"Somehow we made it to [the] end, without an eruption, which speaks tons about how determined, or how cowed, we are."
-Michael Hendricks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lawyer, representing extremist religions "will not be limited by speaking of only his and his clients' religions but ALL RELIGIONS!"
-Michael Hendricks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Same-sex marriage is a deconstruction of heterosexual bonding, not an inclusion but an explosion.
-Lawyer for Evangelical Protestants and Catholics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homosexuals are not banned from marrying. They can marry heterosexually and raise children if they wish.
-Evangelical Protestants and Catholics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Any change in marriage will create serious problems for religious communities. Same sex marriage is opposed to our legal, social and moral traditions including creation itself.
-Evangelical Protestants and Catholics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"John Fisher tells me that this is the worst religious presentation he has seen in all of the hearings."
-Michael Hendricks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evangelics are being increasingly stigmatised and they are concerned about the freedom of religion in Canada. This marriage challenge is a case in point.
-Evangelical Protestants and Catholics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marriage is fundamental and if this case wins, we will remove the foundation and the institution will fall.
-Lawyer for Evangelical Protestants and Catholics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The consitution of Canada is like [a] living tree, capable of growth within its natural limits.."
-the Living tree doctrine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I don't get it. You call it an [constitutional] ammendment when we interpret the word marriage?"
-Judge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If the plaintiffs marry, my clients and many millions of Canadians will be forbidden to practice their religion because they will not be able to marry.
-Lawyer for Evangelical Protestants and Catholics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Coalition supports any legal move that allows same sex spouses to benefit from the same statute and rights as heterosexual spouses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The experience of liberation is lived unequally - both slaves and women had problems actually liberating themselves once free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For homosexuals, you only have to go to a hospital to know that you and your partner are nobody.
-Coalition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Pitfield's [British Columbia] decision leaves out two important systems in governance: the courts and the legislature."
-Coalition for recognition of same sex couples

 

 

 

In their own words / Dans leurs propres mots

Quebec Day Five - November 14, 2001

If I remember correctly, Jesus was on the cross for 3 hours before dying. Without being flippant, I can tell you that the "Girls' Team" sat there for almost 3 hours today and listened in silence to one of the most incredible presentations I have ever heard. Somehow we made it to end, without an eruption, which speaks tons about how determined, or how cowed, we are. Jerry Falwell would be proud of the Wrapper!

We had put out a call for support and 18 people (plus John) showed up, some of them coming from gay religious communities. There were two journalists. The Drones arrived as a group, spiffily dressed but once again "hair challenged". Those in the audience were treated to a morning long view of the back of Wrapper's head which looked something like a Niagra Falls of too fine long hair --- the 'cover up' coiffure kept falling towards the back as he looked up to the judge.

Wrapper is definitely a believer in something. Even as he reads in a monotone from his notes, he is still able to transmit conviction when he speaks. And, as someone who believes and is secure in his belief (perhaps in himself), he speaks with a judgmental, yet matter-of-fact, tone that assures the solid foundation of his thinking. From our side, watching his lipless mouth form the foul words coming the cesspool of human ignorance that serves him for a mind, was literally repugnant.

I will spare you the verbatim transcript and only hit the high points. Wrapper read so slowly that it was easy to capture it all. Surprisingly he spoke in French but most of his quotes, from texts you all had presented in your trials, were of course in English.

The session started with Her Ladyship going over the list of affidavits that he won the right to present (in a previous court hearing, thank you Judge Rolland) and which could not be stricken by court order. Not the kind to be gracious in victory, Wrapper then started by whining about how Me Goldwater had suggested yesterday that some of this smut be eliminated. He ended this song and dance with "I don't get it---what's her game?"

The formal introduction started with Wrapper explaining the importance of "context" which is so valuable for the Supreme Court in Article 15 cases. He then assured the judge that his presentation was conforming to Article 27 of the Constitution that orders that Art 15 should be used to maintain and protect multiculturalism, which includes those motivated by FAITH. It seems that the Wrapper is only a vessel bearing the point of view of people of faith to the Supreme Court and that he will not be limited by speaking of only his and his clients' religions but ALL RELIGIONS! So his presentation will expose what people of faith think and how this radical change that Me G is pushing would attack these people and, of course, the "context" in which people of faith live.

