To Canada's Prime Minister
A call to end this discrimination
began this page with letters calling on the Prime Minister to end marriage discrimination
in Canada. On June 17, 2003, former Prime Minister Jean Chretien said the government
would not appeal the landmark Ontario victory for
same-sex marriage, and he promised legislation that would bring equal marriage
to the rest of Canada in the next session of Parliament. We thank the former Prime
Minister for graciously accepting the wisdom of the courts and the obligations
of our Charter.
Dec. 2003, Paul Martin became Canada's Prime Minister. Mr. Martin was less public
in his commitment to equal marriage, fearing a backlash in the 2004 election.
But by the end of the June 2004 election, Martin used same-sex
marriage to differentiate himself from the Conservative Party and cited Harper's
plan to use the Notwithstanding Clause in order to keep disgruntled Liberal voters
from voting for the Conservatives. Still, some provinces and territories maintain
marriage discrimination. Please continue to write to our Prime Minister to demand
full and equal marriage for same-sex couples in the rest of Canada.
letters to PM Jean Chretien (2002 - 2003)
letters to Prime Minister Paul Martin
Mr. Prime Minister,
am writing regarding the tabling of Bill C-38 in the House of Commons. I would
like to express my deep appreciation to you and your colleagues for taking these
brave steps toward a coup for civil liberties in our country. Despite a growing
grassroots opposition among social conservatives, and despite the fact that only
a small minority of Canadians will reap the direct benefit, you have gone to great
lengths to see that justice is served and I cannot tell you how grateful I am.
promulgated by your opposition are spurious at best. They contend that the legalization
of same-sex marriage will destroy the 'family' and deny children the opportunity
to grow up in a proper home. This 'family' of which they speak, however, is a
narrow-minded abstraction which cannot be destroyed nor used as a valid argument
because its only power is that of a statistic. The prejudices that two men or
two women cannot love each other in the way that a man and a woman can, or that
they cannot raise a child to be a healthy individual, are two of the greatest
obstacles that the gay community has had to overcome.
would also like to commend the government's very careful efforts to ensure that
Bill C-38 does not affect the freedoms of religious groups to choose whom they
wish to marry. I, personally, am an atheist, but I believe that private religious
organizations have the right to practice their beliefs as they wish. In addition
to this, it cunningly nullifies any argument against the bill in favour of religious
conclusion I should mention that even though I do not consider myself a Liberal,
I am writing to show my support for the excellent work your government is doing
in this endeavour. I believe that Canada is at an historic crossroads. We have
the opportunity to become the most influential nation in the world to have legalized
same-sex marriage, and to continue the tradition of human rights for which Canada
is so renowned around the world. Thank you again for all that you and your colleagues
Respected Prime Minister Martin,
you for your support of equal rights for gays and lesbians. I am shocked at the
response of some of our other politicians on this issue. They should be leading
the country in support of the charter of rights, not going the other way.
a married heterosexual I feel no threat to my marriage from allowing others to
affirm their relationships. In my opinion, there is not enough love in the world
as it is. Anything that promotes love is good. To assume that children can be
raised successfully only in a man-woman family is wrong and ignorant of the variety
of households that already exist.
far as religion goes, I feel that some religious groups are imposing THEIR values
on the rest of Canadians by their insistence that we follow their interpretation
of their scripture. If conservative Jewish leaders insisted that all women wear
wigs or if Muslims insisted all women wear a veil because their holy book told
them it was right, people would certainly object. This is the same situation.
Religious people are free to practice their religion and others don't have to.
Religious groups are free to perform marriages as they see fit and will not be
forced to marry couples if they don't want to. But to insist that nobody perform
marriages for gay couples because it doesn't fit their idea of marriage is imposing
their values unfairly on the rest of society and very dangerous to the important
doctrine of separation of church and state.
Catholic Church is being very hypocritical on this issue. They don't object to
divorced people marrying in other venues even though it is against their principles
and they would never allow that marriage to take place in a Catholic church. They
don't insist, and rightly so, that birth control be outlawed. Why do they insist
on imposing their values on the rest of society in this case?
