Legal - Canada - O'Brien:
illogical and morally offensive
February 22, 2005
illogical and morally offensive
testifies to the truth about marriage
proposed definition [gay marriage] is one that both I and my wife Evelyn,
and millions of other Canadians find unnecessary, illogical and morally
offensive. Opponents include members of every political party and no political
party, of every faith and of no particular faith. Same sex marriage is
an oxymoron because it denies the heterosexual prerequisite of true marriage.
It is a real threat to marriage and the family which is the basic foundation
of all human societies ...
people have even tried to draw an analogy between the women's rights
and the black civil rights movements with the demand for same sex
marriage. This analogy is utterly false. However well-intentioned
its proponents, only by a misreading of history and the use of specious
logic can one possibly arrive at such a patently false conclusions.Millions
of Canadian women and many black persons, including personal friends
of mine, feel insulted by this false analogy. To equate their legitimate
demands for equal and just treatment consistent with natural moral
law with the illegitimate demands for same sex marriage in contravention
of natural moral law is illogical.
is equally illogical to argue that the natural extension of protecting
individual rights of gays, which I and most Canadians support, is
that two gays in a sexual relationship somehow have the right to
co-op the term marriage to describe their relationship. The charter
does not speak to group rights, even a group of two people. Rather,
it speaks solely and exclusively to individual rights ...
Prime Minister further has stated that we cannot return to the past,
that is, retain the traditional definition of marriage “with a simple
snap of the fingers”. Recall that incredibly it was a simple snap
of the legal fingers of three judges in Ontario that instantly redefined
marriage in June
2003. This shockingly arrogant ruling is an insult to the people
and Parliament of Canada. At that time, as I served on the justice
committee, I called for the ruling to be appealed by the federal
government. The failure to do so is clearly the reason that the
Supreme Court refused to address itself to the constitutionality
of the traditional definition of marriage, which was question
four in the reference to the court. Surely that time, when the
justice committee hearings were reduced to a pathetic farce, should
be recorded as one of the most disgraceful and duplicitous moments
in the history of our parliamentary deliberations as a nation. It
was also the quintessence of judicial activism at its worst.
appeal courts of Quebec,
Columbia, the supreme courts of
and Labrador, as well as the Court
of Queen's Bench of Manitoba
have all said, unanimously, that the equality
right in section 15 requires that same sex spouses have the right
to marry. Thus the legal situation in Canada is very clear: the
law says that, today, same sex spouses have the right to marry.
What should we remember in all that?
as I indicated earlier, we can only legislate on marriage. Second,
according to the courts, the only way to legislate in compliance
with the charter is by allowing same sex partners to get married.
What can we do about this? We could go for the notwithstanding clause,
which means that we, as parliamentarians, would be saying that we
have decided to suspend the rights and freedoms of some of our fellow
citizens. That should be of concern to each of us personally. Are
we, all of us, prepared to suspend rights that have been recognized
by the courts? Personally, I am not in politics to suspend the rights
and freedoms of my neighbours, friends and fellow citizens. Those
who think and say that we can legislate and restore the so-called
traditional definition of marriage without using the notwithstanding
clause are either in bad faith or ignorant of the law.
Richard Marceau (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles,
BQ), House of Commons, Feb. 21, 2005
there is a higher truth and a greater judge than any we will find in the
courts of Canada or any earthly court. Our courts do not have a
monopoly on truth. Our charter, though important, is not sacrosanct.
The government, pushed by the courts, is making a very serious mistake
in a reckless and headlong rush to redefine marriage to the point that
in Canada the word could become virtually meaningless.
court driven radical experiment in social engineering could have incalculable
negative long term effects on marriage and the family to the detriment
of Canadian society. For me, this is an issue much more important than
mere party politics. It goes directly to the heart of who I am and what
I believe. While all persons no matter what their sexual orientation deserve
to be treated with dignity and respect, that does not mean we must imperil
the future of true marriage so as to satisfy the illogical and immoral
demand for same sex marriage.
eyes of the nation are on us as we engage in this important debate. I
believe the eyes of our ancestors and our dear deceased loved ones are
also on us at this historic time. The real question is, will we betray
the precious legacy of marriage and the family that they left us? Will
we so easily and carelessly discard that precious legacy so as to reconstruct
marriage into something it was never meant to be? I answer, no. And so
here I stand to bear witness to the truth about marriage."
Pat O'Brien (London—Fanshawe, Liberal), House of Commons, Feb. 21,