REAL (Realistic, Equal, Active, for Life) Women of Canada was established in 1983, believes that the nuclear family is the most important unit in Canadian society, and that the fragmentation of the Canadian family is a primary cause of social disorder. It lobbies the Government of Canada in favour of legislation to promote what it believes to be the Judeo-Christian model of family life, and to support homemaking. It is also opposed to feminism, abortion and LGBT rights.
They haven’t been in the news much lately, so they decided they needed a headline grabber. Their choice was to jump on the recent publicity around the stance of the Russian and some African governments on gay rights and Canada’s response.
In a telephone interview with CBC News, Gwendolyn Landolt, national vice-president of REAL Women of Canada, disputed that defending the rights of gays and lesbians is a human rights issue in other countries.
“According to the culture and the religion of, you know, Uganda it’s not a human rights issue. You can’t imply that every country has to take our human rights issues and plunk it down in another country. And particularly when you’re spending all that taxpayers’ money to implement a standard which is not that of that country,” she said.
When asked about reports that Uganda has considered the death penalty as punishment for having homosexual relations, Landolt said, “It may be unwise by Western standards, but who are we to interfere in a sovereign country?”
Here are some of the Russian activities REAL Women thinks Canada should condone through silence:
- Tortured and killed gay man ‘raped with beer bottles’
- Police colluded with Neo-Nazis at 2011 Moscow Pride protests
- Russian MP calls for law allowing gays to be whipped in public squares
- Russian paratroopers violently attacked lone gay rights activist in St Petersburg
- Father imprisoned gay teen son in rehab clinic after a witch failed to exorcise his homosexuality
- Angry crowd of fascists violently attack gay activists in Voronezh
- Russian lawmaker tells Stephen Fry: ‘Gay teens pretend to be bullied’
- Thirty arrests made at 2013 Moscow Pride
- Four Dutch filmmakers questioned by police over ‘gay propaganda’
- Peter Tatchell punched in the face at 2007 Moscow Pride
- Lawmaker said Madonna and Lady Gaga Russian performances were illegal
- LGBT-supporting feminist punk band Pussy Riot sentenced to two years in prison
- Head of Russian Orthodox Church warns equal marriage is a sign of the apocalypse
- Group calls for Facebook ban over same-sex marriage marriage icon
- Elton John’s outfits dubbed ‘homosexual propaganda’ by Communist group
- Violence and arrests at 2009 Pride alongside Eurovision
- Orthodox priest who supported pro-LGBT Pussy Riot found stabbed to death
- Duma approves bill to criminalise insulting religious beliefs, following Pussy Riot protest
- Gay pride march organiser beaten after city announces ban
- Vladmir Putin signs ‘gay propaganda’ and same-sex adoption bans into law
- Gay teenager kidnapped and tortured by Russian homophobes claimed to have died from injuries
Some of these, such as SSM being the sign of the apocalypse and comments by lawmakers and Facebook groups are the same as many North Americans act. Others where being gay or supporting gays leads to state supported violence should result in censure by governments who support equal rights.
I am certainly not suggesting that we can rest on our laurels in having totally overcome prejudices, but we are making strides in removing legislative barriers to equality. Groups such as REAL Women have the right to say what they wish, and I have the right to call them out as hateful bigots.