Posted by: Jennifer | December 6, 2006

bringing life to a dead issue

Should Canadians be forced to go through another same-sex marriage debate?

Canada legalized same-sex marriage on July 20, 2005, becoming the fourth country in the world to do so.

Since then, 12,000 gay and lesbian couples have said “I do” — but the debate over same-sex marriage here isn’t done.

Following through on a campaign promise, Prime Minister Stephen Harper plans to bring the issue to another vote in the House of Commons on Thursday, after debate on Wednesday.

[…]The Tory motion to be debated Wednesday asks: “that this House call on the government to introduce legislation to restore the traditional definition of marriage without affecting civil unions and while respecting existing same-sex marriages.”

The main reason for all of this is that the Conservative government feels that the vote that was taken in 2005 was not a free vote. For you non-Parlimentary people, a free vote means that you vote for an issue based on your view of the issue, not your party’s view of that issue. The Tories claim that the Liberals, the Bloc Quebecois, and the NDP Members of Parliment were forced to vote for same-sex marriage because it is something that their party wants as a whole, but that if each member voted based on their own desires, then the issue would not have passed.

So, what they are trying to do today is reopen the debate. This is by no means a change in the current law — they are just asking MPs if they would like to change the law. Of course, the NDP and Bloc Quebecois are planning on whipping the vote (their MPs will face disciplinary action if they do not vote along the party lines) but Stephane Dion seems to be allowing the Liberal party members to vote whatever they want, with no recriminations. This is the way that is should be. The only way to convince opponents of same-sex marriage that this is something that Canadians want is to allow MPs to vote based on what their constituents want, not on what the head of the party wants. We need to make sure that all roadblocks and speculation are done away with, so that gays and lesbians around the country can continue on with their lives without having their constitutional rights infringed upon.

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Responses

  1. Laws in Canada, laws in Canada’s constitution, have not been followed since 1901 when Queen Victoria died, so why start now?

    Queen Victoria died on January 22, 1901.

    The next day, on January 23, 1901, Section 9 of the British North America Act, 1867, now called the Constitution Act, 1867, still stated: “The Executive Government and Authority of and over Canada is hereby declared to continue and be vested in the Queen“.

    On January 23, 1901, Section 17 still stated: “There shall be One Parliament for Canada, consisting of the Queen, an Upper House styled the Senate, and the House of Commons”.

    On January 23, 1901, Section 91 still stated: “It shall be lawful for the Queen, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate and House of Commons, to make Laws for the Peace, Order, and good Government of Canada, in relation to all Matters not coming within the Classes of Subjects by this Act assigned exclusively to the Legislatures of the Provinces; …”.

    What was the name of Canada’s constitutional Queen regnant who had executive government and authority of and over Canada after the reign of Queen Victoria and before the reign of Queen Elizabeth II?


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