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Canada Legal News - Parliament rejects Harper's bigotry

April 12, 2005

Parliament rejects Harper's bigotry
Motion to resurrect old definition of marriage fails

By Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell

Stephen Harper's ongoing attempt to stop the progress of equality failed again today when Parliament rejected his motion to prevent Bill C-38 from proceeding to second reading in the House of Commons. Harper's bigotry was rejected by 164 Members of Parliament; 132 MPs voted in favour of Harper's amendment, including approximately 30 Liberal backbenchers.

The NDP, most of the Bloc Quebecois, a majority of Liberals, and four Conservative MPs voted against the Tory attempt to deny the existence of gay marriage. This result was achieved despite an unprecedented campaign against civil rights mounted by religious and conservative extremists, funded in part by U.S. counterparts.

When opponents of equality began losing their cases in the nation's courts, they turned to government to maintain discrimination.

Gay marriage - Gets liberals clean!

"Two of the Liberals most upset with their party on same-sex marriage -- Ontario MP Pat O'Brien and Alberta MP David Kilgou -- have mused openly about joining the Tories in the next election or ending their political careers."

Globe and Mail
, Apr. 12, 2005

After today's vote, Focus on the Family told the Globe and Mail, "This is not an issue that peaks and goes away."

This despite their assertions on May 2003 where they maintained "Redefining marriage to include same-sex couples is a matter for Canadians and their elected leaders, and not the courts, to decide."

Parliament has now spoken. But Harper and his band of extremists don't like the answer and they're determined in their attempt to attack the rights of gays and lesbians. Harper has threatened to bring down the Liberal minority government and make same-sex marriage an election issue. If elected, he would create second-class citizens by invoking the notwithstanding clause to strip gays and lesbians of Charter rights.

As we enter the wedding season, most citizens of Canada already live in a region where same-sex marriage is a consummated reality. More and more families are being built upon same-sex marriages. Yet Harper continues to believe he can ride into the Prime Minister's office on a wave of homophobia.

A lot of the conservative members in the Canadian House of Commons debate seem to be arguing that it is for legislators to decide whether to have same-sex marriage. But surely they are missing the point. Legislators decided that a generation ago, when the Canadian Parliament adopted the Charter ... All that is happening now is that people are coming to realise what the Charter means in the field of mariage law. And that is rightly a matter for the courts, not the legislature, to decide. Best wishes in the cause!

email from Augur Pearce, Cardiff, UK, April 12, 2005.

Fears over Harper's social agenda cost his party the last election, despite outrage over Liberal party financial scandals. Harper stands poised to repeat his mistake, because he just doesn't understand the positive nature of Canadians. We're more interested in rights than wrongs.

"I believe Canada passed a very important test today," The Prime Minister said in a press conference.


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