OTTAWA, July 20, 2005 With last nights passage of Bill C-38 in the Senate, Canada becomes the fourth country in the world to extend recognition at the federal level to marriages between persons of the same sex. Commenting on this step, Phil Horgan, President of the Catholic Civil Rights League, said that the views of the majority of Canadians who support traditional marriage have been ignored, but that the League will continue to promote Church teaching on this question. It will also support those who are marginalized for supporting the traditional definition of marriage.
As we noted when C-38 passed in the House of Commons, this legislation will result in countless filings before human rights tribunals, court cases and challenges to the charitable status of institutions that uphold the traditional definition of marriage, said Mr. Horgan. Its unfortunate that the Senate ignored suggestions for amendment from the League and from other groups that would have helped strengthen human rights in the application of C-38. Nevertheless, the League will continue to provide support and practical advice for Canadians caught in these challenges, both informally and through participation in legal challenges.
CCRL has been involved with the marriage question in all provincial court challenges, as well as at the Supreme Court of Canada reference last year. It also testified before the House of Commons Legislative Committee on Bill C-38, and before the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, as well as many individual bishops, has encouraged Catholics to continue to uphold the traditional definition of marriage.
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,