Affidavit 1 - Daniel Cere (who teaches at McGill, director of Newman House)

Speaking for the True Church (the one I was raised in, in fact), Cere explains how same sex marriage would fracture the basis of shared religious and civil peace that has existed through the ages. Neither Church nor State can change marriage, it comes from before History and exceeds State power. Inclusion of s-s couples in marriage forces the reconfiguration of civil marriage, making it into an empty legal entity while removing the central elements. Worse it will cause problems for the clergy in observing their faith.

Judge: Nowithstanding clause 367 of the Civil Code (which protects the Churches from discrimination charges, example: refusing marriage to divorced people)?

Wrap: The protection of 376 is a "red herring" used by Goldwater but I will come back to that.

The Wrap then went on to read to us about the evils of "social deconstructionism" as Cere presents them.

Judge: That word is not in the dictionary.

Wrap: It's an academic idea, takes time to get in dictionary. It means the rejection of reality as we know it. This ideology says we are not men or women, that we are linguistic constructions, that marriage is a cultural construction. It will pass, just like Marxism did. (But ugliness is eternal, the proof is before me.)

Wrap/Cere continues: S-s marriage is a deconstruction of het bonding, not an inclusion but an explosion. (Then a whole bunch of more rubbish which all proved that hate by any other name smells the same.)

But even worse than deconstructionism is the danger of these new homosexual clique words "homophobia" and "heterosexism" which were invented to avoid honest debate about the TRUTH. Wrap then says that these two dirty words have not yet been used in Her Ladyship's court but we must beware. However, Me Goldwater has accused his clients of "hate" and that is the same strategy. Worse, these words are linked with other words like racism and anti-sematism to stereotype the Catholic Church.

Change of direction: Wrap says that non-discriminatory treatment of homos does not have to treat homo bonding in same way as hetro bonding is treated. The Church does not approve of all heterosexual sex, for example, incest, rape and prostitution are not approved of.

Judge, interrupting: The comparison is not the most happy one, do you think?

Wrap: Maybe.

Wrap (re-gathering his dignity): Homosexuals are not banned from marrying. They can marry heterosexually and raise children if they wish. Heterosexual love is different from homosexual love, it bridges the male/female gap . . . (I lost the rest)

At this point Me Goldwater is loudly whispering to Me Dubé about something and the judge disciplines her. I find I am having trouble paying attention. This must have been what the Inquisition was like, when words you know suddenly are used in ways they were never meant to be. A perversion of your reality using words that are familiar and emotionally charged.

I get back on track as Wrap is saying: "the inclusion of s-s marriage is to exclude a large sector of human sexuality from the legal system, the evisceration (disembowelment) of marriage, a disconnect between the faith-based groups of society and the law. "Jamming" this kind of thing into the schools is a new kind of indoctrination . . .So this really is the Monkey Trial after all.

Judge: When abortion was legalised, no one died and they said they could not live with it, eh?

Wrap: What is proposed by Me Goldwater is further, more fundamental, than abortion. Profoundly fundamental for my clients.

Judge: A bit lame, your arguments? Perhaps you could bring new elements.

Wrap: I only have the last paragraph of Cere to cover (strangely, it is paragraph 69). The inclusion of s-s couples in not an extension of marriage but a deconstruction of legal marriage with no relation to het reality.

Affidavit 2 - Dr Caparos, a professor of Canon Law (knowm to be close to Opus dei)

Wrap: There is no civil marriage; only religious marriage is valid. Me Goldwater says that all "they" (he means Michael and René) want is civil marriage. There are not two kinds of marriage, just two ways to celebrate the service, but only one institution. It is impossible to separate the two.

Any change in marriage will create serious problems for religious communities. Same sex marriage is opposed to our legal, social and moral traditions including Creation itself.

By this time, Wrapper is looking like some kind of suited Don Quixote with his hair flying in all directions, his smudged 70's "aviator style" glasses, his tiny hole of a mouth.