I would like to say that I live near a very lucky little boy being raised by 2
loving mommies. There are many families on our street and everyone here has welcomed
this child and his parents into their hearts. I wonder if any of the people who
object so strongly actually know any openly gay or lesbian people. I suggest it
would be a good idea for them to get to know some of these families they are so
quick to condemn. They would soon find out that they are just the same as anyone
else and that the love they feel for each other is just like the love in any married
and Respectfully Yours,
Copies to Stephen Harper and the Catholic Church
Mr. Paul Martin,
applaud to your firm position on same-sex marriage.
Harper’s recent warning that passage of the same-sex marriage legislation will
lead to polygamy does not make any sense. The gay marriage connects to polygamy
no more than interracial marriage to polygamy. Mr. Harper should understand that
the real issue here is the discrimination based on sexual orientation.
If polygamy were only preserved to heterosexuals, homosexuals would fight for
the same rights. Also, had polygamy been only availably to Caucasians, other ethnic
groups would bring the case in court.Polygamy
is not sexual orientation and polygamists are not protected under the Charter
as contrary to homosexuality.The
Court did not outlaw any kinds of discrimination in the Marriage Law but existance
of discrimination based on sexual orientation.
I would like to let Marc Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec know that existence in
Canada [of] discrimination of gays is “offensive to the moral sensibility of a
great number of citizens, both Catholic and non-Catholic”.
Honour, Prime Minister Martin,
would like to take this opportunity to let you know my approval of your recent
reiteration during your visit to China of your stand in defence of Charter Rights
and those marriage rights recently gained by same sex couples. The direction you
have been leading this country in giving equal marriage rights to couples of the
same gender makes me proud to be a Canadian. I know that this had been a difficult
stand by those MPs in your caucus under pressure by some in leadership in their
faith communities to deny these rights. I applaud those members of parliament
who have chosen to honour the true spirit of their faith, whether it be Sikh,
or Catholic, or other, and defend those in our society who have been without power
or voice. I believe that those that do so will be remembered with those in our
history who took a stand against slavery, anti-Semitism and other forms of racism,
and discrimination based on gender. In all these struggles there were brave people
who had to stand up to those who interpreted their faith as supporting the status
quo no matter the injustice.
wife and I have been in a different gender marriage (male and female) for over
thirteen years and have two daughters. We have appreciated the support and recognition
of our society to our relationship and commitment to each other and our family.
As a minister friend of mine recently said to me around same sex couples, "keeping
a relationship together these days is difficult for any couple and any couple
that makes a commitment to each other deserve our support".
who would deny same sex couples the status of marriage and the societal blessing
and support that this assumes cloak their prejudice as being "pro-family". My
experience with same sex couples tells me something quite different. The couples
I know are families. They have been in a supportive committed relationships for
many years. They have adopted children or have had children with the assistance
of donated sperm as many differing sex couples have and who are not thought any
less a family for it. These families deserve our support and their relationships
recognized as marriages with all the public sanction and respect this designation
entails in our society.
of our same sex couples friends sent their daughter to the same not-for-profit
daycare as my wife and I sent our daughters and one of the couple sat on the volunteer
board of the daycare with me. I was told by someone that it was wrong with them
to have had a child because the child would grow up confused and facing discrimination.
I do not believe this girl will grow up in confusion. Unlike the children of many
separated and divorced different sex parents, this girl is growing up knowing
the stability and love of a committed relationship and will have that as a model
for her adult relationships whether that relationship turns out to be with someone
of the same gender or of a different gender.
respect to discrimination this girl will face, that depends on what we teach our
own children. My youngest daughter counts this girl as her best friend. One day
she asked my wife why her friend's family was "different". My wife expected to
talk to her about some families having two mommies and some having one mommy and
a daddy. But first asked my daughter how she found her friend's family to be different.
Well, my daughter said, her friend's family was different because her friend didn't
have any sisters or brothers.
you again for your stand on this issue.
