No more appeals:  Paul Martin has lowered the bar to same-sex marriage by saying the final hurdle shoud be the upcoming decision from the Court of Appeal for Ontario.




Summaries from
the Court of Appeal for Ontario:




SELECT to Listen to "Liberal Leadership & Same-Sex Marriages" from CBC Radio One's  The Current (host Jim Brown)
Listen to a recording of this program




SELECT to read "The beginning of the end of discrimination"  Will the Liberals finally enable same-sex marriage?




The Prime Minister's legacy is linked to same-sex marriage.   As the sun sets on his political career will he seize the golden opportunity? (Photo of  Jean Chretien courtesy of the Office of the Prime Minister)






Paul's Martinizing - Canada's next P.M. wants the Supreme Court of Canada to do his job for him (Illustration courtesy of Max Licht)
Paul's Martinizing
Taking human rights to the cleaners
Canada's next Prime Minister wants the Supreme Court of Canada
to do his job for him
(illustration courtesy of Max Licht)




"Mr. Martin is "wrestling with" the issues as he believes "a great number of Canadians" are. So much for leadership."
Jorge Angeles, Letter to the Editor, The Globe and Mail, May 1, 2021



I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
Don't get fooled again No, no!
Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

Won't Get Fooled Again - The Who
Lyrics are property and copyright of their owners. All lyrics provided for educational purposes only.




"Paul Martin's considered opinion on same-sex marriages is that "he would not appeal any court decision." This sounds like abdication. If Mr. Martin wants the leadership, he must be prepared to lead. While our judges usually do an admirable job, it is our politicians whom we elect to make decisions about the right, rather than the merely legal, thing to do."
Michael Blue, Letter to the Editor, The Globe and Mail, May 1, 2021




It has been days since the Government of Canada
denied us our marriage right.




Paul Martin's Parliament Hill Office Contact Information:
Room 458 Confederation Building House of Commons Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Telephone: 613-992-4284
Fax: 613-992-4291

Paul Martin's campaign email:




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Advocacy News

May 28, 2003

"No more appeals"
Paul Martin lowers the bar to equal marriage

Canada's prime-minister-in-waiting, Paul Martin, has changed cleaners. Instead of looking to the Supreme Court of Canada to uphold the rights and freedoms of the Canadian Charter (see our report dated April 30, below), Martin has taken a step in the right direction by saying he will defer to the Court of Appeal for Ontario if it orders a clean-up of marriage discrimination.

A statement released yesterday by Egale Canada included Martin's remarks amongst the "statements of support" that have come from the other Liberal leadership candidates:

"Recently the Court of Appeal of British Columbia has found that legislation which reserves the rights and obligations of marriage only for opposite-sex couples fails to recognize fundamental equality rights. This decision was consistent with the findings of lower courts in Ontario and Quebec. The Ontario decision has been appealed to the Court of Appeal, which has already heard arguments and is currently writing its judgment.

If that lower court decision is upheld, with the result that Courts of Appeal have clearly determined that this is a matter of rights, then, subject to further guidance on any remaining legal issues that will come with the Ontario court's judgment, Parliament should act.

That means no more appeals.

That means, as the courts have suggested, legislating change and with the benefit of the recommendations from the Parliamentary Committee that has been studying the matter in detail.

Any legislation should affirm that no church, synagogue, mosque or religious institution can be forced to act outside its faith."

Martin's fellow leadership hopefuls, John Manley and Sheila Copps, have been unreserved in their support for a legislative change to marriage. Other cabinet Liberals (Allan Rock and Bill Graham) have also given unqualified support for equal marriage. Martin has always lagged behind, so his new stance is seen as a watershed moment compared to his earlier positions.

Ontario led the way with its landmark decision in favour of equal marriage on July 12, 2002, establishing a deadline for the government to end discrimination by July 12, 2004. Quebec court followed soon after, maintaining the same deadline, and finally, after an unsuccessful first round in lower court. British Columbia fell into line in a decision made by an appeal court earlier this month.

A decision from the Court of Appeal for Ontario is expected soon. Meanwhile, the Quebec victory for equal marriage is scheduled to be challenged by the federal Liberals in that province's court of appeal on September 25 and 26, 2003.

A position paper from the Liberal caucus has already made it clear that marriage discrimination against gays and lesbians must end. The punch-drunk Liberals will continue to lose rounds in court as long as they're fighting from the corner of discrimination.

We are very optimistic about the outcome from the Court of Appeal for Ontario, so it seems that Martin will spare us a trip to the Supreme Court of Canada. Although Prime Minister Chretien will still be in office when Ottawa has to decide whether to seek leave to appeal the Ontario court decision, it will be Chretien's successor, likely Martin, who will make the decision about whether to proceed with the appeal.

