– Warning: I am about to get a little political –
As a Canadian I love to see when we are considered a world leader in a particular discipline or field. However, I am not particularly proud to be a world leader when it comes to punishing critical examination or dissenting opinion/editorial. You are probably wondering what I am talking about. Well it is official, the government of Quebec is funding a “registry of homophobic acts”. You can read more about the registry here and here. Apparently it is the first of its kind in the world.
One of the first things you will observe, and likely call me out on, is nowhere is criticism mentioned as one of the violations deemed worthy of reporting. This is true. However, there are a few vague enough statements which are a cause for concern. The two reportable “violations” that lead me to my conclusion about punishing criticism are “any negative word” and “inappropriate media coverage”. This is just vague enough that someone could potentially find themselves on the registry if they held a conviction which was critical of, or dissenting to, any view espoused by the homosexual community. You don’t think that would happen? If this registry is open to everyone for reporting just give it time. All someone has to do is deem the communication of your conviction as “negative” and you will find yourself reported. Let’s not forget about the media. How in the world are journalists, reporters and editors going to judge what constitutes “inappropriate coverage” verses fair criticism? The truth is they will not be able to. More to the point, to avoid the potential bad optics all criticism, valid or otherwise, will likely be suppressed. I am sure this is not the intent of the registry, but it is the logical outcome.
The other question that comes to mind is what are they going to do with this list? You have a list of individuals and organizations that have committed a “reportable violation”, so what do you do with it? What becomes of those individuals and organizations on the list? If it was a private organization compiling this list it would be one thing, but this is a government funded program. I get a little nervous when the government starts making a list of who is naughty and who is nice.
I am the type of person that likes to believe the best in things and in people. I truly believe the authors of this registry desired to combat real abuse. The kind of abuse that as Christians we too should contend against with all due diligence. However, that is not what this registry will accomplish. Instead it will exacerbate existing and perceived barriers by labeling all criticism, including our Christian convictions, as homophobia. This is the last thing Canada, or the world needs.
P.s. Please excuse grammar and spelling mistakes. It was very late (or early depending on your point of view) when I wrote this. Feel free to point out any errors in the comments. Please do so in brotherly and sisterly lover. 🙂