Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Paying for the pleasure of being trampled on

For the past decade or so, the London Free Press has been a platform for social programmers on the miniature municipal scale. In the latest excerpt from the London Plea Press:

A London gay rights activist is calling on city council to apologize for the involvement of two members in a rally against same-sex marriage. Council should also establish a policy denying use of public facilities to groups that discriminate, said Julie Glaser, a promoter of the Thames Valley District school board's safe schools policies.
Julie Glaser, failed nomination candidate for the NDP, media liaison for the publicly-funded London Homeless Coalition, creator and facilitator of the publicly-funded Thames Valley District School Board's Seen and Heard Youth Anti-Violence Project, is no stranger to that modern Canadian definition of the word public that means as long as I get mine… Glaser is dismayed that public spaces are being used by, well, the public. In the particular view of social advocates like herself, the public is served only by advocacy of positions that cannot depend on force of reason alone. But they see no contradiction in using just plain force to promote their positions…
The London Association for the Elimination of Hate also joined the call for political action, saying council should re-examine the city's policy for renting out public parks. "I think the city should take a good look at what was promoted and who was hurt," executive director Debbie Lee said yesterday. "This puts us right back where we were seven, eight years ago," she said, referring to former mayor Dianne Haskett's refusal in 1995 to proclaim gay pride week.
This puts us right back where we were eight years ago on another occasion when social advocates used the force of the law to impose judgment on what constitutes leftist-friendly use of public spaces — precisely, successfully petitioning the Ontario Human Rights Commission to try to force then-mayor Haskett to issue a proclamation for gay pride week as a public event, conducted in public spaces. And fining her $10 000 to boot.

Interestingly, the Association for the Elimination of Hate is also publicly funded also receives its funding from the city's taxpayers to the tune of $78 000 in 2004. In addition, the association receives office space from the city at 652 Elizabeth Street in exchange for an in-kind contribution, though of what manner this in-kind contribution takes is not mentioned in any documents I can find.

Organizations like the Association for the Elimination of Hate depend upon the perception of hatred to justify their existence, and where none exists it is in their ($78 000/yr. in your money) interest to find it. It is certainly anyone's right to declare, incorrectly, that opposition to same-sex marriage is an example of intolerance or discrimination, but Londoners should not be paying for the dissemination of spite by a political class whose views are those of a non-representative propagandist elite and who wish to curtail the franchise of the public from those who are paying their bills. I actually witnessed part of the above-said rally, drawn by the booming oratory of Pat O'Brien as I was cycling past the park, and in all fairness the speakers took pains to point out that they did not disparage homosexuality but that they only wanted to maintain the traditional definition of marriage. These pains proved to be unnecessary, for although they were meant to alleviate the anticipated hysterics of the social programmers, they were bound to fail in this respect. Better to ignore them. I wish the Free Press would. I do confess that in the recesses of my black heart I hate intolerant social activists and would certainly attend a public rally supporting the removal of their snouts from the public trough.

As food for thought, the social programmers have stacked the deck in their favour:
“public place” is defined in S.319(7) of the Criminal Code to include “any place to which the public have access as of right or by invitation, expressed or implied.”
Strange country we live in…