OTTAWA, June 28, 2005 Tonight, the House of Commons adopted Bill C-38 on Third and Final Reading by a margin of 158 to 133, extending civil marriage to couples of the same sex at the federal level. The Catholic Civil Rights League (www.ccrl.ca) predicts that this vote will result in numerous court cases and complaints to human rights tribunals, as well as challenges to the charitable status of institutions that uphold the traditional definition of marriage.
The rights of marriage commissioners to refuse to perform these marriages, the rights of Church organizations to control the use of their properties, the rights of parents and school teachers to address what is taught in family life programs, are just some of the problems that are going to land in courts and human rights tribunals because of this law, said Phil Horgan, president of the CCRL.
The federal government has adopted a definition of marriage that radically devalues what marriage really is. By denying the complementarity of male and female and ignoring the procreative ability of true marriage, the courts and federal government have adopted an adult-oriented definition of marriage, whereas in fact true marriage is ultimately a child-centered institution. Virtually all the research confirms that children have the best outcomes when raised in two-parent, mother and father families, other factors being equal.
While acknowledging that C-38 included amendments to strengthen freedom of religion and freedom of expression in its application, Mr. Horgan said these clauses are all but meaningless since most of the application issues fall under provincial jurisdiction (league press releases, June 17).
An election will be called in the near future, said Mr. Horgan. Politicians who voted in favour of this bill will be held accountable. Canadians will remain faithful to their strongly held beliefs, and will support those politicians who recognize that Bill C-38 is a very destructive piece of legislation for family life and religious freedom both now and in the future.
*How your MP voted.
* Statement from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Catholic Civil Rights League (www.ccrl.ca) assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. CCRL was founded in 1985 as an independent lay organization. The Catholic Civil Rights League is a Canadian non-profit organization entirely supported by the generosity of its members.
For further information: Joanne McGarry, Executive Director,