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Equality Scorecard - tracking the Parliamentary vote for same-sex marriage

 

 

 

 

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Waffling on same-sex marriage - Martin's muddle

 

 

 

 

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Ten reasons why Christians should support same-sex marriage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"Jean Chretien is allowing a golden opportunity to slip through his fingers. The Prime Minister's eyes should have lit up when, in mid-July, Ontario's Superior Court lifted the province's ban on gay marriages. In the midst of searching for a "legacy" issue, not to mention something to drive the government's legislative agenda this fall, he'd been handed one on a silver platter. What better for a Liberal looking to carve his place in history than one of Canada's last remaining human rights battles? How better to climb a bit closer to Pierre Trudeau in the history books than by championing a cause that he first advanced as Justice Minister thirty-five years ago? But Chrétien, as we all know by now, is not Trudeau."
Pundit Magazine, August 2, 2002

 

 

 

 

 

Advocacy - Letters - Letter to the current Prime Minister

Letter's To Canada's Prime Minister
A call to end this discrimination

We began this page with letters calling on the Prime Minister to end marriage discrimination in Canada. On June 17, 2003, 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 Prime Minister for graciously accepting the wisdom of the courts and the obligations of our Charter.


September 16, 2003

To The Rt. Honourable Jean Chretien: This letter is a letter of support for samesex marriage as well as a letter of support for the Prime Minister and his stand for equality and freedom for all Canadians. I am a Canadian that was born and raised in Saskatchewan. I still live and work here. I am a gay man that has been living with my partner for 19 years. The fact that I sit here today writing a letter admitting I am gay and that I support samesex marriage was something that 19 years ago would have been considered crazy - and that 35 years ago would have put me in jail. There is not a day that I don't marvel at how far we as a country have come. In the 1960's men sat in jail simply because they were gay. That changed in the 1970's thanks, in part, to the Liberal Party changing the law. Finally it was legal to be who we were - finally it was legal to be a human being. In the early eighties the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was introduced by the Liberals and once again Canada moved closer to providing all Canadians with basic human liberty and rights.

Today, we as Canadians, are at another watershed - the Charter is no longer just an idea but can now truly be put into practice and tested as not just a document but as a statement to what Canadians truly believe. In all of this what gives me have the most hope for the future is that the majority of young Canadians support samesex marriage. The older generations will fade away but what will stand the test of time is what the new generations support - this will carry into the future.

Many in Western Canada believe you are trying to find a legacy to leave Canada - a spot in the history books. Many felt that your stand on the Iraq question was an attempt at that. I believe that the Liberal Party has at its core a commitment to certain fundamental policies and beliefs. The United Nations and the Charter being two that have been critical over the past 20 years or so. I believe that as the leader of our country and the Liberals you must remain true to these fundamental beliefs of Canadians as well as the Liberal Party. I know that you may not personally agree with samesex marriage. I am, however, proud that as Prime Minister you have stood for what Canada represents both here and internationally. You have had to make tough decisions, some perhaps against your own personal belief, but I believe you have remained true to what it is to be a Canadian. Perhaps that is the best legacy a Prime Minister can have.

Arol Honsey


August 21, 2003

Dear Prime Minister and Minister Cauchon:

My name is Ben and I'm 18 yrs old and I've been an immigrant to this country for almost 14 yrs. From the day that I started to live here to the present time I have known for a fact that Canada is a multi-cultural and diverse country. In fact, back when there were slaves in the United States, the slaves would try to leave via the underground railroad to come to Canada for a chance for freedom.

We have conquered wars, many different kinds of virus and diseases and the recent SARS outbreak. I think we, as a nation, can overcome this same sex marriage obstacle. Personally, I'm not a gay and if I can feel this strong about this subject that I'm writing to you about this, then think of how a homosexual person would feel. People out there are using words like "sickening", "disgusting", "unnatural", and so forth when describing these gay people. I thought that we lived in an era or a generation that doesn't tolerate prejudice and discrimination. We need to work together as a nation to move forward, not backwards. We are in the year 2003! People were even skeptical if we could even pass the year 1999 to the year 2000!

