Defending Marriage in Canada

As astonishing as it may sound, leading members of the governing Liberal Party of Canada openly opposed same sex marriages prior to, and during the election of 2004, only to change their minds once they had won, and now intend to make it the law of the land (it is perhaps unheard of in other countries for politicians to say one thing during an election, and do the opposite after it is won, but here in Canada we have quite a tradition for it). The web site has taken to exposing this double standard, broadcasting actual speeches from two of the biggest Liberal cabinet members. One is Joseph Volpe, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. His campaign speech in front of a church congregation was taped, and can be viewed here. Likewise, Anne McLellan, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (our equivalent of Homeland Security) spoke out not only in defence of marriage, but actually berated the opposition parties for suggesting that the government was going to change the laws simply because courts had ruled the traditional definition as un-Constitutional. Her speech to the House of Commons in 1999 (when the House first debated, and voted to defend the traditional definition of marriage) can be viewed here.

On June 8, 1999 the House voted on the following motion:

That in the opinion of this House it is necessary in light of public debate around recent court decisions, to reaffirm that marriage is and should remain the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, and that Parliament take all necessary steps within the jurisdiction of the Parliament of Canada to preserve this definition.

The vote was 216-55 in favour of the motion, with Volpe and McLellan voting with the overwhelming majority (as did most of the Liberal caucus, then Prime Minister Chretian, and future Prime Minister Paul Martin).

The hypocracy, back tracking, and open lying is, if nothing else, bold. But that these individuals could not only do exactly what they promised never to do in so short a period boggles the mind. And now, they have begun labelling those that oppose them as bigots, homophobes, and out of step with Canadian values.

How pathetic.



Anonymous said…
I've always wondered how disagreeing with the liberal establishment on homosexuality came to be labeled as a phobia. When did sodomy gain status as something so "obviously right" that disagreeing is a sign of fear or mental illness? Very convenient way to sweep your opponents under the rug ...
Anonymous said…
Maybe those mps are ministers now and they dont have a choice but to vote with the government because that's how it works in Canada? And I dont see why you want to discriminate against people based on what they do in the privacy of their homes! What would you say if someone decided that catholics can't do X or Y... (and this is the law in the UK ...)
Nomad said…
Hello Canadian

While it is true that the Prime Minister has made this upcoming vote binding upon his cabinet, the fact remains that both Volpe and McLellan said one thing prior to the election, and now argue something entirely different afterward. In McLellan's case, her explicit denial that the government had any intention of EVER changing the law is exposed as, at best, disingenuous. And in Volpe's, his argument that we (including, presumably himself) must do everything possible to keep the traditional definition of marriage is exposed as equally disingenuous. A minister always has the right to resign rather than submit to a decision of the Prime Minister that he or she considers to be wrong. Neither chose to do this, but it was a still a choice.

As for the question of discrimination, that is not the point of this post. Both of the highlighted ministers made a promise prior to the election, and they are now doing the exact opposite. The question of "discrimination" existed prior to the election, and these individuals (together with the PM of the day, the future PM, and the majority of their caucus) saw it as justified discrimination. If they have now changed their minds, they have an obligation to explain what has changed, as well as why they said and did one thing prior to the election, and now wish to do the very opposite after.

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