Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Time to Rein Steve and Co. In . . . .

The Tories are planning more mischief on the Same Sex Marriage battle. From today's Globe and Mail we have the following excerpt:

Tories split over gay-marriage plan


Globe and Mail Update with Canadian Press

OTTAWA - A storm of debate has erupted in Ottawa over the Conservative government's plan to allow public officials to refuse to perform same-sex marriages, with Harper government members lending their voices to the howl of protest.

Politicians on both sides of the floor have spoken out against the planned Defence of Religions Act, which is also designed to protect the free-speech rights of religious leaders and others who criticize homosexual behaviour or refuse to do business with gay-rights organizations.

The legislation would be brought forward if the government loses the motion this fall to reopen the debate on same-sex marriage, which is likely to be defeated by a combination of Opposition and Conservative MPs.

"Isn't this just an attempt to remove sexual orientation as a prohibited ground of discrimination in our country. (The bill is) totally against what was already adopted by this Parliament,"” Liberal interim leader Bill Graham asked during Wednesday's Question Period.

While Mr. Harper reiterated his government's promise to bring a same-sex marriage motion before an open debate in the House, he would not speculate on the nature of the proposed bill.

According to a report in The Globe and Mail on Wednesday, the federal government is floating the idea of a Defence of Religions Act that would protect public officials who refuse to perform same-sex marriages, and church groups that refuse to rent halls to gay couples.

You can see the whole story here. Sure would be nice if this crowd's poll numbers started to parallel mr. bush's - Straight down, that is!!


Daniel wbc said...

There are two different issues here that are being confused. This is the famed problem of having "marriage" be a term that is used socially, religiously, and legally. It drives me crazy that people cannot figure this out -- and that politicians deliberately blur the lines.

If a person is a marriage commissioner (the term used in British Columbia), then they are serving as an agent of the government. They should not be allowed to discriminate. A church, however, can choose what ceremonies they have and how they use their parish halls.

I'm somewhat of a radical here, but I believe that the government should get out of the marriage business all together. The legal term should be civil union -- for all couples -- and "married" would be given to religious bodies but without legal standing. Clergy should not be allowed to be agents of the government, unless they are willing to separate their roles for the church and for the government. (Just like they could be a minister on Sunday and an accountant on Monday.)

West End Bob said...

Exactly, daniel.

For those atheists and non-believers in society, why is there a religious connotation at all? If the union is a governmental entity "protecting" it's sanctity has absolutely nothing to do with one's personal values.

Give me a break . . . .

Tom said...

I don't see much value in a religion that claims a tenet of their faith is the denial of equal rights for some people. It's religion gone bbaaaadd!

People aren't married legally by standing before any altar, they are legally married by filing a certificate.