By C. Gwendolyn Landolt National Vice President
REAL Women of Canada
December 14, 2004
Never have Canadians been more manipulated and deceived than on the issue of same-sex marriage. Although the issue could permanently alter this nation, ordinary Canadians have, to date, not had any input on the question. Instead, they have been led to believe that they must accept its inevitability because the courts have spoken. Not true.
The fact is, that same-sex marriage has been contrived and pushed by only a very few individuals inCanada, both judicial and political, together with homosexual activists.
The story behind the push for same-sex marriage began, as it has become customary in recent years, in the courts. This strategy was decided upon because the definition of marriage had been debated in Parliament in June 1999 and the traditional definition of marriage, as a union between a man and a woman, was upheld 216 – 55. This decision was subsequently followed by two other pieces of federal legislation which affirmed this definition.
These political losses led homosexual strategists to steer clear of Parliament and to begin their efforts to achieve the agenda for same-sex marriage through the courts. Much of the funding for their court challenges on same-sex marriage was provided by the taxpayer, via federal Heritage Department through the Court Challenges Program.
Canadian courts are the most powerful and political in the western world. Despite the lack of public support, they have not been reluctant to use the vague wording of the Charter of Rights to make profound changes to the social fabric of this country. Unfortunately, many of these court decisions have been based on the judges’ own perspective rather than on that of the public or even that of clearly established law. Supreme Court of Canada Judges Claire L’Heureux Dubé and Rosalie Abella, strong advocates of homosexual rights, have expressed their opinion both in their judgements and in public speeches, that the courts must take the lead on same-sex issues because of the failure of the political process to do so.
But appointed judges have no special understanding of the issue. The reality is that judges are merely lawyers with political connections who are unaccountable in any way for their decisions. Because of this, they believe themselves free to turn on its head, the-thousands-of-years-old understanding of the institution of marriage, which transcends all cultures and religions, and is universal to mankind, since it is basic to the stability and continuance of society.
Moreover, the courts’ revolutionary interpretation of marriage has been based solely on the self- serving evidence of homosexual activists and on the affidavits of the homosexual litigants themselves. Never have such crucial court decisions, which will so permanently alter this nation, been made by so few individuals (the judges) on such sparse and flimsy evidence.
The courts ignored the fact that same-sex partnerships are not and can never be functionally equivalent to opposite-sex marriage, since such unions cannot make the unique contribution to society of procreating the next generation. Statistics Canada, among others, has found that opposite-sex marriage is the ideal environment for the rearing of children, since it provides children with both a mother and a father. Children’s needs, not adult wishes, must have priority and these needs have been ignored.
On the political side, it was again only a handful of individuals who pushed for same-sex marriage. Former Justice Minister Martin Cauchon, in a speech given last May to aUShomosexual organization, which gave him an award for his pro-homosexual activism, admitted that only four individuals inOttawawere instrumental in making this political decision. Besides himself, Mr. Cauchon singled out Paul Genest, who was policy advisor to former Prime Minister Chretien, Alex Himelfarb, Clerk of the Privy Council, and the Deputy Minister of Justice, Morris Rosenberg. Mr. Cauchon stated that, “the four of us have been a fantastic team that allowed the delivery of the draft bill on same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court.”
On June 17, 2003, former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien announced that he would not be appealing theOntarioprovincial court’s decision. Instead, he would seek a non-binding, advisory opinion from the Supreme Court of Canada. Mr. Chrétien chose this route, knowing that the Supreme Court’s opinion would weigh heavily on MPs when they voted on the issue. In effect, the Supreme Court reference was another political manoeuvre by the government to pass the bill.
It is important to note that the decision handed down on December 9th, 2004 by the Supreme Court on this reference stated only that it was constitutionally possible for the government to change the definition of marriage, but that the government is not required to do so. The Liberal Government is now ploughing ahead with its proposed law to change the definition of marriage. According to Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, same-sex marriage is a “foundational equality right.” Not true. The court never stated that same-sex marriage was a human right; it merely said that the government may redefine marriage, not that it must do so.
The issue is now to go to Parliament. However, this institution no longer serves as the voice of the electors because there is no such thing as a “free vote” in Parliament. In order to pass the bill, Prime Minister Paul Martin has announced that all 39 Cabinet ministers must vote for the bill. This means that voters in their ridings will be disenfranchised on the most crucial question of this generation. Moreover, we know that the Liberal leader will exert intense pressure on his backbenchers to support the bill. He has many weapons to do so. Few Liberal MPs will dare resist this pressure: certainly the Liberal MPs who want a career in the party will toe the line. So, this leaves even more voters without a voice. This is not democracy. A vote on same-sex marriage in Parliament, under these circumstances, lacks legitimacy.
The electors must be allowed to express their opinion on same-sex marriage. The Referendum Act (1992) provides that the government may “obtain by means of a referendum the opinion of electors on any question relating to the Constitution of Canada.” (The constitution makes reference to marriage.) Mr. Martin has stated that he will not hold a referendum. Is he afraid of the opinion of ordinary Canadians?