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Express support for equal marriage:

The Prime Minister
The Rt. Honourable Paul Martin
80 Wellington Street, 2nd Floor
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A2
Fax: 613-941-6900
Email: pm@pm.gc.ca

 

 



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Former Prime Minister Jean Chretien gets International Role Model award for role in arrival of gay marriage in Canada.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commitment to Charter means no free vote on same-sex marriage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Martin uses same-sex marriage for votes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Conservative Party's Randy White helped secure same-sex marriage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephen Harper would fight same-sex marriage by trashing Charter rights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prodding Paul Martin towards same-sex marriage - Canada's new Prime Minister

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irwin Cotler: Canada's new Minister of Justice.  Friend or foe of same-sex marriage?

 

 

 

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Advocacy - Letters

Letter's To Canada's Prime Minister
A call to end this discrimination

We began this page with letters calling on the Prime Minister to end marriage discrimination in Canada. On June 17, 2003, former Prime Minister Jean Chretien said the government would not appeal the landmark Ontario victory for same-sex marriage, and he promised legislation that would bring equal marriage to the rest of Canada in the next session of Parliament. We thank the former Prime Minister for graciously accepting the wisdom of the courts and the obligations of our Charter.

In Dec. 2003, Paul Martin became Canada's Prime Minister. Mr. Martin was less public in his commitment to equal marriage, fearing a backlash in the 2004 election. But by the end of the June 2004 election, Martin used same-sex marriage to differentiate himself from the Conservative Party and cited Harper's plan to use the Notwithstanding Clause in order to keep disgruntled Liberal voters from voting for the Conservatives. Still, some provinces and territories maintain marriage discrimination. Please continue to write to our Prime Minister to demand full and equal marriage for same-sex couples in the rest of Canada.


Read letters to PM Jean Chretien (2002 - 2003)


Your letters to Prime Minister Paul Martin

February 10, 2005

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

I am writing regarding the tabling of Bill C-38 in the House of Commons. I would like to express my deep appreciation to you and your colleagues for taking these brave steps toward a coup for civil liberties in our country. Despite a growing grassroots opposition among social conservatives, and despite the fact that only a small minority of Canadians will reap the direct benefit, you have gone to great lengths to see that justice is served and I cannot tell you how grateful I am.

The arguments promulgated by your opposition are spurious at best. They contend that the legalization of same-sex marriage will destroy the 'family' and deny children the opportunity to grow up in a proper home. This 'family' of which they speak, however, is a narrow-minded abstraction which cannot be destroyed nor used as a valid argument because its only power is that of a statistic. The prejudices that two men or two women cannot love each other in the way that a man and a woman can, or that they cannot raise a child to be a healthy individual, are two of the greatest obstacles that the gay community has had to overcome.

I would also like to commend the government's very careful efforts to ensure that Bill C-38 does not affect the freedoms of religious groups to choose whom they wish to marry. I, personally, am an atheist, but I believe that private religious organizations have the right to practice their beliefs as they wish. In addition to this, it cunningly nullifies any argument against the bill in favour of religious freedom.

In conclusion I should mention that even though I do not consider myself a Liberal, I am writing to show my support for the excellent work your government is doing in this endeavour. I believe that Canada is at an historic crossroads. We have the opportunity to become the most influential nation in the world to have legalized same-sex marriage, and to continue the tradition of human rights for which Canada is so renowned around the world. Thank you again for all that you and your colleagues are doing.

Respectfully yours,

Maxwell S McQuinn
Nova Scotia


January 24, 2005

Dear Respected Prime Minister Martin,

Thank you for your support of equal rights for gays and lesbians. I am shocked at the response of some of our other politicians on this issue. They should be leading the country in support of the charter of rights, not going the other way.

As a married heterosexual I feel no threat to my marriage from allowing others to affirm their relationships. In my opinion, there is not enough love in the world as it is. Anything that promotes love is good. To assume that children can be raised successfully only in a man-woman family is wrong and ignorant of the variety of households that already exist.

As far as religion goes, I feel that some religious groups are imposing THEIR values on the rest of Canadians by their insistence that we follow their interpretation of their scripture. If conservative Jewish leaders insisted that all women wear wigs or if Muslims insisted all women wear a veil because their holy book told them it was right, people would certainly object. This is the same situation. Religious people are free to practice their religion and others don't have to. Religious groups are free to perform marriages as they see fit and will not be forced to marry couples if they don't want to. But to insist that nobody perform marriages for gay couples because it doesn't fit their idea of marriage is imposing their values unfairly on the rest of society and very dangerous to the important doctrine of separation of church and state.

The Catholic Church is being very hypocritical on this issue. They don't object to divorced people marrying in other venues even though it is against their principles and they would never allow that marriage to take place in a Catholic church. They don't insist, and rightly so, that birth control be outlawed. Why do they insist on imposing their values on the rest of society in this case?