The basis of marriage in Canada is Canon law, ie. het partnership for life with kids in a family. Any other form of sexuality is morally wrong. People are moral agents and can choose their acts. However, homosexual persons deserve respect; all religions distinguish between the immoral geste and the person who does it.

There is a distinction between claims for equality. The court must consider the equality interests of the plaintiffs (us) and that of the Catholic Church as well as, most important, the common good. But justice must be done. If they (he means us or homos?) are allowed to marry this will lead to the stigmatisation of the Catholic Church and the social exclusion of the Catholic Faith, the largest in Canada.

Judge calls break time. John Fisher tells me that this is the worst religious presentation he has seen in all of the hearings.

Back to work with Affidavit #3, the Rabbi Novak.

Marriage comes from Adam and Eve, reconfirmed after Noah's ark ran aground. Marriage is a natural institution elevated to a sacrament without changing its pre-religious character.

Judaism does not reject the homosexual but rejects same sex relations as sinful.

S-s marriage will create a schism between the Jewish community and society and the State. If s-s marriage is legal, a large segment of Canadians will not be able to accept the marital status of other Canadians. It will lead to accusations of discrimination, "un-Canadianism" or "anti-Canadianism". Jews will leave for other countries where their religion is protected or they will move to civil disobedience.

Affidavit #4 - The Imam

Islam teaches that the husband and the wife (which one???) are two pieces of the same whole which unite in marriage. The impact of the redefinition of marriage will result in the State imposing acceptance of s-s marriage. This contradicts and invalidates our religious beliefs. Result will be the isolation of muslims from full participation in Canadian society.

Affidavit #5 - Professor Craig "Gay" for evangelical protestants (Wrapper's folks)

Wrapper starts off by saying that Me Saint-Pierre called evangelicals a sect. They are not, they are everywhere in all Christian religions, they are 10% of the Canadian population (who is counting?).

(Like integrationist muslims), they put a total emphasis on the authority of scripture. One can not overstate the significance of marriage---it is basic to creating the moral order.

Then Wrapper/Gay explains that, in the beginning, there was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. For this world, Holy Scripture indicates that marriage is het and is the only acceptable place for enjoying sexual relations. So they oppose polygamy and homosexuality. Marriage is god's design for all people, for all time.

Evangelics are being increasingly stigmatised and they are concerned about freedom of religion in Canada. This marriage challenge is a case in point.

Gay liberationists have invented words like homophobia and heterosexism to embarrass their opponents. Part of the homosexual plan is to capture legitimate social images like marriage and family.

Such a constitutional move as the plaintiff propose pits the State against the Holy Scriptures---a stake into the heart of protestant beliefs. End of "Gay".

Wrapper: My clients see themselves confronted by the State in three cases about marriage. They have sincere, profound convictions against s-s marriage founded in religious faith. All of them love the sinner but hate the sin. In each case before the courts, the danger of stigmatisation is present and they will be targeted by the State if this cause is won.

If Me G wins this case, the institution we know as marriage will be gone. Marriage is fundamental and if this case wins, we will remove the foundation and the institution will fall. That is what Me Goldwater wants, to abolish one institution and replace it with another. One of the many false impression Me G spreads is that she only wants the right to civil marriage but there is only one marriage. She says that clause 367 will protect religious officers from celebrating s-s marriages but, if she wins, there will be no marriage, no 376. A new marriage will exist and it will be imposed.

Judge: Everyone will have to live with it, this will not make everyone homosexual. Yet, from your affidavits, I gather clause 367 will not settle it.

Wrapper: The simple fact of doing this change takes all meaning out of marriage. Heterosexual essence is the sine qua non of marriage. The proposed change is fundamental, not banal. Marriage will not continue.

With that note, the Wrapper ended his presentation of the affidavits and moved on to the constitutional question. How did you guess, he thinks the Pitfield decision is just fine. Perfect. So he told us how the term marriage is frozen into the Constitution of 1867 and can not be changed without a constitutional amendment. But he goes one step further---even the provinces together can not change it because the founders meant the marriage they knew in 1867 (the real one, not the phoney one with divorce, etc.) and that can never be changed.

