It has long been a practice of American far-right spokespeople and organizations that when sensationalistic rhetoric starts to fail, rather than try to polish it up and make it look more convincing, they often switch to something more sensationalistic and absurd, as a way of getting attention and scaring folks. The thinking seems to be that the public isn’t interested in anything beyond the tl;dr headline / soundbyte, so if something is said often enough and assertively enough, people will think it to be true.
Canadian far-right spokespeople and organizations are usually craftier, but when they aren’t, it’s revealing. It demonstrates plainly just how much hate exists, just how irrational a form it can take, and just how impervious to logic and truth it can be.
And I can only guess that it is because of American far-right inspiration that Gwen Landolt of REAL Women of Canada has switched focus from bathroom fear to alleging that the trans human rights bill is really a NAMBLA plot to normalize pedophilia.
REAL’s own action alert insinuates:
Why, then, has this transgendered bill been placed before Parliament?
The answer appears to be that the bill is intended to be interpreted by the human rights tribunals and the courts in order to extend its reach to a number of other problematic sexual activities, including pedophilia. That is, the broad definition of the expression, “gender identity”, included in this bill, will eventually have to be interpreted by the appointed human rights tribunal and courts to determine the meaning of these words. This intention was confirmed by MP Randall Garrison, who introduced the bill, when he stated in the homosexual newspaper, Xtra (June 5, 2012), “Once gender identity is in the human rights code, the courts and human rights commissions will interpret what that means.”
Randall Garrison’s comment was actually made in reference to the controversial decision to drop “gender expression” from the bill, opening up concerns that only some trans people (i.e. those who medically transition) will be covered, as well as fears that failing to include gender expression could result in it being designated as separate and not covered, and of lower priority to policies based on physical sex. For trans people, the latter could take the form of “I didn’t fire him because he’s trans, I fired him because our dress code says if he has a vagina, he’s supposed to wear a dress.”
In an interview with the equally radicalized LifeSiteNews, Landolt takes the insinuation further:
Landolt said that a movement already exists that is lobbying western governments to enshrine adult sexual activity with children as the next “sexual orientation”.
The North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), a prominent pedophilia advocacy group, exists to “end the extreme oppression of men and boys in mutually consensual relationships”…
Landolt’s argument, unsurprisingly, stems from American far-right groups’ wide interpretation of “sexual orientation,” used to oppose the possible inclusion of that characteristic in human rights legislation. This can be traced to a 2009 olympian feat of spin from the Traditional Values Coalition, (who curiously no longer host their own report on their own website), claiming that the thirty paraphilias included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV) from the American Psychiatric Association (and which include things like pedophilia, voyeurism and necrophilia) can all be considered “sexual orientations.”
To be fair, NAMBLA has apparently also tried to argue this, themselves. But this argument failed in 2009, both because it strained reason, and because it also failed to take into account important considerations like mature, informed consent. It has also failed to materialize in the actual application of laws that already do include sexual orientation, like Canada’s human rights laws.
The way that REAL has tried to retool the “30 sexual orientations” argument has led some to assert that the organization and its figurehead are deliberately fearmongering.
REAL Women of Canada presents itself as “one of Canada’s leading women’s organizations,” but has for decades has been directly opposed to feminism and womens’ issues that they find theologically offensive, such as abortion, contraception, sex work, affirmative action and even unions (which have driven several of the gains that women have made in the workplace). REAL stands for “Realistic, Equal, Active, for Life,” and doesn’t discourage women from working (that’s not an economic possibility for many families, anyway), but has a mandate that allows it while still favouring homemaking and idealizing domesticity where possible (and don’t get me wrong, I respect women who are dedicated to their families: however, that is not the only place for women in society).
REAL is an NGO in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, and has regularly used this status to stymie international initiatives to better the lives of women, if those initiatives include reproductive rights, LGBT rights, feminist objectives and more. They have acted as legal interveners on nearly every major social issue that has come before the high courts, including a 1993 attempt to prohibit abortion, the 1999 ruling that gave same-sex couples the same legal and economic rights as opposite-sex couples, the legal battle over whether spanking was child abuse, a court decision on whether safe injection sites could be legalized, a few different cases where they attempted to establish legal personhood for the foetus, and are currently acting as intervenors in the Supreme Court’s hearing on the sex work ruling from Ontario. REAL Women of Canada feigns support for equality for women, while asserting that being a homemaker is a woman’s ideal calling, claiming that “the rights of men… have been marginalized while feminist special interest groups have taken center stage in Canadian policy,” and even supporting the abolition of divorce. Because it’s easier for far right conservatives to oppose womens’ rights and needs when they can point to women who do the same.
Gwen Landolt is famous for apologizing to the world on Canada’s behalf when Canada legalized same-sex marriage. Now, Ms. Landolt is attempting to retool the “30 sexual orientations” argument as a way of opposing extending human rights protections to trans people, in Bill C-279.
That bill does, by the way, provide a definition for gender identity:
2. (2)”In this section, “gender identity” means, in respect of an individual, the individual’s deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex that the individual was assigned at birth.”
Have fun twisting your brain into a pretzel trying to find a way in which that could be interpreted to include pedophilia.