What people don't realize is that one, not everybody believes in their religion. Just because your religion does not allow same sex marriage, it does not mean that no same sex marriage is allowed! If you don't allow it in your family, then that's fine. it's your home and it's your personal life. But when you are protesting and you are interferring with other people's lives and you barge in on someone else's personal space. That's when it gets to be too much. we have a freedom and rights act for a reason. Our veterans of war fought for our freedom and rights and if you want to just step all over it, then that just disrespectful to our patriots and our nation. Another thing that people who are against same sex marriage don't realize is that gay men and women are all human beings! If the two people find eternal happiness in each other then why are we stopping them? Should we not be congraulating them instead?

I believe that one day our nation will come together united and when that day comes, we will be able to conquer anything that comes in our way. Not same sex marriage problems, not SARS, not mad cow, not west westnile. As long as we unite we will be able to convert this country to an even greater nation.

Yours Truly,

Ben Lee, A Concerned Citizen


August 18, 2003

Dear Mr. Chretien:

I am writing to congratulate you on your courageous first step in supporting equal rights for gay men and women to marry in Canada. I would like to add my voice in support of your promised legislation that upholds the decisions of the courts and the obligations of our Charter.

I realize your decision is made more difficult given the vocal opposition of an intolerant minority. No doubt, the recent threats of the Vatican must be difficult to ignore. Hopefully, a considered reading of their hurtful message has established how uninformed are their views. Of particular offense is their central contention that gays and lesbians would make bad parents. Certainly, the Catholic Church's moral ground for commentary on the safety of children is currently tenuous at best. But of even more import, their opinion is completely unfounded in fact. I echo the opinion of the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA, Press Statement, August 6, 2003) that "statements that children of gay and lesbian parents have more and significant problems….than do the children of heterosexual parents have no support from the scientific literature."

Moreover, the right to marry has never been contingent on parenting skills. Rather, marriage is about equality and acceptance of all into Canadian society. Any less, even the creation of a 'civil union' status, would be a devaluation of the commitment between two individuals and violation of the Charter. As stated today by the Canadian Bar Association (Toronto Star, August 18, 2003), "can it be sustained in Canada that…..we limit marriage only to some people and not to others?"

I urge you to maintain your commitment to the equality of all Canadians and affirm your legacy as a pioneer in this historic step forward.

Sincerely,

Matthew Cheung MD, FRCP(C)


August 9, 2003

To my Elected Representatives,

My name is Tammy Hanlon, I live in Mississauga, Ontario and I am a proud Canadian. Another label that society has given me is Lesbian and I am writing today in order to express my wishes as a voter. I also hold the label of Immigration Officer, a position I take very seriously as I take great pride in working to uphold the laws of our nation and to help ensure that our country is a safe place for everyone who lives here.

In my office I have a copy of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms tacked to my wall to remind me every day that Canada is a nation whose foundation lies in equality, human rights and the abolishment of all discrimination. That document inspires me to do my job with the highest level of professionalism and compassion possible and it reminds me that no person is less than any other.

Recent judicial rulings have underlined that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees that no person in Canada can be discriminated against under the law. I plead that this message is not lost and that laws are passed to stop the discrimination against lesbian and gay couples that has occurred in the past by denying us the legal right to marry our partners.

Canada is a society of tolerance, a county of courage who has forged ahead on countless fronts to ensure human rights and fight the forces that would deny those rights both domestically and abroad. I only hope that despite the reservations of some religious groups the truth of this matter can be seen. I was raised in the Catholic faith, and I would be horrified if I thought that laws were attempting to change the doctrine of the church.

But the fact of the matter is this is not about religious doctrine, this is about law. This is about the integrity of the Charter of Rights and Freedom, the reality that to deny me the right to marry the woman I love simply because we are both women, is discrimination under the law and cannot be tolerated.