Mr. Prime Minister:
am a young gay male living in the undemocratic province of Alberta. I would like
to express my disgust with the blatant ignorance and childishness that the government
officials of my province are displaying to the rest of the country on the issue
of gay marriage. It embarrasses me to be living in a province where equal rights
for all citizens are clearly not respected nor enforced, and will clearly have
to be forced upon the provincial government in order for them to fall in line
with the rest of the country. I will make no moral or religious arguments here;
those are separate issues which should have no bearing on the law. What matters
is the opinion of the majority of Canadians, and the establishment and upholding
of equal rights for all of us.
few years ago, our former mayor, Bill Smith, blatantly refused to declare Gay
Pride week in Edmonton. He only did so grudgingly, after being forced by threats
of a Human Rights lawsuit. Now he is no longer mayor, and I would like to think
that his recent loss of the position is in part due to the weak character he showed
in regard to this issue. The current provincial situation is more of the same
on a larger scale; why must our provincial officials be forced to recognize something
that the rest of the country has so clearly acknowledged and in some cases supported?
If only this discriminatory government would be ousted by more intelligent, less
urge you to speed the process of the legalization of marriage for all Canadian
couples by supporting the reference recently made by the Supreme Court of Canada.
Please make it clear to all Canadians that you and your government stand behind
the nation's demand for equal rights. Do not be coy; do not be vague; do not flip-flop;
and do not disappoint. Show us your strength of character. Think of all the gay
couples, as well as the millions of other justice-desiring Canadians, whose votes
you can count on in the next federal election.
sincere thanks for your support,
a proud Canadian living in the US, I have watched with great anxiety and anticipation
the recent federal election back home. The thought of a Harper
government was too much to bear, especially having endured the last three years
under Bush. As an openly gay man, I have always been proud of Canada's record
on human rights, gay or otherwise. To think that overnight, my hard-earned rights
could be taken away by a Conservative regime terrified me. This said, however,
I was not so sure which of the more progressive parties I was going to vote for
this time. After much internal debate, I based my decision, in part, to prevent
a Harper government and, in part, to reward the Liberals for their record on economic
and international developments, as well as the recent advances on gay rights back
home. I voted for the Liberals in spite of the scandals that have plagued your
campaign and your initial reluctance to stand up for people like me.
woke up on June 29 a very delighted and relieved Canadian who lives south of the
border but who is seriously considering returning to Canada in the near future.
That desire is consolidated now that I know Harper is kept off the reign, at least
for now. However, with the strong minority mandate that people like myself have
rewarded you and your party, I now expect that you do more for minorities, including
gays and lesbians, in the upcoming parliamentary session. Please remember that
many people who believe in human and gay rights have stood behind you this time
around. Therefore, I strongly urge you to ensure that members of your party work
with members of the NDP and BQ to ensure the rapid passage of the same-sex marriage
legislation, so that all Canadians can enjoy equal rights and access to marriage.
I look forward
to the day when media outlets worldwide pronounce that Canada, as a country and
not just its most populous three provinces, is at the forefront of human rights.
I look forward to seeing Canada continue forward as a diverse and equal society,
and an exemplary model to nations around the globe.
remember your pledge before the vote and the people
who have brought you back to your office. Thank you for your time.
have been corresponding with both the Federal and Alberta provinical government
for the past year in regards to equal marriage. It has been reported that you
are considering reneging on allowing same-sex marriage. The information below
has recently been submitted to the Alberta government and in turn they have submitted
the information to their solicitor for further study.
would like your comments on the following:
the past I have asked a very simple question to both the Alberta government and
the Federal government and neither of you have given me an answer. Is it necessary
for a woman to have ovaries, breasts and the ability to carry a child? Is it necessary
for a man to have a penis, scrotum and the ability to father a child?
am I asking this question - easy. My 20 year old daughter was born without ovaries
and will never have a child. In fact, without medical science and the use of synthetic
drugs, she would not be able to even have her menses. So is she still a woman?
What about a man who has lost his testicles in an accident - is he still considered
is that marriage has "always been" a man and a woman - so therefore I ask you
to specifically define a man and a woman. Do I even qualify since I've had a hysterectomy?
