Will Martin lecture Bush on human rights?
by Arthur Weinreb, Associate Editor,
Friday, March 11, 2005
On March 23, Paul Martin will be in Texas to meet with President George W. Bush and President Vincente Fox of Mexico. It appears that Martin will at least get to visit Bushs Crawford Texas ranch; something that was always denied to his predecessor.
When Martin recently went to China he was criticized by some Canadians for not criticizing that countrys human rights practices. While trying to deflect the criticism away from him and onto Conservative Party MP Jason Kenney, Martin countered that he indeed did discuss human rights with Chinese leaders. There is no doubt that Martin did what previous Canadian leaders have done; casually mentioned Chinas less than stellar human rights situation to Chinese officials, get it out of the way, and get down to the business of selling Canadas resources to one of the few remaining Communist countries.
Everyone in Canada knows the difference between Canadians and those that inhabit the land south of the border. It is a well known fact that we are morally superior, more enlightened and more caring and compassionate than those yahoos and rednecks that call such places as Texas, Arkansas, or the Bronx home. It is also very well known that the United States has extremely poor human rights records when it comes to gays and lesbians. Although there is a rumour that it is now illegal to shoot such persons for sport, Americans are still not allowed to marry persons of the same gender. Locking up and torturing Chinese members of Fulan Gong pales in comparison with those who are denied license to marry.
To give Martin credit where credit is due (which doesnt happen very often), he has been consistent in saying that allowing people of the same gender to enter into matrimony (holy or unholy) is a matter of human rights. So we expect that Paul Martin will give George Bush a talking to about the terrible lack of human rights for gays and lesbians in the land of free and the home of the brave.
Now as most everyone, maybe even Paul Martin, knows, human rights are those rights that accrue to people by virtue of the fact that they are human beings. Decisions of Canadian courts are necessarily limited to jurisdictions within Canada which does not alter the fact that "human rights" have international application. Martin could have taken the position (or at least dithered on the matter) that allowing gays and lesbians to marry is necessary under Canadas Charter of Rights and left it at that. But he went further; he keeps insisting that allowing gays and lesbians to enter into civil unions short of marriage was a matter of human rights. That necessarily means that it is a right that is due to all persons regardless of where they live.
We all understand that Paul Martin would be reluctant to mention the denial of human rights to leaders of countries that he admires such as Cuba, France and Syria, the latter being the country that provides those wonderful peacekeepers to Lebanon. But if Martin is sincere in his belief that same sex marriage is a human right, he shouldnt hesitate to bring the subject up with the president of the country that is the subject of scorn to Canadian leftists.
To begin with, Martin hasnt got the guts to confront George Bush on the issue of human rights where it involves the issue of same sex marriage. Bush, love him or hate him, has shown over the last few years, he is a real leader; something that we sadly lack in Canada. Martin should consider himself lucky if he comes away with any hope of resolving U.S.-Canada trade issues. George W. Bush after all is a fighter, not a ditherer.
The main reason that Martin wont mention same sex marriage to the U.S president is that the Canadian PM knows that it is not a human rights issue. It is as it has always been a political issue, nothing more, nothing less.
When all is said and done, even the Right Honourable Prime Minister Dithers doesnt believe his own rhetoric.
Arthur Weinreb is an author, columnist and Associate Editor of Canada Free Press. His work has appeared on Newsmax.com, Men's News Daily, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, Glenn Beck and The Rant. Arthur can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org