OTTAWA, October 30, 2006 The Catholic Civil Rights League today cited a new opinion poll about Canadians views on religious freedom in the same sex marriage question as further proof of the need to revisit the matter.
The poll, conducted by COMPAS Inc. for the Institute of Canadian Values and The National Post, shows that a majority of Canadians want Parliament to act to protect freedom of religion in the light of legislation redefining marriage to include same-sex couples.
Sixty-four percent of respondents to the survey, conducted October 18 – 27 said that Parliament should review existing legislation to ensure that freedom of religion is protected while 24 percent opposed such an initiative. Support for a review was nominally higher among women (67 percent in favour vs. 21 percent opposed) while among Francophones, support stood at 59 percent with 25 percent opposed.
These results show that Canadians want real assurance that freedom of religion is upheld, not only in the application of marriage legislation, but in the numerous other issues that have arisen in freedom of speech and freedom of association, said League President Phil Horgan. We hope all MPs will recognize the upcoming free vote in Parliament on re-visiting the legislation as an ideal opportunity to create a forum for studying how religious freedom has been impacted by same sex marriage, and take appropriate measures to strengthen religious freedom.
The poll also found strong support (57 percent vs. 37 percent) for the right of marriage commissioners to not officiate at same-sex marriages, the right of teachers to express their opposition to same-sex marriage by, for instance, writing letters to their local newspapers (68 percent vs. 28 percent) and the right of business owners to decline business that promotes same-sex relationships in violation of their religious convictions (61 percent vs. 33 percent).
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, 416-466-8244; firstname.lastname@example.org