By BRADLEY ZORGDRAGER
Outdated doesn’t even begin to describe Alberta’s diagnostic guide for health care, which classifies homosexuality as a mental disorder. Even more disturbing is the fact that it appears above bestiality, pedophilia, transvestism, exhibitionism and transsexualism in a list of sexual deviations and disorders.
By using an old version of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD), Alberta is allowing doctors to bill the province for treating homosexuality.
According to a study done by Statistics Canada, “Hate crimes refer to criminal offences that are motivated by hate towards an identifiable group,” and includes sexual orientation as one of those groups.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Criminal Code “provides that every person has the right to be treated equally without discrimination because of sexual orientation.”
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms says, “Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination.” Denying a person their equality is in direct violation of the Criminal Code.
Since a more recent revision of the ICD has deemed homosexuality to not be a mental disorder, the Alberta government is ignoring this information.
Ignorance is not a valid excuse either, as the government has known about the inaccurate classification for over a decade. Tantamount to the ignorance on the government’s side is the fact that instead of actually doing something in 2010, the government simply removed the controversial wording from the website, as if to adopt a policy of out of sight, out of mind.
However, the code itself remains in use according to Alberta Health spokeswoman Kathleen Range in a National Post article. Meanwhile, the Canadian Criminal Code considers any person who “abets any person in committing” a crime, as a party to the crime. By providing money to a cause that is all but just, the Alberta government is abetting a harmful and unfair classification and are, therefore, a party to a hate crime.
Though the government of Canada has introduced gay marriage – no doubt a proud point in our history – we need to realize that equality will only come about when everyday life is the same for those of different sexual orientations.
We as a country need to stop tiptoeing around this issue. We need to put our collective foot down and force Alberta to enter the 21st century.