Agree or Disagree: Removing Gender from Birth Certificates


A group of nine activists, including the The Trans Alliance Society, have filed a human rights complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

They are requesting that remove gender from birth certificates. The reason? They feel that it is discriminatory towards transgender people.

You can read the article here. However, I would like to give you a portion of this for you to consider.

People who are legally assigned one gender, but identify with another, face a range of discrimination, the complainants argue. They say legally assigning gender at birth also hurts intersex children and people who don’t conform to male or female gender norms.

“Having a misgendered birth certificate guarantees that trans or intersex or gender nonconforming children will suffer grief when they go to school, humiliation when they apply for a driver’s license, and discrimination and danger in every other circumstance where someone wants them to ‘prove’ their gender,” according to a statement from the group.

Now, there will be some that will instantly disagree and resist this. So, I would like to ask this question.

Why would something like this be important? As a straight man, I admit when I first saw this, I was surprised. I never really thought about it helping. How would something like this be beneficial?

And do you Agree or Disagree that removing gender from birth certificates would prevent discrimination from transgendered people?

Agree or Disagree: @calgarydreamer’s decision.


As I have been writing this, it has been 11 days since my last post. This is due to travel and illness.

But I’m back. It’s good too be back. And, it appears we have some catching up too do.

Now, last week, you may have seen this face on your newspaper, or your newsfeed.

terrance-lo

This is Terry Lo, or @calgarydreamer. He tweets a lot on the yyc food scene. He organized YYC Burger Week and YYC Pizza Week. You also heard him on Agree or Disagree: The Podcast.

Last week, he made some waves this week with this post. He resigned his position as VP Communications for the Calgary Glenmore Wildrose Constituency Association.   Here is a portion of his post that I would like to highlight.

This past weekend at the AGM, the party, either in the misguided misunderstanding that nothing LESS than the statement of equality would do after the Lake of Fire event, or out of genuine desire to swing far right, actually BACKTRACKED and voted out the 2013 statement that affirmed and protected HUMAN RIGHTS.

In that moment, the party actually went against their leader and the recommendation of the MLAs, and basically said “screw you” to groups that have never felt included, or protected adequately compared to the white, christian majority. And the sad part, the membership seems to be falling on the argument that the more generic “ALL” statement supported is more than adequate. It’s far from that. In an ideal world, where peace reigns and harmony rises upon the streets, then it would be. But not a single member can comprehend ever the fear of a LGBT or minority kid who’s been beat up by another kid who belongs to that majority. As this vote proves to many outside of the party, “All” in the context of a Wild “Lake of Fire” Rose means the same as the famous statement in Orwell’s Animal Farm: ‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.’

This vote confirmed to me that the misguided angry beliefs of a minority of the rank and file holds actual sway in party policy. I’ve since spoken to another notable ethnic member who confirmed a similar experience as well over years. Ideologically, I believe now that the party is swinging far right again on social issues, and as such, totally in opposition to my own beliefs. And ANY party that visibly does not protect my son, is one that has lost my support, and in fact, earned my opposition.

To specify what happened, and I imagine you know this part, the Wildrose Party voted 148-109 against adopting as policy a statement approved last year that affirmed the rights for everyone regardless of race, religion, and sexual orientation.

This led to a wave of criticism towards the Wildrose Party. Some of course questioned the leadership of Danielle Smith. Some wondered who’s voices are being listened too within the party. Some used terms like bigot and homophobic.

Today, things got worse for the Wildrose. Two MLAS, Kerry Towie and Ian Donovan announced they have crossed the floor to the PC Party. This, along with Joe Anglin who left earlier this month, knocks them down to 14 seats in the Alberta  Legislature. With rumours of more planning to cross the floor.

Now, I wasn’t at the convention or voted on this policy. I don’t know the debate or the discussion those that were at this convention had. What we do have however is a perspective from someone who was there.  But first, let’s read the statement up for discussion.

Wildrose will defend the fundamental rights and freedoms of all persons. This includes, but is not limited to, the right to freedom of belief, public expression, practice, and association. These rights and freedoms shall be protected, regardless of race, religious belief, colour, gender, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation of that person or class of persons.”

This is the perspective of Jane Morgan who’s blog is called Up Close and Personal. You can read her perspective here.

Now, Terry will be coming on the Podcast to discuss his perspective. It is fair to say that while Terry has received tremendous support for his decision, he has faced some criticism too.  Some have questioned his motivations. Was this his so called 15 minutes of fame? Was he really a member of the Wildrose Party? We will talk to Terry about both.

Of course, we will welcome you into the conversation as well. What questions do you have for Terry? Do you Agree or Disagree with his decisions? Do you admire his decision? Or, do you question his motivation?

Agree or Disagree: You are boycotting watching the Sochi Winter Olympics


Agree or Disagree: You are boycotting watching the Sochi Winter Olympics

There’s a lot of excitement about the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Well, for some anyway.

While some are traditionalists and will enjoy the Olympics, there will be others that are very concerned about Russians records of human rights and will be boycotting watching the Olympics. People like Heidi Moore, who wrote the above article.

What do you think? Are you watching or boycotting the Winter Olympics?

Agree or Disagree: Countries boycotting the Winter Olympics for Russia’s “Anti-Gay” law


One of the big stories of the summer has been Russia’s “Anti-Gay” law.

What it is in essence is Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors”

Here is the Article 6.21 of the Code of the Russian Federation on Administrative Offenses says

Propaganda is the act of distributing information among minors that 1) is aimed at the creating nontraditional sexual attitudes, 2) makes nontraditional sexual relations attractive, 3) equates the social value of traditional and nontraditional sexual relations, or 4) creates an interest in nontraditional sexual relations. 

Many athletes including Canada’s own Sidney Crosby has spoken against this.

For me growing up in Canada, my view has always been that way,” Crosby said during a news conference Sunday to kick off Canada’s Olympic camp. “I think that everyone has an equal right to play and I think we’ve been supportive of that. With the Olympics and the controversy around that I think those decisions and those laws aren’t necessarily something that I agree with personally … their laws and their views.

Watching people like Crosby and Shea Weber who has spoken out about issues like this before, it leads to this question. I realize that this will not happen, but it’s something people have been thinking about.

What if Canada, and or the USA, or any other country decided that they would boycott the Olympics in Russia because of this law?. It would not be the first boycott. It happened in 1980 in Moscow and  was followed by  a boycott in Los Angeles in 1984. Would you support this?

To give perspective on the two sides, I’ll share two different articles.

This one is Russia defending the anti-gay law. 

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Russia-defends-anti-gay-law-in-letter-to-IOC

This one expresses some opposition.

http://www.policymic.com/articles/58649/russia-s-anti-gay-law-spelled-out-in-plain-english