that law is not static. I hope that individual senators follow closely
the Ontario court case proposing recognition
of same sex marriages. Among other things at stake is the continuing violation
of basic human rights for a number of citizens of our country."
Judgement is expected in March 2002
Supreme Court declared in 1999: 'The capacity to form conjugal relationships
characterized by emotional and economic interdependence has nothing to
do with sexual orientation.' "
is no longer exclusively the institutional instrument for the procreation
of children, an argument always put forward by proponents of this bill."
are telling more generations of young Canadians that we should not treat
homosexuals equally: Homosexuals must not use the word 'marriage' to describe
their relationships. They are also teaching that intolerance of homosexuals
is both proper and righteous."
senators, we have an obligation and a duty as members of the Senate of
Canada to bring honour to this institution. Honour is brought by demonstrations
Advocacy: Bill S-9
Senator Lois Wilson warned her colleagues against running Canada as if it was a church state. A bill, sponsored by Senator Cools, seeks to reinforce discrimination against gay and lesbian families and their children. Senator Wilson, a Reverend, and the first woman moderator of the United Church of Canada, spoke with authority on matters of church and state while denouncing Bill S-9, an anti-gay initiative targeted against couples seeking same-sex marriage.
"We do not have a state religion in Canada, nor have we ever had a state religion," Senator Wilson said. "Parliament cannot choose sides in the religious debate by enforcing one religious view of marriage on all. Otherwise, we are on the path to state religion, a concept that is currently unconstitutional and morally repugnant.
Senator Wilson spoke candidly about being raised to think that homosexuality was unnatural. This use (and abuse) of spirituality to turn people against one another is difficult to overcome, but with greater exposure and reflection, Senator Wilson came to a new understanding.
"Can we not respect diversity and choice in this country where we constantly boast of tolerance and pluralism?" she asked. "Remember that law is not static. I hope that individual senators follow closely the Ontario court case proposing recognition of same sex marriages. Among other things at stake is the continuing violation of basic human rights for a number of citizens of our country."
support Senator Wilson
Bill S-9 Is Stuck In Time
Bill S-9 selectively utilizes, disingenuously, a portion of a definition from an 1866 British case involving polygamy, in order to bolster their case against gay marriage. You always have to stretch in order to contort logic. It is a similar tactic that was tried in the Ontario case heard in court (November 2001). It was "lame" then (said the lawyer for the Attorney General of Canada, who none-the-less gamely tried to present her case anyway) and it is lame now.
Bill S-9 says:
The above "definition" from Hyde, however, is a half-truth conveniently constructed, and therefore flawed. The Hyde definition also said:
Further, at the time of Hyde, divorce was extremely difficult to obtain, civil marriages were illegal, but it was legal for a man to beat and rape his wife. Marriage has long since left the Hyde definition behind. Unfortunately, its proponents remain with us.
"After a Bill receives second reading in the Senate, it will be referred to a Committee for public hearings," said John Fisher, EGALE, when we asked for a briefing on the legislative process. "If Bill S-9 were to proceed to Committee, it would probably be referred to either the Human Rights Committee or the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee. Most Bills dealing with LGBT issues have gone to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, although this is technically within the discretion of the Bill's sponsor."
Bill S-9 is in its first reading, as we work to prevent it from every reaching a committee. In addition to Senator Wilson, two other Senator's have delivered courageous speaches defending equality and human rights for all citizens, free from the dogma and doctrine of faith groups.
"To vote for this bill [Bill S-9] would be to accept the Neanderthal idea that common law is static and incapable of expanding to meet the changing needs of society," Sen. Laurier LaPierre said.
support Senator LaPierre
Perhaps with your encouragement, more Senators will set the example of leadership this country dearly needs. End marriage apartheid.
Senator Mobina Jaffer - First To Defend Equality
Senator Mobina Jaffer, was the first in the Senate to speak in favour of ending discrimination in marriage laws.
Senator Jaffer opposed Bill S-9: "This enactment amends the Marriage (Prohibited Degrees) Act in order to remove any doubts and uncertainties respecting the meaning of the term 'marriage'. It also amends the Interpretation Act in consequence."
Jaffer was quoted as saying Bill S-9 is "giving comfort to those who hate".
The Senator has personal experience with the subject of hatred, and how it is promoted in politics and law. Her own family had to leave President Idi Amin's Uganda 30 years ago. She is an Ismaili, the first Senator to take the oath of office using the Koran, and the first Muslim appointed to the Senate. The Right Honourable Jaffer has previously been involved in anti-apartheid campaigns.
The backers of Bill S-9 want to enshrine discrimination against gays and lesbians.
Please support Senator Jaffer and let her know that she does not stand alone. Perhaps with our encouragement, more Senators will join her in setting the example of leadership this country dearly needs. End marriage apartheid.
Senator Anne Cools (Sponsor of Bill S-9)