To Members of Parliament In Support of Equal Marriage - 2004
Hon. John McKay, PC, MP, House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario.
you know, on Friday, a private member's Bill on marriage, Bill
C-268, will come to the House for a vote. As a constituent of yours, I am
writing to urge you to vote against this bill for the following reasons:
This is a vexatious bill, whose primary purpose is to try to embarrass the Government
which has already made it clear that it will introduce its own bill on this matter.
The Government has referred questions on this subject to the Supreme
Court. Surely, Parliament should not take any action on the matter until the Court
has answered those questions.
Even if this bill were to pass, it would
require the use of the Notwithstanding Clause to have any effect, certainly in
the seven provinces and territories where the courts have already ruled that the
traditional definition of marriage violates the Constitution. Parliament cannot
simply overrule the Constitution.
am not unaware that you have a consistent track record of opposing gay rights
in general and same-sex marriage in particular, but this is a nuisance motion
which would only further roil already muddy waters.
hope that as a Parliamentary Secretary in the Government, you feel an commitment
to orderly process.
would appreciate a response to this letter.
right to marry, as same-sex partners, has been granted to we Canadians who are
gay and lesbian. Our community (the LGBT Community) has rejoiced at this move
toward granting us full, equal, citizens' rights, which we had been denied for
you have introduced Bill C-268 to "define marriage as a union between one man
and one woman and specifies that this definition does not affect the freedom of
officials of religious groups to perform ceremonies or to refuse to perform ceremonies
that are not in accordance with their religious beliefs".
Moore, I ask you to examine your conscience by asking yourself this question:
"If I were a free, Canadian, homosexual man, in a mutually-loving, monogamous
relationship with another free, Canadian, homosexual man, and lived my life as
a law-abiding, tax-paying citizen of the free country of Canada, would I not want
to honour the fidelity and devotion of our relationship in the same way that free,
Canadian heterosexual couples do - namely, by enjoying the same right to marry?"
right" (a minority of the Canadian religious population) argues loudly that male
and female bodies are designed for procreation and, on this basis alone, marriage
should pertain to heterosexual men and women. Homosexual men and women enjoy parenthood,
too. Many of my parenting friends married at the pressure of family and peers,
only to divorce in later years after realizing that a heterosexual union, for
them, did not work. During their marriages they had children, and continue to
parent their children after deciding to live an honest life as homosexual people.
Their children do not suffer from the change any more than do the children of
heterosexual divorces. In fact, studies have shown that the children of such divorced
homosexual people are likely healthier, emotionally, because their parents are
not living a lie. Other members of our community have families by choice in that
the mothers choose who will be the fathers of their children and the fathers have
a role in the children's upbringing. This works well, also, as I see gay men who
have wanted to be fathers, realizing their dreams by fathering children of lesbian
mothers and becoming family units. Many heterosexual couples do not procreate...should
their unions not be declared null and void for this reason? Is marriage solely
for the production of children? Many children borne outside the legal bounds of
marriage in this country. Are they to be put to death, as some Biblical "pundits"
would ask for, because they are not the product of a lawful union of a man and
a proud member of the Metropolitan
Community Church of Toronto. Our congregation is made of of men, women and
families representing many nationalities, faiths, and races, as well as being
heterosexual, gay, lesbian, transgendered and bisexual. Our Senior Paster, Rev.
Dr. Brent Hawkes, has fought hard for our equal rights for over 25 years. He is
a beacon of light to our community and is beloved by people of all persuasions,
religions, of all levels of government and political parties. Ours is an inclusive
Church for all people. Our God loves us unconditionally, as our God loves you
unconditionally. The Lord, Jesus Christ, is our friend and our "Way". What consenting
gay, lesbian, transgendered and bisexual adults do in the privacy of their own
homes is no more the nation's business than are the practises of consenting heterosexual
adults. We all want equality in this free Canada of ours. We support our political
parties, our government, our schools and other public and private institutions
with the dollars we earn in a free workplace.
Gay and Lesbian population of this free Canada wishes to maintain the equal rights
granted in past legislation and keep and enjoy the right to marry and support
our spouses in real families that have the respect of all.
happens in the country to our South is their process - which seems to be changing,
as well - but does not need to affect Canadians. Why should we run for the tissues
when the U.S. sneezes, or change our legislation because its president declares
same-sex marriage to be unlawful? Or are we not a free country, but a dominion
soon to become the 51st state? Your party seems to be preparing us for this conversion.
