OTTAWA, December 6, 2006 The Catholic Civil Rights League today urged parliamentarians, who will vote in a matter of hours on a motion to restore the traditional definition of marriage in law, to give priority to the needs of children in their deliberations.
The League cited a national survey issued today that reveals a large majority of Canadians are asking that the rights of children be given proper consideration on any changes to marriage legislation. Conducted between December 1 and 5 by the Montreal firm MBA Research, the poll interviewed 1009 Canadians age 18 and over, plus an over sampling of 263 additional people in Quebec. The poll, commissioned by Preserve Marriage, was meant to evaluate the importance that Canadians in Quebec and in other provinces assign to childrens rights, particularly when these rights are in conflict with the rights of adults to form same-sex households.
According to these results, 89 per cent of Canadians agree strongly or very strongly with the UN position of equality for all, but also that, as far as possible, children have the right to know and be cared for by their parents. This has implications for any marriage legislation, since the right to marry implies the right to be considered equally for adoption and assisted reproduction.
The impact that redefining marriage would have on childrens rights was not properly considered when Bill C-38 was passed, said League President Phil Horgan. We hope MPs will give priority to childrens needs in their vote tomorrow.
Seventy-three per cent of Canadians outside Quebec, and 83 per cent of Quebecers interviewed want the government to defend strongly or very strongly, the rights of children to be raised by a mother and a father, whenever possible. While 76 per cent of Canadians are generally supportive of forms of unions that admit same sex couples (civil marriage and common law unions), only 22 per cent of Quebecers and 30 per cent of other Canadians favour marriage and unrestricted adoption by same sex couples. When restrictions on adoption are introduced, limiting adoption only to cases where no married heterosexual couple is available to adopt a child, support for same-sex marriage is 34 per cent for Quebecers and 39 per cent among other Canadians. Finally, 31 per cent of those polled would have a worse or much worse opinion of their MP if he or she votes to reject a view of the current marriage law in order to review its consequences on childrens rights and improve it if applicable.
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 and has chapters across Canada. 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