After two years of acrimonious debate, Canada’s House of Commons on June 28 passed a controversial same-sex marriage bill. If approved as expected by Canada’s Liberal-dominated Senate this month, the bill will allow same-sex couples to marry, making the country only the fourth in the world to recognize homosexual marriage.
The surprise was palpable in the nation’s capital when Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, a crucial swing vote in many of the Supreme Court’s most controversial decisions of the past 24 years, announced on July 1 that she would retire to care for her husband.
Putting behind them a controversial document, Pope Benedict XVI met with leaders of the World Council of Churches June 16 and reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s “irreversible” commitment to the search for Christian unity.
Malcolm Gladwell, author of the popular book The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, was born in Canada to an English father and a Jamaican mother. He did not look black until he let his hair grow out Afro-style. With the Afro he started getting “stopped and frisked on the streets of America for no other reason than looking like a black American.” This experience of racial profiling was the inspiration for his most recent book, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, which delves into the psychology of the “unconscious mental processes we all use to size up a person or a situation with just a few telling details” (Black Issues Book Review, July-August).