Monday, June 27, 2005

Something appealing, something appalling

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Certain political alliances should be an easy tipoff you're on the wrong side of history. MISSISSAUGA - While hundreds of thousands of gays partied at the pride parade in downtown Toronto yesterday, federal Tory leader Stephen Harper pointedly headed west, where he joined a celebration of traditional values among a massive gathering of devout Ahmadiyya Muslims. But while Mr. Harper won a polite reception yesterday at the 29th annual Ahmadiyya Muslim Convention when he attacked same-sex marriage, he'll have to do more than that if he wants to win votes from this devout religious community, a group that traditionally has favoured the Liberals. The roughly 35,000 Muslims from across Canada, the U.S. and overseas who gathered at the annual convention agree with the Tories on one thing: they say same-sex marriage is wrong. People are very traditional in this group, where arranged marriages are still common. Yesterday, the men crowded into one hall, and the women -- most veiled -- and children gathered in another. Let the Liberals keep those constituencies that, among other things, practice arranged marriage; I don't like seeing Conservatives pander for such votes, any more than I like seeing Dalton McGuinty pandering to those who want to enact Sharia law in Ontario. There's social conservatives, and there's social conservatives; some are more of a liability than others, as vocal supporters. Harper didn't have to attend the Pride parade, and he didn't. I can respect that; he's not the same kind of obsequious kowtower as Joe Clark, in that regard. But he ought to be very careful about the allies he's chosen to court in lieu of the gay community.

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