It's not just that our Supreme Court has ruled that Gay people should have marriage rights and that most of our anti-discrimination laws prohibit discrimination against a person on the basis of sexual orientation. Beyond that, homophobia has become as socially unacceptable as racism, and the mere accusation of it is sometimes enough to devastate the reputation of the accused.
In Canada, we're well past the Seinfeldian "not that there's anything wrong with that," disclaimers and have come full circle to where it's politically and socially advantageous to be gay. Hell, I'm ready to come out of the closet, and I was never in it. At the Pride festival last summer, I was waived past a line-up into a crowded club while two beautiful women standing beside me were kept outside, and inside gay bars, I've been bought drinks by men trying to ingratiate themselves to me. I'm not gay, but with privileges like that available, why would I want to volunteer the embarrassing and disadvantageous admission that I'm straight?
As far as I'm concerned, that's all very positive progress. I've written before that not only is gay marriage something we should tolerate, but something we should all support, because it's good for everyone in society. In fact, the only gay wedding I'd be opposed to is one without an open bar.
But we've also fallen into a deplorable trap. Because being seen as pro-Gay is considered a badge of "progressiveness," a typical gang of insecure, vacuous characters now fall all over themselves to form witch-hunting mobs seeking out the slightest perceived heresy.
The latest victim of this narrow-minded intolerance and totalitarianism-of-thought is my friend Andrew Lawton, who hosts a radio talk show on London, Ontario's AM980.
Andrew, in reaction to a group trying to demonize London as being hostile to the gay community, which he considered both false and a slur to his town, wrote something that was distorted and leaped upon by hysterics trying to portray him as a "homophobe."
"Emerging Leaders used a push poll to try to paint Londoners as intolerant of the LGBTQ community.
Number of sexual-orientation motivated hate crimes in Canada per year: 185
Number of HIV/AIDS infections from men having sex with men in Canada per year: 1450
Who is the real enemy?It may have been clumsily expressed, but Andrew is not anti-Gay and what he wrote are facts.
His point was not homophobic. Indeed, it was the opposite, that Canada in general, and London, Ontario are bastions of tolerance and we live in a society that is so tolerant that statistically, a gay man is in more danger from being harmed by another gay man than from becoming the victim of a hate crime. Even so, Andrew publicly apologized for the way he expressed himself on facebook.
However, because of an orchestrated campaign, Andrew has been suspended from his show.
Andrew Lawton is an outstanding radio host, who gained national attention just a few days before his facebook comment from an interview he did with Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau.
Unlike other interviews that Trudeau has faced, Lawton asked detailed, tough questions, which analysts on all sides of the political spectrum acknowledge was not a "gotcha" inquisition, but in which Andrew insisted on getting complete answers. The interview proved to be a serious failing for Trudeau in which he floundered on his responses to Canada's role in fighting the Islamic State terror group. It's even been speculated that the Liberal party's support for the Conservative government's new Anti-Terror Bill was a result of trying to mitigate Trudeau's poor performance on Andrew's show.
That has made a lot of people very angry at Andrew and they have been looking for a chance, any chance at getting revenge, and distorting Andrew's facebook remark proved to be it.
The irony of this is that these people so outraged and Andrew's inadvertent offence are remarkably silent about actual murders of gay people in the Islamic world, or the overt homophobia that is promoted in virtually every mosque in Canada.
It is an absolute disgrace that AM980's program director Nathan Smith capitulated to the witch-hunt that sought to burn Andrew at the stake.
Andrew's show is described as "Canada's most irreverent radio talk show." The bosses at AM980 should be aware of that, since Andrew would say it following just about every other station break. Perhaps the people who run AM980 aren't actually aware of the meaning of "irreverent," so I'll help them out with its dictionary definition, which is, "showing a lack of respect for people or things that are generally taken seriously."
Think about it. AM 980 was boasting about having a show that shows a lack of respect for people or things generally taken seriously. That is, until someone complained that they showed a lack of respect for people or things taken seriously.
In my books, that pretty much equals cowardice and hypocrisy on the part of AM980.
But I could be wrong. After all, a radio station is a business, and there's no profit in offending advertisers and listeners.
However, by suspending Andrew, they may have done just that.
Perhaps, in the politest, most civil way possible, it would be a good idea to remind AM980's Nathan Smith that until Andrew is reinstated, listeners will stop buying products and services advertised on the station. It might also be a good idea to remind some of the station's advertisers of that.
You can email Nathan Smith at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Update: Just so you have an idea of the type of hypocrites and weirdos who are braying for Andrew's blood, here's one of his most vociferous detractors on Twitter:
Hmm... Bigot, eh? The same Scott Sproul who spouts the "n' word and compares African Americans to monkeys:
So who's the bigot?????!!!