I had a brief conversation Tuesday night on Twitter with an American friend of mine, in which she questioned the far-reaching effects of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn DOMA and Proposition 8. The thing is, no U.S. policy doesn't affect Canadian policy. We have a Conservative Prime Minister who has decided not to touch these issues in Canada right now. However, he has no qualms about doing basically whatever he wants when it comes to Aboriginal land and rights, to name one debate raging here in Canada, which doesn't leave me much hope that he won't open these issues back up for debate. That's why this stuff is important -- rights are never guaranteed.
As a younger woman, I stood beneath the arch on countless occasions at the height of the Cold War. It was a time when there were far fewer allied nations and as a Canadian teen I knew my closest allies were those I could reach through the arch to connect with. In 1984 the Americans were not just my neighbors, they were my family in every sense of the word. Suddenly, it's 28 years later. You find yourself in 2012 in the midst of the US election and you realize, with shock and awe that the gate is closing - not because of economics or war or terrorist threat or because a guard is standing at the border locking the gate in front of you - but in the name of blind adherence to ideology.