Canada wants to legalize same-sex marriages

Written by Thérèse Tardif on Thursday, 01 May 2003. Posted in Same-sex marriage

The Bible and religious magazines could be banned as “hate literature”

Ottawa does not appeal

On June 12, 2003, the Ontario Court of Appeal declared the current definition of marriage in Canada — “one man and one woman” — in violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights. It ordered the City of Toronto to issue marriage licenses immediately to the same-sex couples involved in the case.

Five days later, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien announced that his Government will not appeal the decision of the Ontario Court, and will move toward legalizing same-sex marriages. “We will not be appealing the recent decision on the definition of marriage. Rather, we will be proposing legislation that will protect the right of churches and religious organizations to sanctify marriage as they define it. (That means religious groups will have the right to refuse to perform gay marriage ceremonies.) At same time, we'll ensure that our legislation includes a legally recognized same-sex couple. As soon as the legislation is drafted, it will be referred to the Supreme Court. After that, it will be put to a free vote in the House of Commons.”

“Not to appeal means that we have recognized the definition that has been developed by the courts,” said Federal Justice Minister Martin Cauchon. Both Mr. Chrétien and Mr. Cauchon said they were comfortable with the decision not to appeal. “For me, we have a Charter of Rights. There is evolution in society, and according to the interpretation of the courts, they concluded these unions should be legal in Canada,” Mr. Chrétien said. While the Justice Minister said he would like a vote to be held before Mr. Chrétien retires next February, the Supreme Court could easily take at least a year to issue an opinion.

Support for Chretien's announcement was unanimous among his cabinet. This is surprising, since only four years ago (June 9, 1999), the members of the House of Commons affirmed, by a vote of 216 to 55, “That, in the opinion of this House, it is necessary, in light of public debate around recent court decisions, to state that marriage is and should remain the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, and Parliament will take all necessary steps within the jurisdiction of the Parliament of Canada to preserve this definition of marriage in Canada.”

There is still resistance from many Liberal backbenchers and several MPs in the opposition, so since Chretien said there would be a free vote (Members of Parliament will not be bound by party lines, but can vote according to their conscience), we see how important this vote will be, and how important it is for all Canadians who still care for the defense of the Christian definition of marriage to write to their MPs.

At least one province, Alberta, has said it will invoke the Constitution's notwithstanding clause if Ottawa tries forcing it to hand out same-sex marriage licences. “If there is any move to sanctify and legalize same-sex marriages, we will use the notwithstanding clause, period. End of story,” Alberta's Premier Ralph Klein said. Dave Hancock, Alberta's Justice Minister, added: “To take an institution that is near and dear to so many people, and change the definition in this way, is going too far.”

Vic Toews, Canadian Alliance justice critic, accused the Federal Government of abdicating its responsibility and making a “grave error in judgment” by allowing the courts, rather than Parliament, to redefine the traditional definition of marriage.

If Canada recognizes same-sex marriages, it would become only the third country in the world to do so. The others are Belgium and the Netherlands. But Canada's situation, morally speaking, would be far worse: unlike the other two counties, the Ontario marriage registrations are not restricted to Canadian citizens, and there are no adoption restrictions.

The reaction of the Bishops

In a letter dated June 19, addressed to Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Bishop Jacques Berthelet, President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (along with 15 other Canadian Bishops, members of its Permanent Council), strongly denounced Chretien's decision to refuse to appeal Ontario's court ruling, and legalize same-sex marriages:

“Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

“In the name of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, and with the support of its Permanent Council, allow me to say that I am deeply concerned and profoundly disappointed with respect to the decision that you have taken not to appeal the rulings of the Appeal Courts of Ontario and British Columbia regarding the redefinition of marriage. The prospect of the bill that you are preparing to present to the House of Commons in support of the redefinition of marriage by including same-sex partners would mean a devaluation of traditional marriage as the basis of the family and as an essential institution for the stability and equilibrium of society.

“Marriage, understood as the lasting union of a man and woman to the exclusion of others, pre-exists the State. Because it pre-exists the State, and because it is fundamental for society, the institution of marriage cannot be modified, whether by the Charter of Rights, the State, or a court of law.

“The point is not that, because same-sex partners cannot have access to marriage, there would be discrimination. Rather, it is the contrary that is true. Enlarging and thereby altering the definition of marriage in order to include same-sex partners discriminates against heterosexual marriage and the family, which are thus deprived of their social and legal recognition as the fundamental and irreplaceable basis of society.

“Same-sex unions cannot be considered as marriage. The definition of marriage that has been introduced by the Ontario Court of Appeal leads simply to a legal confusion which a rigorous analysis by the Supreme Court should be capable of denouncing, if there is no undue haste and improvisation.

“Mr. Prime Minister, I would very much hope that the legacy you are leaving does not include legislation that represents an assault on common sense, an assault on the values of societies which are advanced but not amoral, and an assault on the liberties of men and women of good will.

“I pray that you will have the courage to act in conformity with the law that is inscribed within human nature, and which is not affected by every wind that blows.” — Bishop Jacques Berthelet

It is easy to see how absurd this decision to legalize same-sex marriages is. God created our first parents Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. As Archbishop Adam Exner of Vancouver put it: "If one thinks of a child growing up with two mommies or two daddies, then what will the consequences be?" The family is an institution created by God, prior to any State, and cannot be modified by any State or law. To legalize vice is the height of perversion.

Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by fire because their inhabitants commited homosexual acts. Do our lawmakers bring a similar chastisement upon our nation, by defying God's law as the people of Sodom did?

These huge affronts to God's law and natural law show how advanced the enemies of God are in their plans to destroy Christianity in our country and in every nation on earth.