I am a proud Canadian, I am a proud Officer and I am a proud Lesbian. I assure you that many of my family, friends and co-workers feel the same as I do. Personal beliefs aside, the integrity of our Charter is what is in jeopardy if Lesbian and Gay Canadians are not given equal rights to marriage. Yours Truly,

Tammy P. Hanlon
Mississauga, Ontario


August 4, 2003

Dear Prime Minister and Minister of Justice,

You will be (and already are) hearing many voices in opposition to your movement in the direction of legalizing same-sex marriage, so I felt that it was important that I add my voice to those who support you.

I am a Canadian citizen and I want you to know that in my opinion you are doing the right thing. I support same-sex marriage and the dignity and humanity of gay men and lesbians, and I applaud you for doing the same.

Sincerely,

Colin McKenzie


August 4, 2003

Dear Rt. Honourable Prime Minister:

I write to commend you on upholding equality for all Canadians, and to commend you for your continued commitment to legislate equal marriage for same-sex couples. The independence of religious thought from judicial and scientific matters has long been a cornerstone of progressive Western thought, extrapolated in the very writings of Machiavelli and Galileo.

As a Canadian citizen by choice, I am proud that our governing body does not fall prey to the rhetoric and pressures bolstered by static and tyrannical religious institutions. I am comforted, instead, that our government encourages our social fabric to be woven by the very richness that constitutes our core essence as Canadians. I am most thankful that your government ensures that this country honour, respect, and promote equality, freedom, and progress. I applaud you for your role in ensuring that these fundamental pillars remain strong and indestructible, so that our nation can grow, prosper, and thrive.

The oppressive shackles of myopic powers like the Vatican, undoubtedly, shall continue to advocate violence, intolerance, hatred, and ignorance in their crusade to resist modernity. However, I find great solace that your government has decided not to repeat history, but, instead to write a new chapter in our history.

Respectfully,

Nicla Gargano-Lucanie
Toronto


July 31, 2003

Dear Mr. Chretien, and Mr. Cauchon

You are both to be commended for your courage and leadership in promoting justice for gays and lesbians in Canada. Congratulations, and congratulations to the other members of your caucus who are supporting equality and justice.

Social change is always difficult, but as the opposition grows more vocal and intolerant it is going to take some very special people to stay the course. I am trusting that the Canadian determination to respect the rights of minorities will prevail.

On the other hand, it is a shameful and outrageous intervention that we have seen this day, with the Vatican explicitly attempting to turn canon law into civil law through threats and coercion. The views espoused in today's document are without merit given 30 years of research on homosexuality and homosexual relationships. I hope you will not be swayed.

But since the Vatican makes these statements, some will accept them without question. I hope there will be spokespeople for equality, justice and truth. Otherwise can we expect a resurgence of discrimination and intolerance?

So, please, continue to speak out and stay on course for equality and justice.

Sincerely,

Peter Dodd
Nova Scotia


July 10, 2003

Dear Mr. Chretien:

I am writing to express my thanks to your government for recently upholding the Ontario Court of Appeals' decision to extend the right to marry to same-sex couples.

I know that there has been a lot of outspoken opposition to your controversial decision, mostly from the religious right. Although will generate extensive criticism for you, I wanted to let you know that you have touched the lives of two young Canadian citizens and made one of their greatest wishes a reality. Your government's decision made love possible to exist in the most recognizable form-marriage.

My girlfriend Sara and I began dating in high school and have been together for over three years. We are each other's first loves. In other respects we are average young people-we are both in university and plan to teach at either the post-secondary or secondary level.

I have always wanted marriage to be a way in which I expressed lifelong commitment. When I fell in love with a woman I was disappointed that a legal marriage wouldn't be possible. But the recent decision by the Ontario courts and, ultimately, your government has made this dream possible. Soon after your government made this momentous decision Sara proposed and I accepted. It feels wonderful to know that our love will be recognized and validated by society right from the start of our lifelong commitment to each other.

Fundamentally, marriage is not about the religious right, court battles, or law. Ideally it is created and thrives in the undying love of two people for each other. I thank you and your government for recognizing that fact.

