Canada Legal News
- Parliament rejects Harper's bigotry
April 12, 2005
rejects Harper's bigotry
Motion to resurrect old definition of marriage
Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell
Harper's ongoing attempt to stop the progress of equality failed again
today when Parliament
rejected his motion to prevent Bill C-38 from proceeding to second
reading in the House of Commons. Harper's bigotry was rejected by 164
Members of Parliament; 132 MPs voted in favour of Harper's amendment,
including approximately 30 Liberal backbenchers.
The NDP, most
of the Bloc Quebecois, a majority of Liberals, and four Conservative
MPs voted against the Tory attempt to deny the existence of gay
marriage. This result was achieved despite an unprecedented campaign
against civil rights mounted by religious and conservative extremists,
funded in part by U.S. counterparts.
of equality began losing their cases in the nation's courts, they
turned to government to maintain discrimination.
of the Liberals most upset with their party on same-sex marriage
-- Ontario MP Pat O'Brien and Alberta MP David Kilgou -- have mused
openly about joining the Tories in the next election or ending their
Globe and Mail, Apr. 12, 2005
After today's vote,
Focus on the Family told the Globe and Mail, "This is not
an issue that peaks and goes away."
This despite their
assertions on May 2003 where they maintained "Redefining
marriage to include same-sex couples is a matter for Canadians and their
elected leaders, and not the courts, to decide."
has now spoken. But Harper and his band of extremists don't like
the answer and they're determined in their attempt to attack the
rights of gays and lesbians. Harper has threatened to bring down
the Liberal minority government and make same-sex marriage an election
issue. If elected, he would create second-class citizens by invoking
the notwithstanding clause to strip gays and lesbians of Charter
As we enter
the wedding season, most citizens of Canada already live in a region
where same-sex marriage is a consummated reality. More and more
families are being built upon same-sex marriages. Yet Harper continues
to believe he can ride into the Prime Minister's office on a wave
lot of the conservative members in the Canadian House of Commons
debate seem to be arguing that it is for legislators to decide whether
to have same-sex marriage. But surely they are missing the point.
Legislators decided that a generation ago, when the Canadian Parliament
adopted the Charter ... All that is happening now is that people
are coming to realise what the Charter means in the field of mariage
law. And that is rightly a matter for the courts, not the legislature,
to decide. Best wishes in the cause!
from Augur Pearce, Cardiff, UK, April 12, 2005.
Fears over Harper's
social agenda cost his party the last election, despite outrage over Liberal
party financial scandals. Harper stands poised to repeat his mistake,
because he just doesn't understand the positive nature of Canadians. We're
more interested in rights than wrongs.
"I believe Canada
passed a very important test today," The Prime Minister said in a