Does my daughter?
as you state, marriage is between a man and woman then the birth certificate must
be an important part of this. So going by what you have stated, a person who has
a birth certificate with the letter "F" on it, indicating they are female, this
person could marry a person with the letter "M" on their birth certificate which
would indicate they are a man. Right?
let's go with that. A person with the birth certificate that has a letter "F"
who because of transition, has had a complete hysterectomy and chest surgery to
remove all breast tissue. Who is on testosterone shots and has the deep voice,
adam's apple, facial and body hair - but still has the birth certificate stating
female. This person can marry a man? Interesting logic!!! Another way to think
about this - my partner is a female-to-male transsexual. Currently the birth certificate
still says female, yet appearance is male. So if my partner meets a man and falls
in love, they can marry even though the marriage would have the APPEARANCE of
a gay marriage but yet it would meet all the Alberta government's criteria to
I can't wait to tell the rest of our friends - many who are transsexual and gay.
Oh and for your information this is the difference:
transsexual is an individual (male or female) who has GID (Gender Identity Disorder)
and has very strong feelings about and wishes to alter his or her body with hormones
and sometimes surgery to become the opposite gender. Sexual orientation on the
other hand, is distinct from gender. Therefore, an individual with GID (male or
female) can be oriented primarily towards males or females or both. A male-to-female
(biologically male) is considered female and would be heterosexual when attracted
to males, although they are still biologically male and visa versa for a female-to-male.
Just so you
understand here is an example: Kevin is biologically female and is going through
transition to become male. Testosterone treatments have started, breasts have
been removed and the hysterecotomy has been completed. Final surgery (completion
of a penis) has not yet been done and Kevin is on a waiting list for a 3 year
wait. During this transition, Kevin's birth certificate says female because of
the government's laws about completing all surgeries prior to changing the birth
certificate. Kevin is gay, which means he is attracted to males and meets Frank.
Kevin, whose birth certificate still says female, can marry Frank simply because
their birth certificates indicate opposite genders, yet their marriage appears
to be a gay marriage. Oh and by the way, my partner is transsexual (female to
male) and we were legally married in Ontario this past July. Since the marriage
is considered legal I gather that the Federal government will not refute this
fact and force this issue to go to court yet again.
Prime Minister and Minister of Justice:
were both amazed and saddened to read this morning that you plan on having more
cross country hearings on same-sex marriage. We were involved in this charade
less than a year ago and all it accomplished was that far right extremists were
given an opportunity to spew their venom at gay and lesbian people. We remember
only too well, the Christian lady who spoke of some countries that lop off body
parts of homosexuals. Or another witness who suggested if we were allowed to marry
it would open the door to homosexuals having sex with children. At the present
time we have gay and lesbian couples being allowed to marry in Ontario and B.C.
with Quebec soon to follow. Population wise this makes up about two thirds of
the people of Canada. What more evidence do you require before you stop waffling
on this important issue. This is an issue of human rights and common decency,
not one of pandering for votes. We demand that you follow through with the legislation
promised by Prime Minister Chretien. More hearings are only a waste of time and
Thornhill and Bob Peacock
Prime Minister Martin and Justice Minister Irwin Cotler:
am writing this to express my concern over your delay in implementing same sex
marriage beyond the boundaries of Ontario and British Columbia. I am currently
a student at Hillcrest High School in Thunder Bay, Ontario and I am seventeen
years old. I was a short time ago, a student at a Catholic High School. Despite
having some open minded teachers who embraced equal marriage for gays and lesbians,
the topic never reached beyond the boundaries of absolute secrecy. It got worse
when I "officially" outed myself at this highschool. The students grew to become
cruel, brutal and hateful, as all they saw of me was my sexual orientation, and
not the person who they knew and at one point respected.
have been advocating on behalf of gay rights ever since I outed myself to my friends,
family and schoolmates. Gay rights are not 'privileges' as some have been quoted
as saying. Gay rights are an extension of so called 'privileges'. They are the
natural inherent rights of those who identify themselves as gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered.
inherent rights of all Canadians benefit all, but particularly those who belong
to a class of minorities. This people not only benefit, but need such legislation
in helping them to ensure equality and justice . Throughout time, the rights of
gays and lesbians have significancy progressed. I believe the final element in
adding equality to the same sex equation is equal marriage. The people of this
minority have been and continue to be socially ostracized and oppressed. Without
this final element, there will never be true equality. The social ostracization
and oppression along with forms of physical and verbal abuse will continue unless
others are made aware of our existence and our inherent equality.