Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Gay Civil Rights

There is currently a private member's bill in Parliament, trying to make same-sex marraiges ilegal in Canada. So in response, I sent the following email to all Members of Parliament:

Letter to all Members of Parliament

-----Original Message-----
From: gabrielrobichaud
Sent: Mon 22/11/2004 1:59 PM
To: Williams, John - Riding 1
Subject: Equal Marriage - Bill C-268.

I'm writing to express my opposition to Private Members' Bill C-268, which would restrict civil marriage to opposite-sex couples. This bill is unconstitutional and un-Canadian.

Canadians overwhelmingly support Charter values like inclusion, human dignity, mutual respect and freedom from political or social prejudice.

For many Canadians, both gay and straight, marriage is a profoundly meaningful way to demonstrate love and commitment. Denying anyone that choice is simply not fair. Same-sex couples should have the freedom to marry in a civil ceremony and to have that marriage legally recognized, and religious communities should have the freedom to perform or not perform such marriages.

Please let me know where you stand on this human rights issue.

Gabriel Robichaud

And, to my surprise, i got an answer for a very conservative MP. :

Answer from an MP

On Tue, 23 Nov 2004 13:06:39 -0500, Williams, John - Riding 1 wrote:
Thank you for your email and I appreciate knowing your perspective regarding same-sex marriage.

Since time immemorial all societies have recognized the union of a man and a woman, celebrated the union and called it marriage. In modern society, where anything goes, a relationship does not need to be defined as a marriage. I believe, however, the institution of marriage should be preserved as the legal and religious union of a man and woman to the exclusion of all others, and if people want to enter into some other kind of relationship they can find some other name to call it, but it is not marriage.

The decisions of a number of provincial courts to re-define marriage to include gay and lesbian couples ignores a decision of Parliament in 1999, when Members of Parliament voted 216 - 55 in favour of a motion holding that marriage should remain the union of one man and one woman. Jean Chr├ętien, the Prime Minister of the day, Martin Cauchon, the then Justice Minister, and Paul Martin all voted in favour of the motion at the time, although all three changed their position to endorse same sex marriage.

The Liberal Government made a grave error in judgment by choosing not to appeal recent court decisions that legalize same-sex marriage. As a result of the failure by the Liberals to appeal the court decisions redefining marriage to include homosexual couples, gay marriage is now already the law in Ontario and B.C., and may soon become the law in most of Canada.

The most recent proposal by the Liberal Government to refer draft legislation to the Supreme Court of Canada does not negate the fact that the Liberal Government has abandoned the democratic process and allowed an unelected, unaccountable court to define marriage, when that decision is the purview of Parliament alone. Any subsequent promise by the Liberals of a "free vote" in Parliament on that legislation, does not in any way change that reality. The proposal to hold a "free vote" in Parliament is only a communications exercise to try to hide the fact that they have allowed un-elected judges to make the laws of our country.

My Conservative colleagues and I are also disappointed that several months' worth of work done by the House of Commons Justice Committee on the issue of same sex marriage has been rendered irrelevant by the Liberal Government's failure to appeal the recent court rulings. Although the then Justice Minister, Martin Cauchon asked the Justice Committee to travel the country and hear representations on same-sex marriage from all walks of life, he did not wait for the committee to produce its report before making a decision on this matter. The voices of Canadians who submitted briefs and made oral representations to the committee have effectively been silenced by this un-democratic process.

Canadians should be outraged by the Liberal Government's slight against democracy, and the failure by this government to keep its promise to Canadians to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others. The Conservative Party will continue to call upon the Liberal Government to keep its promise to Canadians to preserve the traditional definition of marriage.

I appreciate your perspective that a majority in society should not trample upon the rights of a minority. However, I do not agree that it is an issue of human rights since a human right is an inalienable right for all people, at all times. For example, no one should be discriminated against because of their colour at any time, at any age, or under any circumstances. Protection from discrimination because of one's colour is a human right.

Marriage is not a human right, because there are many people in this country who would want to marry and who have no recourse to the law in order to do so. We also do not allow young people who are under the age of majority to marry. We do not allow siblings to marry. We do not allow parents and their children to marry. Therefore, marriage is not an inalienable right and therefore it is not a human right.

I believe that it is appropriate that we have some other words to define the relationships that are emerging and acquiesced to by our society, other than putting it all under an umbrella of marriage.

Yours truly,

John G. Williams

Member of Parliament

To which i promptly replied

Hello and thank you for taking the time to respond.

I woud like to point out that your logic is flawed. Should you wish to preserve the "sanctatity" of religious marriages, as you described it, that is fine. I do not think "homosexuals" or people as we prefer to be called, are trying to change your view of marriage. You are entitled to it, and if you wish to religiously keep that, good for you. What we want is equlaity under the law. Just like black people did in the 20th century. We seek legal marriage. Do whatever you want in your religion, its your business. God teaches us to love, as he gave us a new commandment before he died "love one another". It is not your job to judge people, or limit legal statutes on the basis of sexual orientation. Remember that is also stipulated in the Bible that God will judge as you have judged others.

Furthermore, marriage was not historically always a religious ceremony. It only became so in a few centuries ago. So using the "sanctictity of marriage" as a sword to battle against civil rights of the most basic nature is a shame. Specialy with a divorce rate of 50%, and climbing. What is your next step to save the sanctity of marriage? Ban divorce perhaps? Divorce is, after all, a sin according to most Christians! Hell must be a pretty big place since so many people will be going there.

Seperation of State and Church means let gay people marry each other and stop propagating hate, bias and self-righteous, self-serving omnipotent opinions

Thank God the liberal government was there not to oppose the high court ruling. And if you truly care about people, civli-rights and humanity, you won't either.

Gabriel Robichaud

Please visit http://www.equal-marriage.ca to fight hate and anti-gay legislation!

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