Oct. 1, 2004 – If youre like most of us, you might be thinking that nothing you can do will reverse the move to same sex marriage, or prevent it from being enshrined in federal law. As such, you may well believe that signing our petition would be, at best, an empty protest.
Thats not the way to look at it. Were not naïve enough to think that a few hundred or even a few thousand names on a petition from a small organization like ours will turn the tide, but we do know it can make a difference. While the Supreme Court is about to hear submissions, including one from CCRL, on the related reference questions, the reference is non-binding. In other words, its decision might state that Parliament is within its constitutional rights to enact such legislation, but it does not require it to do so. If opposition to the change is known to be significant, federal law might not change.
Even if it does, Canadians could get much stronger language on the protection of religious and conscience rights than the proposed law contains. As it is now drafted, the proposed law makes no provision for upholding the traditional definition of marriage in such matters as marriage counselling or preparation courses, employment in religious institutions, professional accreditation, hall rentals, retention of charitable status or the rights of non-Church officials who support traditional marriage on conscience grounds. These are questions that could be clarified in Parliament if strong enough voices demand it. Without such protection, courts could rule against such protection, perhaps when addressing a challenge at a later date.
We agree that much damage has already been done to the status of marriage as we have always known it. But it is not too late for your voice and your signature to make a difference.