Ever since the rising success of RuPaul’s Drag Race, plenty of Mama Ru’s quotes have injected themselves into pop culture. But this week, Ru wasn’t quoted in a gay bar or cheekily referenced while making your weekend plans with friends – she was quoted by a lawmaker on the floor of the Canadian parliament.
Michelle Rempel, the Member of Canadian Parliament for Calgary Nose Hill, had the pleasure of being the first to utter words of Ru to her fellow members while discussing an LGBT rights bill. “To you, Mr. Speaker, and for all my colleagues in this House, it is fantastic and pretty cool that we are debating something of such importance as we rise for Christmas break,” she said. “Because I am not sure anyone has ever done this in the House before, I am going to quote RuPaul: ‘If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?’ Merry Christmas.”
The LGBT rights Rempel referenced involves expunging the records of people with historical offenses regarding gay sex. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau backs The Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act, which would purge records and convictions that were made against people under anti-gay laws and provide compensation.
Rempel recalled stories she encountered while working on the legislation. “I heard from someone whose lesbian partner at that point in time was actually physically hauled out of her house for questioning on allegations of her sexual preference,” she said. Of course, whenever people see a government funded project that doesn’t directly benefit them they get wary. “I have had people write into my office and say, ‘the government is spending so much on this apology.’ We spent a lot of taxpayer dollars back then persecuting people. We spent a lot of taxpayer dollars developing a ‘fruit machine.’ That is a dark point in Canada’s history.” Watch the clip, below.
— Bari (@AlbertanGrrl) December 14, 2017