Sincerely,

Aimée Velle
Ontario


June 18, 2003

Dear Honorable Jean Chretien,

I am writing to you to Congratulate you on taking a step in allowing same sex couple to be wed. I think that it is about time that the Gay Society has to right to marry if they wish. I hope that you will stand by what you have said and that you will stick to your word, because we have been denied of rights for Centuries now... Today in The Kamloops Daily news ( In B.C ) June 18th, the MP Betty Hinton article said: Hinton relishes idea of debate in Parliament.... No sooner did I read her article on how she intend to oppose same sex marriage, I received a flyer ( Today ) by mail from her dated from May 2003 saying: This Government ( Meaning the Liberal Party ) refuses to protect the innocent and most vulnerable within Canadian Society.... So when she brings her opposition to same sex marriage couples, you should remind her that the Liberal Party has always tried to protect our rights. The Honorable Pierre- Elliot Trudeau had passed some laws to protect us ( Gay Society )... Now you, my Dear Honorable Jean Chretien will have to courage and strength to protect us once more from our rights as a Gay Society to wed if we wish....

I wish to say Thank You from the bottom of my heart, for allowing us to live and have a loving relationship with a spouse if we chose to do so.... I admire the Liberal Party for standing up for our rights to be married if we chose and you can count on my continual support for the Liberal Party in the future as well... I do hope that you will not change your mind by giving us those rights and Thank You again.

Yours truly,

Lorraine Germaine Lessard


May 12, 2003

Mr. Chretien,

I’m writing you this letter, as one small, single step by a young Canadian. As a young girl growing up, I enjoyed everything Canada offered me; I could play in my backyard with no fears, except those of bugs and mischievous friends who love spraying people with cold water from the garden hose. I love Canada even more as I grow up. As a socially and politically aware young woman I can express any views I have without fear of censorship. I have grown up in a wonderful home, never wanting for anything I need, with two wonderful parents. I love Canada and would never want to live anywhere else.

I’m not only writing you this letter as a young Canadian, but as a young lesbian. The only thing I fear in Canada is the fact that when I fall in love with someone, and want to spend the rest of my life with them, our choice will be viewed with a sort of disdain by Canada.

As I grow up, I want to be able to know that one day; I will be able to experience marriage. Not a partnership. To me marriage is a union of love, between two people. There’s a certain feeling that only marriage gives, a hope for a lasting union, full of love.

Perhaps I just sound like a naïve youth. I certainly hope not. If so, don’t you think society needs to change?

I urge you to make a commitment to same-sex marriages. So that all people can grow up and be with the one they love, as long as they may choose and under any term they desire. Love is one of the amazing things about life. It’s a powerful emotion that brings about happiness and strength. Why would anyone deny the right to openly express love?

Laura Patterson, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Age 16


April 20, 2003

Dear Mr. Prime Minister: I draw your attention to your words spoken on July 23, 2002, at the Catholic Youth conference in Toronto "...the dignity and freedom of all people...freedom, tolerance and social harmony."

Those of us who live an alternate lifestyle, urge you to live up to these words, and respect the dignity which is ours as citizens of Canada, whether or not you personally agree with our requests to for our right to marry.

Yours truly,

J.F. Waller, Nova Scotia


January 19, 2003

Dear Prime Minister Chretien and Minister Cauchon,

For the past fifteen years, my spouse and I have waited for legal recognition of our wedding ceremony. Unfortunately, your government and the previous conservative government have remained staunchly opposed to same-sex marriage. You continue to hide behind the court system, wasting huge sums of taxpayer's money in appeals to provincial court rulings.

The majority of Canadians favour same-sex marriage. When will your government demonstrate leadership and change discriminatory and archaic laws that prohibit my spouse and I from being legally married? Fifteen years is a very long time to wait. If this issue were about heterosexual people's right to marry your government would have reacted in a heartbeat. Stop wasting time and foot dragging. Pass same-sex marriage legislation that treats our relationship equally with heterosexual marriage.

The government is currently examining "options" on the same-sex marriage issue. Let me be abundantly clear on this point, nothing short of legal same-sex marriage will do! Registered domestic partnerships or civil unions are insulting to us. People register their pets at city hall not their spouses!

