The Attorney General of Canada's Memorandum of argument says extreme conservatives have no right to appeal.
Legal Canada - Back to court with new support
October 3, 2003
Back to court with new support
Attorney General of Canada defends equal marriage
"The Supreme Court of Canada controls its own processes and docket. It does so by means of the Supreme Court Act, Rules and the case law interpreting them. All three make clear that a private litigant intervener in the courts below cannot seek leave to appeal [at the Supreme Court of Canada]."
So begins a Memorandum of Argument from the Attorney General of Canada (AGC) in a motion to quash an appeal of the Ontario June 10 decision enabling same-sex marriage. The appeal has been brought forward by a group of meddlers from the sacred and secular world, including the Catholic Church, Evangelicals, the Islamic Society of North America, Focus on the Family, and even some disgruntled backbench Members of Parliament have become involved.
The AGC's argument represents the first time that the government of Canada has been in court defending our right to equal marriage. The AGC argued strenuously at the Ontario Divisional Court hearing against same-sex marriage. Arguments from the AGC seemed less certain at the Court of Appeal for Ontario.
"Society is not static," the Justice Minister said on July 17 when the "Proposal for an Act" recognizing same-sex marriages was introduced. Minister Cauchon also promised to oppose any anti-gay initiatives brought to the Supreme Court of Canada by religious and social conservative extremists. It was an acknowledgement that the government had changed sides after lengthy consideration (and a string of losses in courts).
So next Monday, the Attorney General of Canada will be back in court, this time opposing the same people who's words the AGC echoed in earlier days. It's a positive sign of how our country and its people are adapting to change and new realities.
The AGC will argue the groups seeking an opportunity to appeal are attempting to hijack the marriage case. In essence they are litigious bandits with no standing in court. Constitutional democracies are designed to protect citizens from such thieves who are intent on stealing rights away from targeted citizens.
"The jurisprudence of the Court is clear that a private litigant intervener in the court below has not standing to seek leave to appeal to this [Supreme] Court [of Canada]," the AGC says in its Argument, explaining that those who are asking to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada were not parties to the marriage case in Ontario, but only interveners who were allowed to file evidence related to only two narrow perspectives:
The groups seeking an opportunity to appeal the marriage decision "should not be allowed to step into the shoes of the Attorney General ... to gain control and carriage of the litigation," the AGC's Memorandum of Argument says.
Further, the AGC says that this request for appeal was not filed on a "viable basis" and therefore the AGC "requests costs of this motion."
Other parties involved in quashing the appeal also hope to have their costs paid for by the misguided religious and social conservatives who continue to obstruct access to full and equal marriage for all Canadians.