Skip to comments.Feds cowards on gay marriage ... (Canadian PM's cowardice & hypocricy)
Posted on 01/23/2005 6:22:18 PM PST by GMMAC
Feds cowards on gay marriage
Ducked issue by leaving it with courts
THE TORONTO SUN
Sun, January 23, 2005
Senior Associate Editor
In his latest argument in favour of same sex-marriages, Prime Minister Paul Martin has described it as a "Charter right".
In other words, legalizing gay and lesbian unions, Martin now argues, is a basic issue of protecting minorities from discrimination, as guaranteed by Section 15 of the Charter of Rights.
There's only one problem. Nowhere in Section 15 do the words "sexual orientation" appear.
When the Charter was passed by Parliament in 1982, it specifically protected individuals from discrimination based on "race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability".
Sexual orientation as a "Charter right" was never approved by Parliament. It was "read into" the Charter by the judges of the Supreme Court of Canada, starting in 1995.
Opponents of same sex-marriage argue this key ruling -- which paved the way for the eventual legal recognition of same-sex marriages -- was a blatant example of judicial activism run amok.
Proponents argue the court was simply fulfilling the intent of Parliament, given the "open-ended" wording of Section 15, which guaranteed "every individual" freedom from discrimination based upon -- but not limited to -- race, origin, colour, sex, etc.
But whichever side of the debate you're on -- and I support the traditional definition of marriage -- the federal Liberals have been utter cowards on this issue.
Instead of taking a stand for or against same-sex marriage from the start and dealing with it in Parliament, where it should have been decided after a broad public debate, they ducked at every turn and thus handed the issue by default over to the courts.
Then, when the courts brought down decision after decision favouring same-sex marriage, the Liberals declared that they had no choice but to follow their lead.
On Friday, Martin said he now considers the recognition of same-sex marriage so important that he is ready to call an election on it in order to uphold the Charter. He accused opponents of same sex marriage, like Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, of being unwilling to defend the Charter.
Martin's eleventh-hour conversion to the cause of same-sex marriage is laughable, given his own flip-flopping in the past.
In 1999, when Martin and most Liberals (then under Jean Chretien) thought it was politically expedient to pay lip service to the sanctity of marriage as "the union of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others", they voted in favour of a Reform party motion using those exact words.
It passed the Commons by an overwhelming 216-55 margin, but the Liberals went even further. Then-justice minister Anne McLellan assured Canadians that "the government has no intention of changing the definition of marriage, or of legislating same-sex marriages."
But in 2003, when the Alliance party under Harper called on the Liberals to reaffirm that 1999 pledge -- and be ready to invoke the Constitution's notwithstanding clause to back it up -- Martin was one of many Liberals who reversed field and voted against. As a result, the motion narrowly lost 137 to 132.
The fact that today, Martin, less than two years after his own flip-flop on same-sex marriage, is carrying on like this issue is so close to his heart that he's prepared to go to the polls to fight for it is absurd, given his record.
For those of us who support the traditional definition of marriage, it is difficult to feel anything other than disdain for politicians like Martin, who, having failed to take a stand on same-sex marriage for years -- and then having changed their stand when they could no longer hide behind the courts -- now argue that the mess they have made of this issue is somehow our fault.
All we are doing is fighting for the traditional definition of marriage that politicians like Martin told us for generations was the rock on which civil society and its very survival (through procreation) was built. To now be vilified as extremists and bigots by these same politicians, simply for continuing to believe in a definition of marriage they said they believed in up to a few years ago, merits only one response. Contempt.
What do the public opinion polls look like on this?
WTF????It says nothing like that in the charter Here is what the charter ACTUALLY SAYS in Section 15:
"15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
(2) Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability."
Can any one tell me where the hell it says Sexual Orientation. They are making it up. I bet these bastards don't even read it.
Well, outside of Ottawa and the media who make a huge deal out of it, the general opinion Ive been getting is "I dont care. Let em get married."
The sooner this is all over with, one way or another, the better. Too much time and money is being spent bickering over this.
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