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On the Eve of National Same-Sex Marriage
09/12/2004

If the predictions hold up, the Supreme Court of Canada will rule tomorrow and we will soon have a national law in Canada that recognizes same-sex marriage from coast to coast. I say "good".

Andrew Coyne's column in the National Post today said an awful lot of things that I completely agreed with. (Coyne has that interesting property of being someone I frequently find myself agreeing with completely, and other times I entirely oppose him.) Too bad his column isn't available online for free and I'm too tired to type it out.

Coyne takes the position that allowing same-sex marriage is the right thing -- "I can think of no good arguments against it, and several in favour of it" -- but also recognizes that we shouldn't be so entirely dismissive of those who are opposed because its an issue on which reasonable people can (and do) disagree. I feel that this is obviously true, since many of us who now favour same-sex marriage would have been against it, or even shocked by it, a short number of years ago. What has changed during that time?

And that is a very interesting question -- what has changed in the past decade or so? Yes, it is partly a case of older people dying off and new people coming of age, but that is not all. Many people changed their minds. How? It seems to me that a big part of it is simply a case of living with an idea and realizing there was nothing to be worried about after all. In a simple process of social evolution, our society was exposed to an idea, slept on it, and realized it wasn't a big deal after all.

In fact, five years from now I expect the issue of same-sex marriage in Canada will have been nearly forgotten, and be of little significance to anyone who isn't part of such a union.


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