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Same Sex Marriage: Canada election candidate's position

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
For those folks in Canada, here is a web site to determine whether the candidates running in 2004 election supports the charter and equal marriage amendment.

http://www.equal-marriage.ca/
Enter you postal code here to find out about the candidates in your area.
http://www.equal-marriage.ca/election.php
post #2 of 16
Bumpy, we have to get your forum off and rolling.

I might as well jump into this quagmire as well. Marriage is a contract between a man and woman and overseen by God until death do you part. There are no gray zones here. It's clear and simple and all black and white. Anything else is an abomination and a sin in God's eyes. It's not discrimination or hate-filled. It is wrong, plain and simple.
post #3 of 16
All right. I'll bite, but we actually have had a lengthy debate on this subject already.

Even though this thread is about Canadian policy, here in the US we have a general tenant called Separation of Church and State. Marriage may be a contract with God in your eyes, but in this case they aren't asking for the Church's permission to marry. This is dealing with the legal contract of marriage. I'm pagan so I don't believe in your God. Does this mean that legally my marriage is null and void? Would that make all Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist marriages null and void? There are legal ramifications to marriage far beyond the narrow minded Christian view, i.e. taxes, insurance, beneficiaries, will and death issues, divorce, etc. This issue, no matter how much Christians want to make it so, is not about moral values. That is for you and you alone to decide, it is not for you to impose on others. This is about legal equality, and personally I think it's about time that they are treated equally under the law. (Note, I did not say give them special rights, having the same rights as those who are heterosexual, regardless of religious beliefs, is not special rights.)
post #4 of 16
I couldn't have said it better Heidi.



post #5 of 16
I agree with that 100%.
As far as same sex couples getting married in a church, I think it should be up to the discretion of the church and if they support it or not, being that most believe it is immoral. On a legal aspect, same sex marriages should be allowed and marriage licenses issued. The license is a legal contract upheld by the court of law.

I really don't understand why it is still illegal in most states for same sex couples to get married. If we act upon the moral dilemma on this subject, why are divorces legal? Don't people get married 'under God until death do us part'? That is immoral.... But is allowed. The court even helps with the divorce process and enforces it's decisions when it comes to the splitting of property, child support etc. Shouldn't these people be left to face God when it comes to the divorce since it is a contract between them and God? It amazes me how the judicial system is allowed to pick and choose when the seperation of church and state rule applies.
post #6 of 16



I'm glad to see that there are people out there than recognize the difference between a legal union and a church union.
post #7 of 16
I am Canadian. I support same sex marriages. I don't see how any government can refuse, its a human rights issue. However, as a Christian, I also support the right of the Church to decide on theological grounds whether they will marry same sex couples, because the theology is unclear on this, it really depends on interpretation of biblical tenets. My church does not support same sex marriage, and I hope they will in time, but I am in support of their right to make that choice.

However, I have just helped find a Christian minister who will perform a same sex marriage here in Canada for a lesbian couple I know who live in Arkansas. And I am delighted to be able to do that. They plan to have children some day, and its really really important to them that they have the "legal" paperwork that says they are married, to protect their children's rights within that family. (They did have a church ceremony when they got married last year, its just not legally recognized).
post #8 of 16
Frankly I don't see the logic in marriage. Any two people can pay for a license and to see a judge (in my case, it was a total of $30), and they get tax breaks and other benefits. Is there a reason for this? Why not just lower taxes across the board, and so on? Why are only people who pay about $30 special? :P

Just my two cents, although I'm not Canadian
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpy
For those folks in Canada, here is a web site to determine whether the candidates running in 2004 election supports the charter and equal marriage amendment.

http://www.equal-marriage.ca/
Enter you postal code here to find out about the candidates in your area.
http://www.equal-marriage.ca/election.php
How does the Canadian constitutional amendment process work?
Is it easy to adopt an amendment, and then repeal it? In the US, constitutional amending has an appropriately uphill climb before an amendment can be added, with votes occuring in every state. I wasn't sure why the candidates' views would be that relevent in the short term. Or can the next batch of politicians revoke the law?
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
No constitutional amendment is required. The courts have found that not allowing same-sex marriage is a violation of the Charter. The government has placed the question before the courts by asking them whether opposite sex marriage is considered as unconstitutional. The government will then uphold the charter decision and amend the statutes relating that define marriage as simply opposite sex marriage. Since these statutes that refer to marriage are not constitutional documents, there is no need to amend the constitution. The problem is that legislation changes are not moving in provinces where there have been no legal challenge. Therefore there is a need to push for national wide legislations.

