Vigil in Fredericton, N.B., on Friday, Nov. 28, at 7.p.m.



Express your support to
Andy Scott





An attack on Andy Scott - Accused was postering against same-sex marriage





Express your support to
Andy Scott




"While we watched Mr. Scott on live television, we applauded the New Brunswick Member of Parliament as he spoke about being "informed" by the recent court decisions and the testimony about marriage heard by the committee. Mr. Scott's public support was an important and significant step forward."
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It is the kind of thing that hurts us all, no matter where you stand on the issue of marriage, politics, or religion. It is the kind of thing that all sides must speak out against, and not only excuse.




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Adovcacy News - Andy Scott

November 26, 2003

Candlelight Vigil in Fredericton, N.B.

Citizens concerned by the attack on M.P. Andy Scott will hold a candlelight vigil on Friday, Nov 28 at 7:00 p.m.

The vigil will be held in front of the Justice Building on Queen Street (left at the corner of York).

There will be a brief introduction followed by five minutes of silence. Following the period of silence, there will be a chance for those who wish to speak about their feelings to do so.

Participants are encouraged to bring candles, lighters, and matches. Everyone is encouraged to turn out and be there to show your support for Mr. Scott and for all politicians who are giving us their support in the fight for equality rights.

For further information contact Rachel Lavigne.

November 25, 2003

An attack on the Hon. Andy Scott
Chair of Parliament's marriage committee

Fredericton, New Brunswick - Member of Parliament Andy Scott was attacked at his downtown constituency office Saturday morning. The M.P. was treated and released from a city hospital and spent yesterday resting at home.

Canadian Press reported (Nov. 24) that the wife of his alleged attacker said, "He doesn't believe in homosexuality ... he's got nothing against them. I mean, they're human beings ... he doesn't believe that it should be called a marriage when they join as a couple ... they can do whatever they want. Just don't call it a marriage."

CBC reported (Nov. 25) the accused man's wife said he had gone to Andy Scott's office to put up posters against same-sex marriage.

A 48 year-old man has been charged with assault, uttering threats, damage and theft.

Parliament's Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights

Scott was at the centre of the gay marriage debate in his role as chair of Parliament's Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. The committee conducted public hearings to determine a response to the first court victories in Ontario (July 12, 2002) and Quebec (Sept. 6, 2002).

Justice Minister Cauchon presented a discussion paper to the committee in November 2002. The committee began a series of public hearings in Ottawa and across the country, to assist the committee in responding to the ongoing legal victories for same-sex marriage.

The hearings drew criticism for being a platform for homophobia, and we were critical of the tone that Andy Scott, as chair of the committee, allowed to prevail at the hearings. The menace behind some of testimony is palpable in the minutes of the hearings.

The committee had barely time to unpack from their cross-country tour when British Columbia's highest court called for equal marriage (May 1, 2003). The courts in Canada's most populous provinces (50% of the country's population) were in agreement, while the committee still debated its position.

A decisive moment

The June 10 Ontario Court of Appeal decision changed everything. While the committee deliberated, the law had been rewritten by judges charged with the responsibility of reformulating laws that violate our constitutional democracy.

The federal government's Justice and Human Rights committee met on June 12 to vote on whether to accept the decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal and the new reality in Ontario. Opponents of same-sex marriage were missing from the meeting, and their replacements voted in favour of equality. Still the vote was tied. It was Liberal M.P. Andy Scott, as chair, who cast the decisive vote in support of the Ontario court decision.

A decisive response

On June 16 Canada's Justice Minister advised the Prime Minister's cabinet to end the prohibition against same-sex marriage. The next day the Prime Minister announced the government's plan to submit legislation that will be aligned with Ontario's new "two persons" common law definition of marriage.

Now it appears that Mr. Scott was targeted, and apparently attacked by someone because of his support for equal marriage. The accused man was photographed with his right arm in a sling.

It is the kind of thing that hurts us all, no matter where you stand on the issue of marriage, politics, or religion. It is the kind of thing that all sides must speak out against, and not only excuse.

Too often, this is the price paid by individuals who defend civil rights, whether their own, or the rights of others. We are deeply troubled that this has happened to Mr. Scott and his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

MailLink to our media coverage of related issues.