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Gay Marriage Controversy
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The federal gov't (Canada's, that is) has decided not to appeal the Ontario Appeals Court's decision to revise the definition of marriage. There's all sorts of interesting fallout from this, but it appears that two-person unions are a fait accomplit in Canada and it is only a matter of enacting explicit legislation, waiting for the dust to settle, and for the naysayers to fight their losing battles (I'm looking at you, Alberta).

Anyway, that last is just opinion. I'm hopeful, though. :-)

What I find interesting is one particular argument put forward by those opposed to the change, which I'll paraphrase thus: the definition of marriage being "the union... between one man and one woman..." doesn't discriminate because it allows anyone to marry a person of the opposite sex, equally.

This argument sounded intuitively wrong to me every time I heard it, and yet I couldn't put my finger on what was wrong with it until recently. The way that argument is phrased quite neatly hides the true problem by obscuring the exact relationship between the pieces in question.

The previous definition of marriage determines who one can marry based on one's gender, and that is discriminatory by definition. The discrimination becomes glaringly obvious when you substitute a fundamental personal attribute other than gender.

Consider this: if there was a law that said that white people could only marry black people, it would be obviously discriminatory and there'd be no contest were it to be ruled unconstitutional. The case of marriage law is identical, except that it defines who one is allowed to marry by the sex of the individual instead of the colour of their skin.


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