Sincerely,

James Chamberlain & Jean-Marie Russell
Vancouver, BC

 


November 16, 2002

Dear Prime Minister

I am a lawyer currently living and working in Melbourne, Australia. I am also the spokesperson for an Australian organisation, Marriage for All, dedicated to achieving justice for same sex couples in the field of marriage. I recently read in a newspaper report that your government is appealing a number of court decisions requiring the enactment of legislation to allow for same sex marriage in Canada. I am very disappointed that your government is opposing and obstructing this important step forward for human rights. Quite simply, there is no substantial difference between same sex couples and opposite couples and therefore no reason why same sex couples should be denied access to the institution of marriage. It is wrong for the state to discriminate against same sex couples when they come forward seeking to be married. I believe, in fact, that denying marriage to same sex couples is not only unfair, but also a breach of the human rights of gay and lesbian people in Canada. On behalf of the entire membership of Marriage for All, I therefore strongly urge you to drop your opposition to same sex marriage and instead amend the relevant legislation so that same sex couples are allowed to marry.

Finally, I would like to add that, having lived for a year in Canada, and having a great affection for your country, I am very disappointed that your government is taking such a backward stand on this human rights issue. The Netherlands has already legislated for same sex marriage. It seems Belgium will also do so soon. And I have no doubt that this reform will eventually sweep throughout the world as people come to realise the injustice of this repugnant form of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. How disappointing that Canada, instead of leading the world in human rights, is instead opposing progress in this area. I think it brings shame on your government and your country.

I do hope that I will soon read that you have changed your stance and allowed for the implementation of same sex marriage in Canada. That would be a great and historic step forward!

Yours sincerely


Tony Pitman
Spokesperson, Marriage for All

CC: His Excellency Mr Jean T Fournier, High Commissioner
High Commission for Canada
Commonwealth Avenue
Canberra ACT 2600


September 20, 2002

Dear Prime Minister,

The issue of Human/Civil Rights has far too long been under the scrutiny of prejudice. I for one do not believe that the Gay and Lesbian groups are not fighting for special rights, only equal and I also believe that Canada can lead the rest of the world into a new era without these prejudices based on Nature vs. Nurture.

Richard Bryce Fisher


September 7, 2002

Dear Prime Minister,

I am writing to your office once again in light of the Quebec Court decision which ruled that the opposite-sex definition of marriage is discriminatory and cannot be justified under our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The judge has struck down all the impediments to same sex marriage and she also says that alternative conjugal forms for same sex couples are not acceptable under the Charter.

When will the Liberal Party honour the principles they stand for and stop discriminating against gays and lesbians? Will you personally "come out" in support of same-sex marriage and drop the Ontario Superior Court appeal now underway?

I voted for the Liberals in the last federal election (the first time I have ever voted for your party). I will not make the same error and vote for your party while it blatantly discriminates against gay and lesbian people and uses excuses to hide behind the court system.

Please do the honourable thing and enact and pass legislation in the house to change the definition of marriage. The Liberals have a huge mandate in the house. Canadians overwhelmingly support same-sex marriage. What are you afraid of?

Sincerely,

James Chamberlain
Vancouver

James Chamerlain is a petitioner in the Surrey book banning case - he fighting a school board because they have banned children's books which depict children in families with same-sex parents. Please consider assisting this important case.

September 12, 2002

Dear James Chamberlain:

On behalf of the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien, I would like to acknowledge receipt of your e-mail regarding same-sex marriages.

Please be assured that your comments have been carefully reviewed. Given his responsibilities for the matter you have raised, I have taken the liberty of forwarding a copy of your e-mail to the Honourable Martin Cauchon, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, for his information and review. As you may be aware, Minister Cauchon has referred this matter to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights to hear from Canadians. That being said, I am certain that the Minister will also appreciate being made aware of your concerns and will wish to give them every consideration.

Thank you for writing to the Prime Minister.