Passage of your
Bill would endanger the lives of more young homosexual, transgendered and bisexual
people by gay bashers and homophobes. It must be a terrible burden for a young
gay man living in a small, "red-neck" Canadian town, who wants to express his
sexuality but who has neither the means nor the safe places in which to do this,
nor the wonderful examples of loving, homosexual, MARRIED couples to follow. No
wonder so many commit suicide!
make this a safe, free, equal country for us all! If you'd like my help to do
this, just send me a reply e-mail.
your pre-election campaign earlier this year we heard you declare often that you
and your party supported equal rights for all citizens. Since your election we've
heard nothing from you about the protection of our rights. Once more your government
is relying on the courts to set the direction for equality in our country. We
don't expect you to thank the Supreme Court when they rule in our favour. No,
as usual you will be able to tell those in society, who are bigoted and homophobic;
"The Courts Made us do it."
have been thousands of same-sex marriages in Canada over the past 16 months, ours
has been one of them. After waiting 36 years to walk down the aisle, before
family and friends, we have no intention of allowing our rights to be nullified
by Bill C-268. We suggest to you that allowing this private member's bill to be
debated and voted on, before the Supreme Court has made it's ruling, is tantamount
to throwing gasoline on an open fire. Sir, we have given our lives to this fight
for justice and we demand nothing less. Because the extreme right in the U.S.
seems to be turning back the clock on freedom for all it's citizens, we must advise
those in all parties, including yours: You have given us nothing without a fight.
We have scratched and clawed our way to the top of our mountain. We shall not
be dragged from it.
support and stand by the work of the Liberal government during the same-sex marriage
debate in 2003. At the same time, I feel that the recent changes by the Right
Honourable Paul Martin regarding this Supreme Court question is a delaying tactic.
By adding this
unnecessary question, the Right Honourable Paul Martin has nearly guaranteed that
the Supreme Court ruling, and any possible legislation resulting from it, will
come after the upcoming election. I feel that this leaves all Canadians hanging
and attempts to push the issue out of sight during the election campaign.
your time in the Government, you have shown a distinct interest in the human rights
of your constituents and of all Canadians. The initial Supreme Court ruling on
the validity of same sex marriages was a human rights decision, and is one that
the Government of Canada should be upholding, not one to be brushed away for another
year in the hopes that it does not become an election issue. Continued and ongoing
discrimination against same sex couples diminishes the credibility of the Canadian
Government under the leadership of the Right Honourable Paul Martin.
believe that it is time that the members of the old guard of the Chrétien Government
stand up and make themselves heard. Please make sure that the public and the Right
Honourable Paul Martin understand that you and your constituents feel that the
same sex marriage issue is not open to interpretation and should be handled now
as the Supreme Court originally ruled, not after the next election.
M. Jason Parent
very disappointed with the government and the new PM Paul Martin for using this
delaying tactic with the Supreme Court on the Same Sex Marriage issue. Can you
explain why it was done?
adding this unnecessary fourth question it will assure that the Supreme Court
ruling, and any possible legislation, will be after a Spring election. That leaves
us hanging and hopefully puts the issue out of the spotlight during the campaign.
I don't think so. We are going to make sure it IS on the agenda and a big issue.
So we're supposed to vote for the Liberal party again and hope they will continue
our fight? This move doesn't give us much faith in the party and the promises
of our former PM.
far as we're concerned, if our new PM want's to make Canada a better place with
his social reforms, he should not have taken this step. Its an obvious stall to
avoid the issue. We just wanted you to know our disgust with the way this has
been handled by Paul Martin and Ivan Cotler. BTW... I wrote to Mr. Cotler and
asked for his views on the matter. He didn't even bother to have aassistant #2
and Jason Curl New Brunswick
Sir [Grant Hill]:
ongoing debate/discussion on same sex marriages requires the Government of Canada
to uphold the decision of the Supreme Court on the validity of same sex marriages.
This is a human
rights issue, and ongoing discrimination diminishes the credibility of the Canadian
government as it does not take a definitive stand in this regard.
a citizen of Canada, I am entitled to all the rights/obligations citizenship entails,
and it is no less fitting that our elected officials adhere to these standards.