Since he has become, if indirectly, part of this unfolding discussion, I asked Mark Tewksbury if he might have something to add. Last night, he emailed along the following.
“As proud as I am to be recognized as a gay and lesbian advocate (I believe under the sport section), I am hardly representative of the vast diversity of the LGBT community, or the decades of brave work that has led to the advancement of our human rights. A reference to a sporting champion who is gay does nothing to honour the enormous work that has been done to make Canada a global leader in the advancement of equality for LGBT people, or the milestones that led us here over the past several decades.
“With dozens of countries in the world still punishing gays and lesbians with life in prison or execution, the fact that Canada recognizes same sex marriages and protects against sexual orientation is a reason why many gays and lesbians would apply for citizenship to this country. Why would the government withdraw information in the citizenship guide that would directly benefit new Canadians who are gay or lesbian? For me, it smacks of revisionist history. The Government of Canada is representative of Canadian people, and the minister in question (or his office) is not acting in accordance. Individuals in power deciding to eliminate a targeted group, whomever that group may be, has dangerous precedence. Being cut out of the story, literally, reminds me just how easy it is to have advances stripped away.”