L.A. Lavell
Executive Correspondence Officer


July 30, 2002

Mr. Chrétien,

We are extremely surprised that your Liberal government allows discrimination against gays and lesbians. It is truly disappointing. We have been a long time supporters of the Federal Liberal government since it was your government that gave Canadians our Charter of Rights and Freedoms which I treasure. We have made great strides towards an EQUAL society. We are proud to be Canadian as we are miles ahead of our American neighbors in equality for all who boast that they are the land of the free. We trust that your Government will listen to what Judges in Ontario have said. The arguments presented by the Crown were flimsy at best. The Judges know the law that has been set before them.

My spouse, Al of 26 years are starting to re think our political alliance in this country. While this may sound like an empty threat as we are only 2 votes out of many we will not support a Party who supports bigotry. Has the Liberal Party lost Pierre Elliott Trudeau's vision?

Tom Allworth & Al Pittman


July 26, 2002

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

I am an American, writing to you on the subject of same- sex marriage. My demographics: I am a gay man, 41 year old, an ordained minister in the Progressive Universal Life Church, a real estate appraiser and homeowner, avid racquetball and squash player, very interested and somewhat active in the area of international security and law enforcement.

I knew a wonderful Canadian man several years ago. He was a young student when I knew him well. Now he is a very smart, productive, and good member of society, currently doing genetic research in the area of anti- social and violent behavior. We enjoyed exploring life's mysteries together, and shared a desire to make the world a better place for all creatures. We loved each other, but were not able to sustain a long-distance, international relationship. We finally broke up due to our inability to live together in one or the others' country.

I've been watching the rising tide of support for 'equal marriage rights' around the world and I think I'm right in saying that the time for legal same-sex marriage is coming soon. Many countries and municipalities are now there or almost there.

I've always felt that your country has been a world leader in many areas, especially social issues. Canada is known as a leader in the area of nuclear arms control and reduction, doing a great job in advancing the idea that the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons is a viable goal.

Why not make another important statement to the world, and maintain your international leadership in the area of social justice, by supporting the legal recognition of same-sex marriage?

Being the intelligent man that you are, you can read the writing on the wall - same-sex marriage will happen eventually. You know that polls show that you will be re-elected if you choose to run again. Please, do that which you know to be right.

Thank you for your time.

Pete Rogerson
Seattle, Washington


July 25, 2002

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien Dear M. Cretien

I would urge you and your government not to appeal the ruling of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice regarding same-sex marriage, but rather to lead by example and amend all relevant federal statues to enable same-sex marriage in Canada. It is time that equality mean just that. Every person in this nation should have the equality to make the decision to enter into marriage with the person they love regardless of sexual orientation.

Proclaiming the love I have for my partner of nine years and his love for me has been nothing but positive for us. I has shown members of our community and our family that we are validated just as they were when they married. The recognition of our relationship by our community and the Church has brought members of my family and our community closer to us. All we wait for now is the legal recognition of our relationship.

As I read today even your own polls show that the majority of respondents favour same-sex marriage and that the polling organization is telling your party that change is inevitable. Why then waste tax money prolonging the fight. It would be less expensive and more forward thinking to just make the appropriate changes. The sky will not fall, marriage will not end with same-sex marriage in Canada.

Sincerely

Gavin M. Stephenson-Jackman


July 18, 2002

Dear Mr. Chretien:

It was with exceedingly great pleasure that I heard that our Premier would not challenge the courts regarding the recognition of same sex marriages. I urge that the Canadian government adopt new legistation that recognizes these unions equal to those of heterosexuals. We give child molestors, spouse abusers, mentally challenged adults, alcholics and drug addicts this right. Are you to say that because we love someone of the same sex that you feel we should be denied this privilege and right? As a gay male I have been married twice because I felt compelled by religious, family and society pressures to do so. Iam the same person, I was gay then and I am gay now. I now happen to love another man in a more profound way than I ever felt for a women, but find that I cannot be legally married because the person I love is a man. I am asking that you give me the same choice I had when I wanted to marry a women. Please give us our dignity and respect our basic human rights.

Peter Hovestadt
Ontario

Dear Peter Hovestadt:

On behalf of the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien, I would like to thank you for your e-mail, in which you raised an issue which falls within the portfolio of the Honourable Martin Cauchon, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. The Prime Minister always appreciates receiving mail on subjects of importance to Canadians.