Basically, three provinces has allowed for same sex marriage, Ontario, BC and recently Quebec. The government reference in the supreme court of Canada has laid out the 4 main issues:

1) Is the Proposal for an Act respecting certain aspects of legal capacity for marriage for civil purposes within the exclusive legislative authority of the Parliament of Canada?

2) If the answer to question 1 is yes, is section 1 of the proposal, which extends capacity to marry to persons of the same sex, consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

3) Does the freedom of religion guaranteed by paragraph 2(a) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protect religious officials from being compelled to perform a marriage between two persons of the same sex that is contrary to their religious beliefs?

4) Is the opposite-sex requirement for marriage for civil purposes, as established by the common law and set out for Quebec in s. 5 of the Federal Law - Civil Law Harmonization Act, No. 1, consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? If not, in what particulars and to what extent?

The fourth question was asked by the PM when he came into power and some criticise it as a delay tactic such that by the time the court address the issue, elections would be over. However, the position taken by the Attorney General of Canada (AGC) which represents the government position with regards to the fourth question seem to show otherwise as it provides that:

The AGC says that the opposite-sex requirement for marriage:
1) excludes same-sex couples from the full range of benefits, protections and obligations that are available immediately to other couples who marry,
2) denies same-sex couples access to the social institution of marriage and the value and worth of their unions that is bestowed by marriage,
3) reinforces inaccurate understandings of the merits, capabilities and worth of lesbian and gay relationships within Canadian society, perpetuating their disadvantage,
4) does not serve a purpose that is sufficiently important to warrant overriding a constitutionally protected right.
"The restriction of marriage to opposite-sex couples denies gay and lesbian individuals and their families a basic aspect of full membership in Canadian Society. This affects their interests in a profound way. For all these reasons, the opposite-sex requirement for marriage has the effect of impairing the dignity of gay and lesbian individuals."
post #11 of 16
Oh, I see. I didn't realize that the statutes had only been applied in certain provinces; I thought that it had been a nation-wide change.

Does the Supreme Court of Canada have lifetime appointments as we do in the US?
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Other than possible removal for misconduct, the judges can stay on until mandatory retirement at 75. Although judges do leave before then. Currently, if I am not wrong two of the supreme court judges will be leaving to take up other appointment. I know one of them is to head up one UN body not too sure of the other.

Another point I should explain is with regards to the reference issue. The government may refer to the court to determine important issues of law. This is despite the fact that no party have brought the action. The 4 main issues laid out are with regards to the reference issue on same sex marriage. And since it is decided in the Supreme court of Canada rather than the province it would affect the entire country.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpy
Other than possible removal for misconduct, the judges can stay on until mandatory retirement at 75. Although judges do leave before then. Currently, if I am not wrong two of the supreme court judges will be leaving to take up other appointment. I know one of them is to head up one UN body not too sure of the other.

Another point I should explain is with regards to the reference issue. The government may refer to the court to determine important issues of law. This is despite the fact that no party have brought the action. The 4 main issues laid out are with regards to the reference issue on same sex marriage. And since it is decided in the Supreme court of Canada rather than the province it would affect the entire country.
I was surprised to learn recently that the US Supreme Court's number of Justices is set by Congress, and while it has been set at 9 for a long time, in times past, there have been a different number. I believe that in the US the only laws/rules that the Supreme Court can make not related to actual plaintiffs are rules related to how lower courts are run. Generally though, if the government wants to test a law, they can find groups who will directly act in a way that will cause the law to be reviewed by a lower court. That's a longer process obviously.