Judge: Did I understand that: it would change the constitution to change the signification of the word "marriage"?

Wrapper: Yes. Marriage has always been heterosexual, what they mean by marriage is the Hyde decision. Any other use of marriage is not the same but a new product.

And so it went until the cesspool closed at 12h30 for lunch.

Back at work at 14h15.

Judge: Could you explain the citation from Pitfield that you read before lunch?

Wrapper tries to explain it, not very aptly. The judge says that this citation does not seem to communicate the idea he was talking about.

Wrapper: Anyway, we arrive at the same conclusion (he and Pitfield, I guess) a law can not change the sense of the word marriage in the constitution.

Wrapper then goes into his second part. About the constitution, starting with the "Persons" case and the Living tree doctrine. The exact quotation from the Privy Council in the Persons case is "the constitution of Canada is like a living tree capable of growth within its natural limits"

Judge: In the 1930s, "persons" was ambiguous. It is not so today.

Wrapper; At the time, "persons" was an ambiguous word and the Privy Council fixed that. Marriage was never an ambiguous word so no one can change it.

Wrapper: the point is that "marriage" is not an ambiguous word. 'Within its natural limits' can not apply to s-s marriage. (Because s-s marriage is not natural, I guess.)

Wrapper: The plaintiffs are invoking article 15, invoking invalidity. But they are really trying to amend the constitution. This can not be done (cites Supreme Court)

Judge: I don't get it. You call it an amendment when we interpret the word marriage?

Wrapper: Yes. When you change the sense of the word.

Judge: When identifying an area of federal or provincial competence, it does not say what to do in that area.

Wrapper: It is not by changing laws that you can change the constitution.

Judge: The feds can not change a "condition de fonde"? like age?

Wrapper: Age is not fundamental. You can not change the constitution with article 15 and that is what Me Goldwater said she wants to do.

Wrapper repeats all this at least 3 times and the Judge falls silent.

Wrapper goes to part III of his presentation: How to apply section15.

This is a major case. The parties and the intervenors (what?) are invoking art. 15.
You (the judge) must consider that my clients have a religious interpretation of marriage and thus reject the plaintiffs' request. Marriage means home, wife, religious belief. If you give marriage to them, the concept of marriage will be eliminated, replaced by another and that will be the law. For many that geste will attack their freedom of religion and conscience.

Thus we have a collision of fundamental rights. What does freedom of conscience mean? The right to believe what we want and to do it publicly and practice it. If the plaintiffs marry, my clients and many millions of Canadians will be forbidden to practice their religion because they will not be able to marry.

Judge: If I apply Big M you can believe what you want. How does their marriage interfere with your clients' practice?

Wrapper: Because marriage is heterosexual and they could no longer marry under this new institution, no longer limited to hets. If it becomes the law, the rights of lots of people will be attacked because they can not marry. Article 27 of the constitution (which I read to you earlier) supports "multiculturalism". We can not pretend that their rights (Michael and René's rights) are superior to our fundamental rights. You have no choice but to defer to the legislator.

(Me Dubé passes me a note: "Quel calvaire")

The Wrapper is wrapped and next is the lawyer for the Coalition for the recognition of same sex couples, Noël Saint-Pierre.

NB: Noël, a rather handsome, dashing 40ish gay lawyer, is one of those eternal hyperactives with a real gift of gab. He speaks, reads and writes 4 languages and is widely read. He practices immigration law and has been active in the gay and lesbian movement for years. Seeing him, hearing him at the bar, is a refreshing change.

Noël's presentation differs from all the previous ones for two reasons:

· he has heard all the others (he is last) and can reply to much of what has been said.
· he completed his presentation at lunch so it is fresh---everyone else had theirs filed weeks ago and, obviously, they have been rethinking things since.

Noël to Judge: I have a document to submit from the Vatican.

Me Goldwater: And I have the Canon Law and the Catholic catechism on marriage and sex etc.

Judge: I am not reading a catechism. You all agree on the important parts and I will read them.

