MPs defeat motion to reopen same-sex marriage debate
Motion tabled by Tories falls 175-123
Last Updated: Thursday, December 7, 2006 | 4:53 PM ET
A motion to reopen the same-sex marriage debate was easily defeated in Parliament on Thursday, as expected.
MPs voted 175-123 against the controversial motion tabled by the ruling Conservatives.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks with the media in the House of Commons in Ottawa Thursday after the government failed to pass a motion to reopen same-sex marriage legislation.
(Tom Hanson/Canadian Press)
The motion had asked the government to introduce legislation to restore the traditional definition of marriage without affecting civil unions and while respecting existing same-sex marriages.
The Liberal and Conservative parties allowed their members to vote freely, and there were some surprises.
Twelve Tories broke from party lines and voted against the motion. They included cabinet ministers Peter MacKay, David Emerson, John Baird, Jim Prentice, Lawrence Cannon and Josée Verner.
Most Liberals also gave the motion the thumbs down. Among them were Joe Comuzzi, who gave up his cabinet post in 2005 so he could vote against a same-sex marriage bill proposed by the Liberal government.
All Bloc Québécois and NDP members present voted against Thursday's motion, as directed to by their party leaders.
The vote should put an end to parliamentary wrangling about same-sex marriage, as Prime Minister Stephen Harper had said a free vote — promised during January's general election campaign — would settle the matter.
A 'hollow' motion, Liberals criticize
Same-sex marriage became legal in Canada last year, when the Liberal government passed Bill C-38 in response to a series of court rulings that said gays had the right to marry.
The bill passed 158-133.
Maybe the US will one day follow suit . . . .