Please be assured that the statements you made have been carefully reviewed. I have taken the liberty of forwarding your e-mail to Minister Cauchon, so that he too may be made aware of your comments. I am certain that the Minister will give your views every consideration.

L.A. Lavell
Executive Correspondence Officer Agent de correspondance de la haute direction


July 18, 2002

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

On Friday July 12, 2002 the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled that denying same-sex couples the equal right to marry is unconstitutional.

Today, the Province of Ontario said it won't appeal the decision of the Ontario Superior Court and called upon the Canadian Government in Ottawa to do the same and get on with implementing the court's decision.

As Atlantic Canada's male representative on the Board of Directors of Egale, Canada I would like to point out to you the reasons why I support this decision and why you should too. The denial of same-sex couples their basic human rights is not only unconstitutional, it is blatant discrimination. By restricting us the right to marry, the Federal Government is sending the message that we are second-class citizens, that we are not worthy of full and equal recognition, that our families are not valid. The restriction against same-sex marriage is an offense to the dignity of lesbians and gays because it limits the range of relationship options available to us.

It is also outrageous to see the Federal Government wasting Canadian Tax Dollars fighting to discriminate against its own citizens. In essence, we as gay taxpayers contribute our gay tax dollars to the federal and provincial governments, however, because we are gay we are not worthy of receiving the benefits afforded others by those governments. The Federal and Provincial Government have been fence-sitting on this issue for far too long. Each one blames the other for prolonging the issue. Truly, the final decision lies in your hands Mr. Prime Minister. As a gay man and a citizen of Canada I urge you to not appeal the Ontario Court decision and to enact legislation to provide same-sex couples with the full equal right to marry. We are not interested in alternative options to marriage. We seek the full equality that marriage provides. Nothing less will do.

According to a recent poll by Leger Marketing, two-thirds of Canadians support same-sex marriage. Do you support the unanimous Court ruling that it is discriminatory to deny same-sex couples the right to marry? Can we count on your support for same-sex marriage? Where does your party stand on this issue? Do you and your party believe Parliament should do the right thing and extend marriage to same-sex couples? This is a very important issue for same-sex couples all across this nation and we look to you now to provide us with fair and responsible leadership. As the appeal date of July 29 draws nearer I will look forward to your response to my concerns on this issue at your earliest convenience. Please put an end to this marriage discrimination now.

Sincerely yours,

Don Tabor
Atlantic Region Representative (Male)
Board of Directors Egale, Canada


July 17, 2002

Dear Prime Minister:

We, as citizens are calling on you to show leadership, and stop wasting our dollars, on appealing the Ontario Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. The wisdom, and direction these three justices have shown, and now supported by the government of Ontario, must now be brought into law by you, and your government. We, the gay and lesbian citizens of Canada deserve nothing less. We have waited too long, to meld into society. Our parents, and children should not have to watch us spend our lives fighting for justice. I, and my spouse have been waiting 34 years, to have our relationship validated in a public way. We now call on you, to please give us that validity, through proper legislation.

Yours respectfully,

Lloyd Thornhill/Bob Peacock


July 17, 2002

I am writing to ask that you end discrimination against same-sex couples by not pursuing a costly, lengthy case against marriage for such couples.

The ruling by the Ontario Superior Court has been exceptionally clear, and it is my hope that you will listen to the words of the esteemed judges, and finally allow Canadian same-sex couples equal rights to marry under Canadian law.

Mr. Prime Minister, I believe that the Liberal government has the foresight to pass legislation in a timely manner, and that all Canadians will be granted full rights speedily. As one half of one of the couples who were recently granted the right by the Ontario Supreme Court, I am truly hoping that my spouse and I will soon be able to get legally married. If we were an opposite-sex couple, we would have been granted our license when we applied over two years ago with no questions asked. Please do your part to ensure that, as two adults aged 49 and 51 respectively, we are granted the right to freely choose the person with whom we wish to spend the rest of our lives.

Thank you for listening, Mr. Prime Minister. I am sure you will do the right thing, and end this discrimination quickly. S

Sincerely,

Hedy Halpern


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