speaks volumes about the knuckedraggers in the federal Conservative Party who are being asked to temper their venom towards gays and others in a bid for a majority.

Yes, the Mounties always get their man. This time, it may very well be Stephen Harper and his worst instincts that they end up holding in check. Bravo gentlemen.