Spaced Out Testimony - Catholic Women's League spewed bizarre and hateful statements  during the marriage hearing in Ottawa.

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Equal Marriage and the Law in Canada

March 5, 2003

Spaced-Out Testimony
Out of this world with the Catholic Women's League

Ottawa - As minutes slowly trickle out from the proceedings of the marriage hearings, conducted by Parliament's Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, it becomes clear that opponents to same-sex marriage are filled with bizarre and hateful notions. The most recent example is found in minutes, published today, from the February 11 appearance of the Catholic Women's League.

In a performance that was out of this world, Ms. Rita Curley (CWL) began her statement predictably enough, by supporting faith-based bigotry with quotations from the Bible (Genesis and Matthew). Then things began to appear unhinged.

"Astronauts are in the news again," Ms. Curley began in the first of her weird associations. "On Christmas eve, 1968, the Apollo astronauts took turns reading the Bible, and Frank Borman said the first prayer made by man above the moon."

Ms. Curley read the prayer: a general call for "universal The Inquisition targets same-sex marriage - Document promotes hatepeace" and "goodness" and "understanding hearts". Nice sentiments. Perhaps Ms. Curley was trying to establish a common ground of good will? But she went on to quote another astronaut, William Anders, who had a prayer about wisdom. Clearly taking flight, Ms. Curley invoked yet another heavenly astronaut James Lovell and finally soared into irrelevance with RCAF pilot John Magee's sonnet "High Flight".

Where was this going? Who knows? Ms. Curley, apparently spaced-out, appeared not to be tethered to the realities of this world. From her heightened perspective, she launched into a tirade as hateful as anything this committee has yet heard.

"To redefine marriage to be more inclusive of homosexuality is to create a new morality in which homosexuality is not merely tolerated but is normalized and would branch out into sexual activity with babies, children of both sexes, and with animals."

"I've been silent, but I will not be silent any longer," M.P. Svend Robinson said, when Ms. Curley's time was up. "As a gay man, to hear a witness equating me with pedophiles, with those who would have sex with babies, with those who would engage in bestiality, is not acceptable from any witness, and I won't accept it. It's not acceptable. Frankly, I'm disappointed that no other member of this committee has spoken out. If this kind of hatred and venom were directed at blacks or aboriginal people, does anyone think that members around this committee would be silent and just listen as this kind of hatred is spewed? I don't think so. It's not acceptable. I'm asking the chair to rule that when witnesses appear before this committee they can certainly make vigorous arguments and disagree fundamentally with the concept of gay marriage, but to equate gay people and lesbian people with criminals and those who would engage in pedophilia is simply not acceptable." "I'm disappointed that no other member of this committee has spoken out. If this kind of hatred and venom were directed at blacks or aboriginal people, does anyone think that members around this committee would be silent and just listen as this kind of hatred is spewed? I don't think so."
M.P. Svend Robinson

"I'm sorry Svend Robinson took it the way he did," Curley replied. "I have God on my side."

Ms. Curley then went on to compare homosexuals to alcoholics and shared her belief that people become gay because "these people have been molested in their childhood and that's what gave them the habit. It started them off on the wrong foot. But they can change ... Do the homosexuals ever pray?"

"I've searched in the New Testament as hard as I possibly can, and I can't seem to find a single word by Jesus Christ on homosexuality," Robinson said. "Can you help me on that?"

"Yes," Curley replied. "What was it he said now?"

Ms. Curley paused while her associate, a nun, lent her some Catholic infallibility.

"Sister Louise tells me it wasn't an issue at the time."

"It wasn't an issue at that time?" Robinson asked.

"It wasn't an issue at that time." Curley confirmed.

"There were no homosexuals at that time?"

"Yes, he said ... What was it now? Christ did say something."

But she was unable to answer, finally left speechless, like the rest of us.

Details about Parliament's Marriage Committee Hearings


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