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Film Clips, Chapter 11

Part I

How Gay Marriage Became Legal in Canada

TVOthinkagain, 6:59

A brief synopsis of the history of the same sex marriage debate in 2003–2005 (Fumia, pp. 212–215) or as the narrator explains at the end, “a podcast that remixes tedious issues to ThinkAgain.” In Canada, Bill C-38 was passed in 2005 with support from the Liberals, NDP, and Bloc Quebecois. This clip shows media commentators, speeches by then-Conservative leader Stephen Harper, and responses by NDP members, including Svend Robinson who linked the right to same sex marriage to the 1982 Charter of Rights (pp. 214–215).

An additional 2003 Canada Now clip called “Gay marriage legalized in Ontario” (4:00) can be found in the CBC digital archives. Here, the “two Michaels” discuss why getting marriage is so important for them (p. 217).

Critical Thinking Questions

  1. Fumia places the same sex marriage debate in the history of “sexual minorities’ movements” in Canada. How did the previous battles of sexual minorities form a foundation for the debate presented in this brief YouTube video?
  2. How did Bill C-38 speak to “heteronationalism” (pp. 214–215)? In your observation, what is the impact of heteronationalism on Canadian identity? Should we still be concerned?
  3. Why is marriage so important to the “two Michaels” as shown in the CBC clip and in the text (p. 277)? What forms of injustices were they battling in 2003 as sexual minorities in support of same-sex marriage?

Part II

Diane J. Savino: The Case for Same-Sex Marriage (2010)

Ted Talk, 7:33

Savino is addressing US lawmakers on the eve of their rejecting a marriage equality bill for New York in 2010. She speaks of the democratic need and will to pass the bill and distinguishes between the Church’s and government’s rights to discriminate in cases of marriage (Fumia, p. 211). Savino provides amusing descriptions of how heterosexual marriage is now viewed in America which can be compared to the subsection “What is Marriage For?” (pp. 209–210).

Judge Judy: “I Don’t Understand the Preoccupation with Gays Being Married”

Larry King Live (CNN), 3:53

Judge Judy comments on the low priority she assigns to same-sex marriage as a topical issue, taking a “state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation” line of defense.

Gay Marriage Supporters and Protesters at (US) Supreme Court

The Guardian, 5:02

Supporters are primarily shown here, but there are also a few commentaries from the extremist/ fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church.

Supreme Court Doma Hearing—Meeting the Gay Marriage Campaigners (2013)

Adam Gabbatt, 4:44

Starts with supports of the constitutional rights to same sex marriage in the US. The last few minutes show opposition from the extremist Westboro Baptist Church in the US.

Critical Thinking Questions

  1. The US debate on same sex marriage continued long after Canadians legalized it, partly because it is under state rather than federal jurisdiction. As in Canada, the debate has overtones of heteronationalism (pp. 211–215). Give examples of this from the clips on the protests of the US Supreme court.
  2. Assess Savino’s evaluation of American government involvement in same sex marriage compared to heterosexual marriage. How valid is her argument, in your opinion? How does the concept of the “sexual other” (p. 211) frame this debate?
  3. The Westboro Baptist Church is well known for its extremist and fundamentalist views on LGBTIQ issues. How common are these views in your community?

Part III

LZ Ganderson: The Myth of the Gay Agenda (2012)

TED talks, 17:52

Taking a witty perspective on “the gay lifestyle” touted as evil by opponents to same-sex marriage, Granderson goes through the everyday realities of his day and wonders how evil can it be? His is a testimonial similar to those in the text (Fumia, pp. 216–219). Note the question here of who is considered a “worthy” citizen. Granderson reveals “the gay agenda,” which looks suspiciously like the Constitution of the United States. He discusses the forms that discrimination takes in the US against gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered people and how these violate the US constitution. Maps similar to the one he uses are available on CBC’s website:

“I Wish Gay Marriage Was Legal Everywhere but that No Gay People Would Act on It" (2013)

George Stroumboulopoulos (CBC) interview with David Sedaris, 3:27

With acerbic wit, writer David Sedaris voices the ambiguity of wanting gay marriage to be legal but not wanting to go to the wedding. Place this idea in the frame of the subsection “Coming a long way or maintaining the status quo?” (p. 222).

Critical Thinking Questions

  1. How do testimonials like Granderson’s help us put the debate over same-sex marriage in perspective? Why does this issue continue even here in Canada after we legalized same-sex marriage in 2005?
  2. Have you witnessed instances of discrimination against LCBTIQ people in your community? How has the legalization of same-sex marriage since 2005 contributed (or not) to a normalization of non-heterosexual relations? (p. 211).
  3. While Sedaris is obviously making a joke, his message is an important one that the LGBTIQ community is grappling with. Does same-sex marriage simply reinforce the status quo? What do you think?