Saturday, February 17, 2007

Others are Important

Thanks to Lifesite News, you are about to take a voyage where many of you have not been before.
EDINBURGH, Scotland, February 16, 2007 ( - Nurses and other health care professionals should avoid using the terms ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ to refer to family relationships since the terms could be offensive to homosexual couples with children, a new directive published by Scotland’s National Health Service recommends.

Issued in conjunction with the country’s leading homosexual activist organization Stonewall Scotland, the publication is entitled Fair For All - The Wider Challenge: Good LGBT Practice in the NHS. Americans for Truth reported Feb.11 on the publication’s release.

The booklet calls for a “zero-tolerance policy to discriminatory language” among Scotland’s health care system. Included in discriminatory language is the use of terms that assume a traditional family structure of mother, father and children, according to the NHS directive.

LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered] people can and do have children, sexual orientation or gender identity has nothing to do with good parenting or good child care,” the booklet states.

“Individual circumstances lead to varied family structures and parenting arrangements. It is important to be aware of this. When talking to children, consider using ‘parents‘, ‘carers’ or ‘guardians’ rather than ‘mother’ or ‘father‘.
Carers? I suppose in the interest if full disclosure I must disclose here. I disclose to being a Carer twice over. My children greet me at the door when I return from a hard day negotiating for the government. "Carer is home," they yell as I trudge over the drawbridge into the castle . "Yippee! Carer is home." It warms the cockles of my Carer heart when they do that. How could it be otherwise?
Along the same lines, the directive points out, use of the terms ‘husband’, ‘wife’ and ‘marriage’ is not acceptable since such terms exclude lesbian, gay and bisexual people. Instead, health care workers should use the terms ‘partners’ and ‘next of kin’. Since ‘next of kin’ is often understood to mean nearest blood relative, however, the booklet recommends that it may be preferable to use ‘partner, close friend or close relative’ to avoid confusion.

“This allows the patient to identify and choose who is important to them.”
Identifying who is important to them is .... well ...... important. It's the same for kids. You have no idea how long it took me to train my genetic offspring to drop the archaic and heterosexist term Dad. Not that I claim anything special because they sprang from my personal loins - genetic attachments are so .... retro ... and hurtful to who have not so spawned .... .

It was Dad this and Dad that and most embarrassing in my yoga classes when they did so. "Dad I love you. to infinity and back." I kid you not. They made such appalling statements. I blame it on their kidful youth myself. It's not like my domestic partner (who just happens by an accident of fate to be a woman, though it not necessarily need be so), and I didn't try. Why the sheer number of timeouts required to bring the genetic progeny to heel was extraordinary .... though vitally necessary for the establishment of a just society.

I assure you that I did not spank them to get them to call me "Carer." That would have been abusive. Instead I sent them to their room for six months without television or computer games. And no pizza on Fridays. It was tough I tell you, but sacrifices must be made so that hospital workers are not confused if the genetic progeny are in an accident away from school and an ambulance is called and the progeny need to ask for those who do the dishes in the residence in which they live.

Even the heterosexist, deist, Lord Baden Powell of Boy Scout fame said we must "Be prepared." If such a disreputable person understands such things can today's enlightened elites do any less. I ask you.
Other recommendations include ensuring the health care environment is visually reassuring to LGBT people, with posters and magazines on LGBT issues on display.

“Posters with positive images of same-sex couples, alongside similar material depicting opposite-sex couples, should be displayed in all areas e.g. waiting areas, hospital wards.”

In order to better ensure the comfort and security of LGBT people in the health care environment, the NHS calls for sexual identity “monitoring forms” to be included in all registration procedures for both staff and patients. The booklet recommends five reply options to the question of sexual orientation, including ‘Lesbian‘, ‘Gay‘, ‘Bisexual‘, ‘Heterosexual‘, and ‘Other‘. Sections recording gender should be changed to have three reply options, ‘Male‘, ‘Female‘, or ‘Other, “where people can define their own gender.”
I could not agree more. Through a sheer accident of fate I am a male, and my domestic partner is an accidental female. But what if I had married an "other." I could have. This is Canada, after all - the land of other possibilities, where other is a part of us.

Not at all like that place to the south where Mad George reigns without the rule of law and others are left feeling so .... otherly. I knew a person once who thought he was loon. It doesn't get more otherly than that, but I respect him for his loony courage. I recall one rude mutual acquaintance once saying to him, "But you lack feathers." ... as though feathers are the measure of a loon. It was so hurtful.
Among guidelines for implementing pro-LGBT policies in the health care system, the directive requires that management or team leader job descriptions include a mandatory commitment to combating any “discriminatory” language or attitudes among staff.
You might think I agree with that, but I don't. I object to the use of the term "combating." It is too militaristic. We should get away from using such terms. They are redolent of the patriarchy ... of a time long gone .... when "Carers" were Dads and Mums. When there were such things as ugggh .... families .... . It is time to bring a stop to the pain. We must pursue other options.

Go General Go

Dennis Coderre MP (Lib) is not happy with General Rick Hillier, Canada's Chief of the Defence Staff. It seems that General Hillier, an uncharacteristically blunt general officer, called the 1990's under the Liberals, a "decade of darkness" for ther Canadian Forces. According to CTV News:

In a speech to a defence group on Friday, Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Rick Hillier said the Canadian Forces dealt with troubled times from 1994 onwards when the Liberals worked to balance the federal budget with heavy budget cuts.

The Canadian Forces had only now begun to "fully realize the negative impact of the defense expenditure reduction from 1994 and the lasting, most negative, legacy that they brought into effect which has to be put right," the outspoken general told the annual meeting of the Conference of Defence Associations.

The military was deprived of money it needed for education, training, postings, equipment, fleets as the same time as it increased the number of operations, he said.

"Those actions, dollar deprived, have now led to some deep wounds in ... the Canadian Forces over this past, what I would call, a decade of darkness," Hillier said Friday.

Mr. Coderre is outraged.

Liberal defence critic Denis Coderre blasted Hillier's speech, saying it was inappropriate that he described the Liberal era in such a way.

Coderre defended the party's legacy, saying that the Liberals under Paul Martin proposed adding billions to the defence budget.

"We also have to understand that, when we came to power in 1993, we inherited a deficit of $40 billion and we had also to take care of some of the priorities including the quality of life of the people. So, talking today about 10 years of darkness, I don't think it's appropriate, I think it's highly political and I am very disappointed at it," Coderre told reporters.

Ah, how the truth hurts. The unrefutable truth of the matter is that the Liberals allowed the fighting capability (training, equipment, numbers of personnel) of the Canadian Forces to degrade to the point of near collapse. The Forces bear the scars still and will for some time.

Mr. Coderre thinks General Hillier is playing politics. Actually, the problem for the Liberals is quite different. Unlike so many of the good general's recent predecessors he isn't. He is just refusing to remain silent on operational matters involving the capacity of the armed forces to function. Doing that is inherent in his job description.

"I think there would be many people who would line up to say I'm not a politician. I don't tread in those waters," he said after his speech.

"My job as Chief of Defence staff is described clearly. And hopefully I paint a picture for Canadians, for our government, on what the state of the Armed Forces is. I have described it about three, or three-and-a-half years ago as we were in a decade of darkness with respect to what we needed to do versus we were being asked to do. And, as I said this morning, we've gone through a decades of darkness and we are starting to come out of it and like it or not that's the description of the Canadian Forces."

The truth is that Mr. Coderre and his Liberal ilk did not live up to their national obligations as a government in this regard. It is one of the prime reasons I am no longer a Liberal.