MP Pat O'Brien says gay marriage is illogical and morally offensive














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Legal - Canada - O'Brien: illogical and morally offensive

February 22, 2005

O'Brien: illogical and morally offensive
M.P. testifies to the truth about marriage

"This 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 ...

"Some 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.

"It 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 ...

"The 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.


"The appeal courts of Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia, the supreme courts of Yukon, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as the Court of Queen's Bench of Manitoba and Saskatchewan 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?

"First, 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.
Mr. 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.

"This 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.

"The 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."

Mr. Pat O'Brien (London—Fanshawe, Liberal), House of Commons, Feb. 21, 2005

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