Noël: To start, I was asked if the Coalition supports the marriage of MH and RL. The Coalition supports any legal move that allows same sex spouses to benefit from the same statue and rights as heterosexual spouses. So we support them. Who are we? We are the rest of the people, the lesbians with children, the single gay men, those who also know the situation they live with from our own experiences.

Noël: We have never said that Wrapper and his clients are homophobes. But we have all suffered at the hands of homophobes who acted in the name of religion.

To start from the beginning, s-s marriage is not in the constitution of 1867 because all of our relations were illegal in a religious country in 1867. Today we have a new request. The AGC remarked on Michael's newly found interest in marriage in 1993. It is for good reasons that this came so late. Until 1969, our relations were illegal. 100 years ago it was a serious criminal offence. Only in the last year has Québec legalised sodomy for consenting 14 year olds.

There are three factors that bring us to this point today. First of all, 25 years ago no State even recognised our equality. The first was in 1977 in Québec. The process of liberation, individually and collectively, has picked up only recently. The experience of liberation is lived unequally----both slaves and women had problems actually liberating themselves once free.

Even in 1977, after the Charter was amended, there were prohibitions against recognition of our couples, pensions, etc. This is all new. We could not have imagined marriage then.

But at Dives/Cité in 2001, we had a contingent of lesbian mothers with their children. This was unthinkable 10 years ago. Certain factors have changed and hopes have grown. The double life still exists but things are improving for us.

There is another factor that has changed the way gay men are living. We have the lesbians with us now. This is powerful. They are fighting for the right to maternity.

Finally, a third factor, is that HIV and AIDS brought us together.

Gays and lesbians often realise "different treatment" at moments in their lives when they are vulnerable. For homosexuals, you only have to go to a hospital to know that you and your partner are nobody. Being in couples has grown since HIV struck, it changed our sexual habits. Being in a couple is a means of prevention, a means of surviving.

A fourth factor where we see couples forming is for immigration. We seek the right to immigrate with our loved ones. The AGC said yesterday that all the rights have been given to us. Not so, there is work to be done.

For those in the front of the room (he means the Drones Club), this is new to you. We have to avoid our emotions here but we have been confronted in every possible way and place, trying to stop us. Now we are here.

I wish to start by covering some of the points the AGC touched on. Points which illustrate the " smart aleck tricks" (bad translation but the best I can do) that appear in his presentation.

From there, Noël started cooking.

· There is not legal concept of separating the "effects of marriage" from the institution and the Supreme Court never said anything about doing that.
· Nowhere does it say that C-23 is a deal to give exclusivity to marriage to hets as a condition of access to rights for s-s couples
· Clause 365 (or its direct ancestor) never was based on the Hyde decision
· Pitfield's decision leaves out two important systems in governance: the courts and the legislature
· Both the Harmonisation Act and clause 365 can be modified.
· The Hyde decision does not define marriage (and cites 2 pieces of jurisprudence that prove his point)
· The Living Tree doctrine does mean you can revise the constitution, including the meaning of the words in it (and explains how confessional schools in Québec required specific updates to specific definitions of words that were held to be "sacred" and then goes through another one about alien status/citizenship in Canada)

Then Noël goes off on Article 15, explaining how homos are in the prime group of targeted classes of Canadians for the application of the Art 15.

NB: The judge gave this latter part a lot of attention (and she pays lots of attention all of the time). At this point, I glance at the Wrapper and his face is really sour. I think maybe this is just me judging him but my friend Evangeline tells me later that she notice how the Wrapper had gone dispeptic after Noël started.

Then Noël pops a big one: Originally, he had not appreciated Me G's use of Morgenthaler but, in hearing the Wrapper tell us we could marry girls and boys and have children, obliging us to live something we are not, he thinks it applies very well.

And so Noël went on til 4h30, offering bits and pieces of his lengthy legal experience, carefully chosen pieces that demonstrate the applicability of Art. 15 and other principles to us, each of them refuting the allegations and legal pretentions of the Drones' Club. In closing, he promises to expose more lies tomorrow morning.

M. H and R L in Montréal.


Read Michael and René's account of day 4