“She needs to be re-educated.” Proclaimed Andrea Markowski on the Corus Radio’s Charles Adler show, referring to a family doctor in Winnipeg who refused to accept Ms. Markowski and her husband/wife as new patients because they were a lesbian couple. Dr. Kamelia Elias of Winnipeg’s Lakewood Medical Centre suggested that the couple seek out another family practitioner, as she had had no experience with lesbians and held deeply felt religious convictions that were in opposition to gay marriage.
Of course, the lesbian couple did what all of Canada’s aggrieved do when they feel insulted. They complained to their local neighborhood human rights commission in hopes of having their ills redressed and seeing swift punishment descend on the doctor.
It is ironic that in a country that prides itself on its inclusiveness and diversity, there is so little room for dissenting opinions when it comes to having others’ sexuality crammed down one’s throat. The very idea that Doctor Elias “needs to be re-educated” smacks of the excesses practiced by Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev and Mao to bend their own peoples’ attitudes to conform to their totalitarian orthodoxy.
Dr. Elias, who had mainly practiced medicine in Egypt prior to earning accreditation as a doctor in Canada, claims she did not outright refuse to treat the lesbian couple, but that she suggested they seek out another physician who had experience treating gay people. She mentioned that there were illnesses that were germane mainly to homosexuals and she had no experiences in treating such illnesses.
And while Ms. Markowski claimed that she “didn’t want to crucify the doctor”, she did want some degree of satisfaction, if not a pound of flesh, in seeking sanctions against the doctor and the clinic. In what must surely have looked like a Monty Python skit, Members of the Manitoba Ministry of Health attended at the couple’s home to offer apologies and see if there was anything they could do to make the pair feel better.
Now, clearly, since the law of the land insists that gay people can be “married”, the Markowski’s rightfully feel aggrieved. But what about Dr. Elias, whose religious beliefs run counter to the prevailing social mores? Are her own inner convictions any less valid than those of the aggrieved gay couple? Or is it possible that in Canada we have a hierarchy of rights with some rights trumping others?
And if indeed, we do have a hierarchy of rights, then who exactly decides the order of importance of those rights? Is it the bureaucrat charged with investigating human rights complaints, or is it the role of the courts to see to it that those who have been wronged are wronged in the right order?
A strong argument could be made that what one feels to be morally, ethically or religiously objectionable should trump what others do in their bedroom. Inevitably, as we begin to rank rights and grievances in order of importance, many people’s rights will be trampled, while minor grievances assume Herculean proportions. It was Pierre Trudeau who said, “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.” In the same token, the bedrooms of the nation have no place in the state.
As such “re-educating” Dr. Elias will yet become another of those Orwellian nightmares to which we have recently awakened.
Klaus Rohrich is senior columnist for Canada Free Press. Klaus also writes topical articles for numerous magazines. He has a regular column on RetirementHomes and is currently working on his first book dealing with the toxicity of liberalism. His work has been featured on the Drudge Report, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, among others. He lives and works in a small town outside of Toronto.
Klaus can be reached at [email protected]
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