Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Liberal Gay Marriage Bill is Only the Next Battle in War on Religion

January is upon us, and the Liberals have promised Canada a gay marriage bill this month. The legislation the Liberals plan to introduce will, Paul Martin says, satisfy two important conditions. The bill will enshrine the right for same-sex couples to marry and will allow ministers the right to discriminate by not performing gay marriages.

In a non-binding opinion released Thursday December 9th, 2004, the The Supreme Court of Canada reaffirmed religious freedoms under the Charter, saying religious officials opposed to same-sex marriages do not have to perform them. By stating this opinion, the Supreme Court is saying that ministers will have the freedom to discriminate against homosexuals by refusing to perform marriage ceremonies to gays and lesbians. Will Canadians really have the right to refuse a service to others based on their sexual orientation?

If history is a guide, the answer is no. The precedent has already been set with Scott Brockie a Toronto area printer. Although the case was in front of the human rights tribunal and not the criminal courts, the circumstance was the same. Brockie maintained that his Christian beliefs compelled him to reject a request by the Canadian Gay and Lesbian Archives in 1996 to print materials for the group. The Toronto-based CGLA provides information about homosexuals and their history. He lost his case and was fined $5,000.00 on April 15, 2004.

Since the Scott Brockie case, even more rights for homosexuals have been added to Canadian Law. On April 29, 2004, Svend Robinson's Bill C-250 (hate crime legislation) was given Royal assent. We are now fast approaching the point were fines become a prison sentence for anyone criticizing the lifestyle of gays and lesbians.

Do people have the right to speak out against homosexuality or even make a reference to someone else that does? The answer again is no. Hugh Owen learned this the hard way when he took out an add in the local paper. All he did was list references to 4 passages in the bible (he did not quote the text). Then using an = sign, he drew two male stick figures with a prohibition sign overlaid. For this he was found guilty of incitement to hatred. Although this case was also only before the human rights tribunal, this case would have lead to a criminal conviction under the new law, section 319.1 of Canada's Criminal Code.

A gay marriage bill will not be a final settlement in the conflict of religion versus same-sex rights. The gay and lesbian community does not want a two state solution with religious intolerance, they want to drive religion into the sea.

Happy New Year, Canada.

1 Comments:

At 12:22 PM, Blogger selutha said...

hmmm correct me if I am wrong for i am not a god fearing man, but doesn't the bible say marrage is a holy union between a MAN and WOMAN? If this is the case i dont see how you can be married by a church. Your marrage can be accepted by the state, but the church can refuse you.

As for Brockie i have mixed feelings. On one side if he is a personal buisness owner I think he should have the right to refuse service to anyone basid on anything he deems worthy. If he is inc. I dont think he should beable to refuse them, but it isnt like that in the USA ether.

 

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