On June 28, 2005, after more than two years of debate, Canada's controversial same-sex marriage legislation (Bill C-38) was passed by a vote of 158 for and 133 against in the House of Commons. Marriage, which was until then “the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others” is now, with this new law, redefined as “the union of two persons to the exclusion of all others,” thus allowing the union of two homosexuals to be called marriage.
To call “marriage” something that cannot produce life goes against plain common sense. To refresh the memory of those who say there is nothing wrong with this new law, here is the official teaching of the Church. The most authoritative document on this issue is the document issued on July 31, 2003 by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (the present Pope), then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, entitled “Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons”:
“The Church's teaching on marriage and on the complementarity of the sexes reiterates a truth that is evident to right reason and recognized as such by all the major cultures of the world. Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings. It was established by the Creator with its own nature, essential properties and purpose. No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman, who by mutual personal gift, proper and exclusive to themselves, tend toward the communion of their persons. In this way, they mutually perfect each other, in order to cooperate with God in the procreation and upbringing of new human lives.
“There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family. Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law. Homosexual acts `close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved'. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2357.)
“In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection.”
And now, read what Cardinal Ratzinger said about so-called Catholic politicians who vote in favor of same-sex marriage:
“If it is true that all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are obliged to do so in a particular way, in keeping with their responsibility as politicians. Faced with legislative proposals in favour of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are to take account of the following ethical indications. When legislation in favour of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic lawmaker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly, and to vote against it. To vote in favour of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral.”
Despite all of these warnings, many politicians who claim to be “practicing Catholics” voted for same-sex marriages, beginning with Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin, who forced all his cabinet to also vote for it. So, out of the 133 Liberal Members of Parliament, only 32 broke ranks with their party by voting against the bill. On the other end, out of the 96 Conservative MPs present in the House, 93 voted against the bill, and only 3 voted for it. 46 MPs of the Bloc voted for it, and 5 against; out of the 19 NPD Members of Parliament, only one voted against it.
Even if gay marriage is now the law of the country, the fight is far from being over, and as the Canadian Bishops said, it will be a definite issue in the coming election (January 23, 2006). In their comment after the approval of Bill C-38, the Bishops said on July 20, 2005:
“Although Bill C-38 has now been approved as federal legislation in Canada, the fundamental and universal reality of marriage remains the exclusive union of a man and a woman for life. From the perspective of the Catholic Church, the new federal statute falsifies moral values and principles. Catholics are to continue to oppose it, and to ensure that all provincial and territorial regulations on the solemnization of marriages provide full protection for freedom of conscience and religion, as guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
“Unfortunately, there are some Catholics who have promoted the redefinition of marriage, including politicians who have voted in its favour. In this regard, they are in dissent from the teaching of the Church as enunciated by the Holy Father and the Bishops. This is a serious and problematic matter.
“Canadians in general have been and remain deeply divided about changing the nature of marriage and altering its basic meaning. It is clear this debate is far from over, and that it will be a significant issue in the upcoming federal election.”
So if you care about the protection of the definition of traditional marriage, please vote for a candidate who supports this definition. This is not a partisan issue; it is about defending Christian values. The platform of all the parties is basically the same (especially about finance, since none of them dare to attack the present debt-money system), but it happens that there is only one party in the coming election that officially stands up for traditional marriage. On the first day of the election campaign, Conservative leader Stephen Harper said that he would hold a free vote to re-establish the traditional definition of marriage if he becomes prime minister. All the other main parties said they favor same-sex marriages.
Following is the list of the Members of Parliament who voted for (yeas) or against (nays) bill C-38 on the legalization of same-sex marriages; they will all be judged by God on Judgment Day on the way they voted, but on January 23, it is your turn to judge them:
Yeas - 158
Nays - 133