I’ve generally stayed away from the Bill C36 discussion (and blogging altogether) for a variety of reasons, but rather than rehash them now, I’ll just cut to the chase. On September 10, Terri-Jean Bedford appeared before the Senate committee assessing Bill C36, and said the following:
“If this law passes I’m going to make you guys forget about Mike Duffy, because I’ve got more information and more proof on politicians in this country than you can shake a stick at, I promise.”
For many years, Barney Frank had a rule regarding the exposure of closeted gay politicians – those who did not actively work to limit gay rights in the USA would have their right to privacy respected, but those who engaged in gay sex acts behind closed doors while also publicly opposing the advancement of gay rights deserved to have their hypocrisy revealed, regardless of the consequences. Known as the “Frank Rule” he explained it to Bill Maher in 2006:
“I think there’s a right to privacy. But the right to privacy should not be a right to hypocrisy. People who want to demonize other people shouldn’t then be able to go home and close the door, and do it themselves.”
Many of my past clients have had public profiles; I remember one enjoyable dinner date with a client, where we talked about seeing each other on the same TV program on different nights, and gave each other pointers for our future appearances. Some of my clients have been active in politics, either before, during or after the time I saw them. Although I can’t see myself ever “outing” a past client for any reason, I can certainly understand where Terri-Jean is coming from.
If members of the Conservative Party have purchased sexual services and they are simultaneously seeking to criminalize that very act, then Terri-Jean is well within her rights to reveal their actions, and their hypocrisy. Those who value their own privacy have no right to impose on the privacy of others, which is precisely what C36 will do. In that sense, respect for privacy is very much a two-way street – if you’re an elected official who doesn’t respect the privacy of other Canadian citizens, then you can’t expect the citizens to respect your privacy either.
It would not surprise me at all if a large number of male Conservative Party MPs are suspiciously absent during the next Parliamentary session, when Bill C36 is set to be voted into law.
Agree? Disagree? Comment below and tell me why!