Needless to say, I am perplexed at the article published in the Revue de Gatineau on February 27, 2013. In a nutshell, things were moving along so so until a comment was made to the effect that the Public Service Alliance of Canada (...) the largest union in Canada (is) one of the most homophobic ones as well (...) (translation)
This comment need only to be subjected to cold, intelligent and reasoned analysis for one to see that it has no merit, given the irrefutable track record of political action PSAC has compiled over the years. We’re talking here about union political action that defends and promotes human rights, including gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered (GLBT) and political action that is often waged against harsh and bitter criticism by right-wing movements. In short, calling a union that is an institution, be it PSAC or any other union that falls under the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), homophobic is flat out absurd. In fact, several gains for GLBT rights have been made by the union movement in recent decades, and PSAC is proud of its role in this regard.
In 1971, my family left New York, North America’s largest city and my birthplace, to emigrate to Canada and settle in Blue Sea Lake, a small rural village in West Quebec. For me, a young black New Yorker, who witnessed homophobia almost everywhere I looked, I was tremendously relieved when I arrived in this small locality where homophobia, if it did exist, was far more discreet. The terror I used to feel in New York of being openly accused of being homosexual almost completely disappeared when I arrived in my new town. I am particularly offended by comments to the effect that Anglophones living in rural areas, in particular, are more homophobic than people living elsewhere in the country. Having lived in a rural setting as a bilingual Anglophone for a good part of my life, I believe that people in rural areas are no more or no less homophobic but that they learn to know one another and accept one another better than in cities.
…and a two
What disappoints me the most about this particular article in the Revue de Gatineau is the flagrant lack of journalistic professionalism and ethics the newspaper displayed by publishing comments bordering on hatred (and aimed at a linguistic community, in particular). I hope that these comments will be dismissed as absurd, a conclusion that any intelligent person performing a thorough analysis of our society’s social policy would come to.
Regional Executive Vice President
National Capital Region
Public Service Alliance of Canada