The Charter of Rights

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms begins as follows: “Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law...”

It happens that God forbids the practice of vice against nature. In the name of personal freedom, those who practice this vice against nature would like to change the definition of marriage, under the pretext that this law discriminates against them.

There is nothing discriminatory in the present definition of marriage in Canada. All men and women in Canada have the right to contract a real marriage between a man and a woman, according to the law of the nation, and the order established by God. Unions against nature between people of the same sex are not real marriages, but public sins and scandals, which contravene the law of God and the law of the land. The lawmakers who hear their demands ,and approve of them, are out of place in Parliament.

The Catholic Church forbids the faithful to vote for candidates who favor laws that go against the Commandments of God. Homosexuality is a vice that is denounced many times in the Bible.

Similarly, judges who give decisions based on their personal opinions, who demand to change the law instead of following it, are also out of place, and should be dismissed from their posts.

In the name of personal freedom, what would you say if I decided to contest the highway code, and have it changed, because I have decided that I want to drive on the left side of the road, instead of the right side? My freedom is limited by the law of the country. An unjust law does not bind in conscience, but a just law does.

Canada's 2001 census shows that of the 8.4 million families in Canada, 5.9 million (70%) are married couples; 1.3 million (16%) are lone-parents; 1.2 million (14%) are common-law partners, and 34,200 (0.5%) are same-sex partners.

And it is this infinitesimal minority of half a percent that makes an uproar to change the criminal code, and modify the law on the definition of marriage which has been established for centuries in Canada, on logic, natural law, and faith in God.

A change to hate-crime law

And this is not all! This minority does not like to be reminded that homosexuality is condemned by God in the Bible. They would also like the Canadian law to forbid anyone to condemn homosexuality: MP Svend Robinson of British Columbia (who was the first member of Canadian Parliament to openly admit he is gay) presented in the House of Commons Bill C-250, which seeks to add “sexual orientation” to Canada's hate-crime law. Canada's Criminal Code defines hate propaganda as anything that “incites hatred against any identifiable group.” Bill C-250 seeks to replace Subsection 318(4) of the Criminal Code  by the following:

(4) In this section, ``identifiable group'' means any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.

This bill has passed the level of its second reading, and is presently debated before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. If this bill is adopted, gay rights activists could use it against anyone who questions their lifestyle – even to the point of having the courts ban as “hate literature” passages in the Bible, or articles in any religious magazine, that condemn homosexuality.

On April 15, 2003, the General Secretary of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote a letter to Canada's Justice Minister Martin Cauchon regarding Bill C-250. Here are some excerpts:

“It is well known that the Catholic Church teaches unequivocally that sexual behaviour between people of the same sex is morally wrong, and in no circumstances can be approved. At the same time, Church teaching also requires unequivocally that persons who are homosexual “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided ” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, article 2358).

“Our concern with Bill C-250 is not about the objectives of prohibiting the incitement or willful promotion of hatred or the advocacy of genocide. What troubles us is the possibility that someone who finds the expression of the beliefs of the Catholic Church on the sexual conduct of homosexual persons too blunt or too harsh will invoke the Criminal Code to silence the teaching.

“Since the current provisions of the Criminal Code with respect to hate propaganda are thirty years old and predate the Charter, we suggest that it would be unwise to proceed with the amendment proposed in Bill C-250 by a private member's bill. Would it not be better for your Ministry to do the appropriate research to establish if this particular limit on freedom of expression is required and, if the answer is yes, to make sure that complementary amendments are also made to protect the freedom of Canadians to express their religious beliefs and Church teaching without fear of criminal prosecution?”

On December 12, 2002, the Court of Queen's Bench in Saskatchewan ruled that a man who placed references to Bible verses on homosexuality into a newspaper ad was guilty of inciting hatred.

On December 20, 2002, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a British Columbia school board was wrong to ban three books depicting same-sex parents from kindergarten and Grade 1 classrooms. In a 7-2 judgment, the court said the ban imposed in 1997 violated provincial legislation that requires the public school system to be strictly secular and non-sectarian. Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, writing for the majority, said the board, in refusing to authorize use of the books in early primary grades, had bowed to the views of parents who opposed homosexuality on religious grounds. That meant it was “letting the religious views of a certain part of the community trump the need to show equal respect for the values of other members of the community.”

A vice to be corrected

Homosexuality is a vice, just like pedophilia or drunkenness. Nobody will kill or attack a drunkard because he has this vice; one will rather try to help him to quit this vice. Perhaps if this person had been educated in his childhood against drunkenness, he would not have to fight to free himself from this bondage that degrades him and society as well. If drunkards were allowed to drink with children, what a mess it would be!

 So it is the duty of parents, schools, society, and governments to denounce these deviations, and to warn children against sins against nature which, beside infringing on God's law, often bring venereal diseases that are sometimes incurable.

Since the creation of the world, we know that in order to transmit life, we need two people of the opposite sex. Even animals are bound to this law of nature, and they do not transgress it. Two men cannot transmit life. A man and a woman complete each other, whereas two men or two women do not, and never will.

St. Paul wrote: “For the time will come when people will not endure sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.” (2 Tim. 4:3-4.)

Let us ask God to enlighten and convert our statesmen, so they may come back to common sense, to truth and wisdom. And let us protest as much as we can against these bills that are promoted to reverse Christian values, and adapt our laws to the critera of a future godless world government. If we do nothing, we can expect to lose all of our freedoms, and be ruled by a fist of iron.


 

We encourage all our readers to write to their MPs to protest the legalization of same-sex marriages, and Bill C-250. The address for letters is:

Name of MP
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

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