Written by Administrator
Canada’s first openly-gay cabinet minister has stirred a controversy by printing his picture with his married partner on the couple’s Christmas greeting card. Scott Brison, 42, who in 2004 became Canada’s first openly gay cabinet minister and is currently an MP for the opposition Liberal Party, was targeted by nasty emails after the Christmas card showing with his partner featured in newspaper websites.
While the Globe and Mail website had to ban readers’ comments after hateful postings about the story, the Toronto Star didn’t open the news to readers’ comments, fearing hateful messages.
In the Christmas greeting card, Brison is seen with his spouse Maxime St. Pierre and their dog. The photo on the card was taken when Brison married his male partner Maxime St. Pierrehis in 2007 in his constituency of Kings-Hants in Nova Scotia province. Canada legalized same-sex marriages in 2005.
Since it was the first time that the married gay couple was seen together in a public photo, it led to outrageous reaction from some quarters.
Calling those who posted negative comments about him and his partner a “tiny minority,” the former gay cabinet minister said he has also received letters and phone calls of support from many people. “I have had so many positive e-mails, calls over the last few days from across the riding (constituency), across Canada and around the world,” Brison was quoted as saying in the national media.
“Everybody is saying the same thing: It’s just a Christmas card. It should not create a controversy,”’ he said.
Brison said, “The overwhelming opinion of Canadians is that we are looking forward to a day where a Christmas card showing two partners and a dog, next to fields in rural Nova Scotia is not a big deal. “In fact, I never expected there to be a news story in the first place; it’s just a simple card. Politicians sending family Christmas cards is not news.”
The legalization of same-sex marriage in Canada still faces opposition from conservative Canadians and many immigrant communities, including the Muslims and Sikhs.
In fact, the Sikh clergy in Amritsar had given an open call to six Canadian Sikh MPs in 2005 to oppose the bill or face their wrath.
Gurmukh Singh (Thaindian.com) – 21 December 2009.