Thursday, December 22, 2005

Hiding Agendas (5): Cindy Silver's appearance before the senate

As I've been pointing out, Cindy Silver, the Conservative candidate in Vancouver North, wants to portray herself as a social moderate, asserting to a reporter from the North Shore News (here) that several of the positions that she publicly took as in-house lawyer for Focus on the Family were not her views, but those of her client.

This cannot stand-up to much scrutiny. In April 1996 she appeared before a senate committee discussing extending federal civil rights protections in matters of employment and provision of services to gays. You can read the whole day's testimony in Hansard (here). But this extract strikes me as especially telling:
I would want to pose the question to the Senate on this issue: How would sexual orientation be protected? I have three children between the ages of 13 and 5. If this bill is passed, what we teach them at home will be different from what they will learn at school. Already, there are pamphlets dealing with homophobia. Homophobia is everyone's problem. The fact is that I am not homophobic. I happen to believe that homosexuality is wrong. If that makes me homophobic, then these pamphlets are telling my children that their mother is homophobic and putting a very nasty name to something which I feel is a deeply held conviction."
What are we to make here of Ms. Silver's excuse that her arguments were as a lawyer and therefore potentially not her views?

Yes, she did appear at the senate as Focus on the Family's lawyer. But her argument here steps from the lawyerly to the personal. She asserts that she didn't want discrimination against homosexuals in employement to be outlawed because she thought that this would make it harder to teach her children that homosexuality is wrong. That may be consistent with her clients' view. But she is not talking about their children but her own.

For other Cindy Silver posts, follow the link.

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