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Same-sex marriage is about Human Rights and Equality? Supreme court of Canada is to answer... Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Olexi, Ukraine Oct 12, 2004
Human Rights , LGBT Rights   Interviews
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The Supreme Court of Canada began its historic deliberations on same sex marriage this month, and many Canadians are wringling their hands. Many other will merely shake their heads.

The court will hand down a non-binding legal opinion in several months on whether a drafted federal bill to legalize same-sex marriage passes Constitutional muster. Most likely the Supreme Court will confirm what courts across the country have found. Gay marriage is a fact of life. Ontario, BC, Quebec, Manitoba, the Yukon and Nova Scotia all permit same-sex marriage. A survey released July 1 by the Center for Research and Information on Canada and Environics Research found that the number of Canadians agreeing that gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry has increased 9%. Currently, 57% agree. The number disagreeing currently stands at 38%.
Those opposed to homo-nuptials see an assault on the bedrock institution of the family. They point to the push for "special" gay rights , warn of hidden agenda and remind that God himself is on their side. Proponents claim the case is justice and equality.

There is no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation?
In 1967, then Justice Minister Pierre Trudeau says "...there's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation..." and proposes amendments to the Criminal Code that would, among other things, relax the laws against homosexuality. Two year later Trudeau's amendments pass into the Criminal Code and homosexuality is de-criminalized in Canada. Today homosexual Canadians enjoy much more freedom and societal acceptance: not only are they not imprisoned for their lifestyle choices, openly gay or lesbian Canadians hold prominent positions in business, government and many churches. John Hunkin - one of Canada most influential business leaders - recently noted "the world is watching we as nation... move forward with... same-sex marriage and the rights of transgender individual.. This is a turning point in Human history"

In July 2003, the government of Prime Minister Jean Chretien unveiled draft legislation that would change the definition of marriage to include the unions of same-sex couples.The new liberal administration now with Paul Martin behind the prime minister's desk added the fourth question which had the effect of delaying hearings until this past week, October 6th.

Supreme Court's hearings are exceptional. In the case court cases initiated by gay couples in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia in each of these provinces the court cases were challenged at the superior court level, and from the Supreme Court level it went to the Court of Appeal in Each of these provinces. 18 judges in a row ruled gay couples winning parties.
The government does what is called "the constitutional reference”. The Marriage Reference is about the Charter of rights and freedoms, Canadians overwhelmingly support Charter values like inclusion, human dignity, mutual respect and freedom from political or social prejudice. The Marriage Reference is about ensuring that these values apply to all Canadians

We have addressed Gilles Marchildon, executive director of the Egale-Canada, which is pan-Canadian//National organization which advocates on behalf of Canada's gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-identified people to get his opinion on the issue:

- Poll released on the Canada’s day July the 1-st, 2004 showing that there'd been a nine per cent increase in support for same-sex marriage, what is the history behind growing public support for the same-sex marriage in Canada?

On an immediate level it is just about the right to marry. The actual legislation is to ensure that same-sex couples across the country have the right to get civilly married.
In the estimation of Egale it is much more than that. The whole idea of same-sex couple having access to civil marriage rests on the fundamental value that is found in our charter of our rights and freedoms, that each an every Canadian is equal before the law and should be protected from any discrimination that could be result of various factors as gender, religion, sex, race, political opinion. This list is not limited there are other grounds. In previous cases the SC read into this list to exclude sexual orientation.
All Canadians are equal and that should include homosexual Canadians. If homosexual Canadians are not equal before the law, what prevents Christians from being targeted, what prevents black people, Jewish people. To site reverend Martin Niemöller “First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist, so I said nothing…and then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I did little. Then when they came for me, there was no one left to stand up for me”. That quote’s underlined idea is that we all are equal and if the rights of one minority group are compromised then no one is safe, because everyone is part of a minority of one sort or another.

Seeing same-sex couples kissing on prime-time television woke up people to this reality.Two years ago the general public wasn't even thinking about same-sex marriage.The first court case was launched in 2000 and though it got reported it wasn't at all grabbing headlines in way that the issue has been for the last two years, on the news cast, in headlines.

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Ukrainian student, journalist and a planetary citizen. I invite you to take a look at Central's Europe largest state- Ukraine through Olexi-tinted spectacles. Somewhat approaching unbiased subjectivity :)
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