Thanks to Martin, the future direction is now clear. Subject to a surprise defeat in the Court of Appeal for Ontario, Prime Minister Chretien should have the courage and grace to do the right thing and leave with a legacy burnished by respect for human rights and the Charter he helped create.

April 30, 2003 (updated May 1, 2021)

Paul's Martinizing
Taking human rights to the cleaners
The next P.M. wants the Supreme Court to do his job

Paul Martin isn't ready to have Ottawa endorse same-sex marriages unless so ordered by the courts ... Mr. Martin said he is still undecided on the issue of whether Ottawa should expand the definition of marriage to include gay and lesbian couples ... He initially dodged the question when asked what reservations he had about same-sex marriages. He then suggested that the traditional definition of marriage has a long and cherished history and that the issue is an emotional one that deeply divides the country.
The Globe and Mail, April 28, 2021

The politician most likely to be Canada's next Prime Minister seems ready to do exactly what the current Prime Minister has done in respect to human rights for gays and lesbians: nothing. Liberal Paul Martin has all but been crowned as his political party's heir to Jean Chrétien. In the past, the Liberal party has reluctantly extended rights to gays and lesbian piece-meal, and only when the courts have ordered them to clean up their legislation to remove acts of discrimination. They are fighting still, refusing to honour the Canadian Charter by denying gays and lesbians the right to marry.

Paul Martin is fond of using the word "proactive", but from this politician's mouth, it's has as much credibility as someone who repeatedly says "to tell the truth". Mr. Martin has been hiding from addressing the issue of same-sex marriage ever since July 12, 2002 when Ontario divisional court said that the common-law definition of marriage ("one man and one woman") discriminated against us. They gave the government two years to fix the problem. Martin has spent much of the first year avoiding the issue, but last weekend, he finally was smoked out by the media and was compelled to answer questions on the issue.

"Only the Liberal Party of Canada could simultaneously paint itself as home of the only meaningful political debate in the country, and yet prepare to coronate Paul Martin." NDP leader Jack Layton wrote in yesterday's National Post. "The contradiction was clearest as I watched the next prime minister pretzel himself over the simple question of whether he supported same-sex marriage. Fortunately for Mr. Martin, options are available to provide refuge from outlining what most would consider to be a fundamental test of leadership, namely taking a position. But on the question of same-sex marriages, Mr. Martin prefers to wait for the courts to fill the void created by the spineless."

It's been a long-standing tactic in the Liberal party. Hiding behind the robes of the judges allows the Liberals to minimize accountability to those voters who wish to maintain discrimination. Judges get blamed for being "activists" when in fact they are doing their job, unlike our "proactive" politicians who are willing to sell our rights down the river for the sake of expediency and deniability.

"I believe fundamentally that governments cannot discriminate on a question of rights," Paul Martin said (The Globe and Mail, Apr. 29, 2003). "But what we are dealing with here is a very long tradition, a tradition that goes back well before the common law, on which opinion in Canada is very badly divided. And I think that on these kinds of matters . . . you've got to be prepared to hear out both sides."

When interracial marriage was before the courts in the U.S. (Loving v. Virgina), no one suggested asking the folks in Virgina what they thought about miscegenation. Similarly, no one asked people in Kansas what they thought about blacks entering their white-only schools (Brown v. Board of Education) . Here is an example of the regressive result of such a dialogue:

"To redefine marriage to be more inclusive of homosexuality is to create a new morality in which homosexuality is not merely tolerated but is normalized and would branch out into sexual activity with babies, children of both sexes, and with animals."

Rita Curley, St-Ignatius Martyrs Council of the Catholic Women's League, Feb 11, 2021

There is more, much more that the Liberal party has encouraged through their traveling road show staged by the inappropriately named Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

Paul Martin is prepared to take our human rights to the cleaners - the Supreme Court of Canada - rather than taking ownership for compliance with the Charter, in the absence of a court order. There is only one solution, and most people understand that. Only full and equal marriage will stand up to constitutional scrutiny, despite what the B.C. courts have to say (more on that later tomorrow when a decision on the B.C. marriage case is released).

While some may argue that a violation of our Charter equality protections (Section 15) is justified (Section 1), Martin has at least promised that in the alternative, he will respect the Supreme Court's decision, if they do the dirty work for him, and clean up the marriage mess.

"To the extent that this is a rights issue, if the Supreme Court upholds these rights I have made it very clear I will not use the notwithstanding clause [overriding the constitution]," he told the media on April 27, 2003.

And thus we'll have Paul's Matinizing of marriage. But who will clean the stain on the Liberal party's record of human rights?

Read a selection of comments from our mail.Link to our media coverage of related issues.