Are you an attorney? In one of my past lives I had the occasion to provide testimony and write affadavits on a seemingly regular basis since I worked at a hospital which was always having a legal issue or two with the state or federal goverment, mostly over payments for services, which were governed by a very arcane and ever-changing set of regulations and which gave them the ability to recoup payments years after they had been made. I have a very fond memory of being called to the witness stand over a request for an injunction concerning a recoupment of previously paid funds which they wanted to take back from my hospital. We were in New York County, so the Health Department in Albany, who was the adversary sent some technical guys down to advise an ADA in NYC who knew nothing abt the health care field at all, much less a very convoluted issues. After our attorneys questioned me, the ADA arose, and started fumbling around. I just gave him a big smile, which probably rattled him even ore. The health department guys were telling him what to ask, so at one point he asked if I knew the hospital CEO's salary. I replied 'yes' but of course did not reveal it. He then asked me how much the guy earned, and I actually looked at our defense attorneys and said something like 'hey guys, isn't an objection in order here.' Before they could reply, the judge looked at the defendant and said that unless they were abt to tell her that our CEO made twice the salary of any other CEO in NYC, the point was irrelevant to the discussion at hand, She then asked me that question, and I told her that he made no more than half of the salary of the highest paid hospital CEO in NYC. And that was that. We won our injunction. I had a good time.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yeah, in a sense while judiciary is suppose to be independent, their selection process. (http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/28/1.html) For example, in 1930s, when FDR introduced the New Deal, the courts kept on striking them down. Depending on which version you read, FDR threatened to reform the judicial process, implement a mandatory 70 year old retirement which would have kicked out some of the judges that were against his New Deal and to expand the court and appoint judges favourable to it. But of course unless the president or legislature have a wide majority support of the population such drastic changes are quite difficult to push through.

The reference issue is a feature of the civil law system, which is why most common law jurisdictions (ie: Nations formerlly colonised by Britain) do not have it. However since Quebec is a civil law system, such a feature was introduced in Canada.

Lawyers that represent hospital usually form a group that works out its policies and stuff. Quite interesting, you should talk to those in that field about their stories. You sometimes hear about them spending several million to defend a case, where it would have been cheaper just to pay the person. Alternatively, you sometimes see them paying to settle a case just so that they can keep the precedent or the current law relating to that rule.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by RatCatcher
Bumpy, we have to get your forum off and rolling.

I might as well jump into this quagmire as well. Marriage is a contract between a man and woman and overseen by God until death do you part. There are no gray zones here. It's clear and simple and all black and white. Anything else is an abomination and a sin in God's eyes. It's not discrimination or hate-filled. It is wrong, plain and simple.
Okay so what if you don't believe in god? A civil, non church/synagogue wedding does not carry "gods blessing." Nor does it use his name. Guess a lot of those divorced folks will be in hell with me. I am proud of Canada. When will the the US end it's ignorance? Gays getting married hurts no one. And please don't give me the line about how it "hurts" children, it doesn't. Long term studies show that kids raised in gay homes as opposed to straight are no more screwed up than the straight...LOL. If people really cared about children they would be doing something for them..not just yapping. Maybe some do here, but prob not many. 17,000 homeless children in NYC. and believe me they are in your state too.Do something about that and let other let the individual gay person worry about how god sees them. In other words your wrong, plain and simple. Why aren't you and people like you getting together to ban divorce, if thats just as EVIL?
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by RatCatcher
Bumpy, we have to get your forum off and rolling.

I might as well jump into this quagmire as well. Marriage is a contract between a man and woman and overseen by God until death do you part. There are no gray zones here. It's clear and simple and all black and white. Anything else is an abomination and a sin in God's eyes. It's not discrimination or hate-filled. It is wrong, plain and simple.
Okay so what if you don't believe in god? A civil, non church/synagogue wedding does not carry "gods blessing." Nor does it use his name. Guess a lot of those divorced folks will be in hell with me. I am proud of Canada. When will the the US end it's ignorance? Gays getting married hurts no one. And please don't give me the line about how it "hurts" children, it doesn't. Long term studies show that kids raised in gay homes as opposed to straight are no more screwed up than the straight...LOL. If people really cared about children they would be doing something for them..not just yapping. Maybe some do here, but prob not many. 17,000 homeless children in NYC. and believe me they are in your state too.Do something about that and let other let the individual gay person worry about how god sees them. In other words your wrong, plain and simple. Why aren't you and people like you getting together to ban divorce, if thats just as EVIL?
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