Finally, I would like to say that I live near a very lucky little boy being raised by 2 loving mommies. There are many families on our street and everyone here has welcomed this child and his parents into their hearts. I wonder if any of the people who object so strongly actually know any openly gay or lesbian people. I suggest it would be a good idea for them to get to know some of these families they are so quick to condemn. They would soon find out that they are just the same as anyone else and that the love they feel for each other is just like the love in any married relationship.

Sincerely and Respectfully Yours,

Leslie Padorr
Ontario
Copies to Stephen Harper and the Catholic Church


January 23, 2005

Dear Mr. Paul Martin,

I applaud to your firm position on same-sex marriage.

Mr. Harper’s recent warning that passage of the same-sex marriage legislation will lead to polygamy does not make any sense. The gay marriage connects to polygamy no more than interracial marriage to polygamy. Mr. Harper should understand that the real issue here is the discrimination based on sexual orientation.

If polygamy were only preserved to heterosexuals, homosexuals would fight for the same rights. Also, had polygamy been only availably to Caucasians, other ethnic groups would bring the case in court.Polygamy is not sexual orientation and polygamists are not protected under the Charter as contrary to homosexuality.The Court did not outlaw any kinds of discrimination in the Marriage Law but existance of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Also, I would like to let Marc Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec know that existence in Canada [of] discrimination of gays is “offensive to the moral sensibility of a great number of citizens, both Catholic and non-Catholic”.

Regards,

Viktor Loubentsov
Ontario


January 22, 2005

Your Honour, Prime Minister Martin,

I would like to take this opportunity to let you know my approval of your recent reiteration during your visit to China of your stand in defence of Charter Rights and those marriage rights recently gained by same sex couples. The direction you have been leading this country in giving equal marriage rights to couples of the same gender makes me proud to be a Canadian. I know that this had been a difficult stand by those MPs in your caucus under pressure by some in leadership in their faith communities to deny these rights. I applaud those members of parliament who have chosen to honour the true spirit of their faith, whether it be Sikh, or Catholic, or other, and defend those in our society who have been without power or voice. I believe that those that do so will be remembered with those in our history who took a stand against slavery, anti-Semitism and other forms of racism, and discrimination based on gender. In all these struggles there were brave people who had to stand up to those who interpreted their faith as supporting the status quo no matter the injustice.

My wife and I have been in a different gender marriage (male and female) for over thirteen years and have two daughters. We have appreciated the support and recognition of our society to our relationship and commitment to each other and our family. As a minister friend of mine recently said to me around same sex couples, "keeping a relationship together these days is difficult for any couple and any couple that makes a commitment to each other deserve our support".

Some who would deny same sex couples the status of marriage and the societal blessing and support that this assumes cloak their prejudice as being "pro-family". My experience with same sex couples tells me something quite different. The couples I know are families. They have been in a supportive committed relationships for many years. They have adopted children or have had children with the assistance of donated sperm as many differing sex couples have and who are not thought any less a family for it. These families deserve our support and their relationships recognized as marriages with all the public sanction and respect this designation entails in our society.

One of our same sex couples friends sent their daughter to the same not-for-profit daycare as my wife and I sent our daughters and one of the couple sat on the volunteer board of the daycare with me. I was told by someone that it was wrong with them to have had a child because the child would grow up confused and facing discrimination. I do not believe this girl will grow up in confusion. Unlike the children of many separated and divorced different sex parents, this girl is growing up knowing the stability and love of a committed relationship and will have that as a model for her adult relationships whether that relationship turns out to be with someone of the same gender or of a different gender.

In respect to discrimination this girl will face, that depends on what we teach our own children. My youngest daughter counts this girl as her best friend. One day she asked my wife why her friend's family was "different". My wife expected to talk to her about some families having two mommies and some having one mommy and a daddy. But first asked my daughter how she found her friend's family to be different. Well, my daughter said, her friend's family was different because her friend didn't have any sisters or brothers.

Thank you again for your stand on this issue.

Hugh Gardiner
Ontario


December 16, 2004

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

I am a young gay male living in the undemocratic province of Alberta. I would like to express my disgust with the blatant ignorance and childishness that the government officials of my province are displaying to the rest of the country on the issue of gay marriage. It embarrasses me to be living in a province where equal rights for all citizens are clearly not respected nor enforced, and will clearly have to be forced upon the provincial government in order for them to fall in line with the rest of the country. I will make no moral or religious arguments here; those are separate issues which should have no bearing on the law. What matters is the opinion of the majority of Canadians, and the establishment and upholding of equal rights for all of us.

A few years ago, our former mayor, Bill Smith, blatantly refused to declare Gay Pride week in Edmonton. He only did so grudgingly, after being forced by threats of a Human Rights lawsuit. Now he is no longer mayor, and I would like to think that his recent loss of the position is in part due to the weak character he showed in regard to this issue. The current provincial situation is more of the same on a larger scale; why must our provincial officials be forced to recognize something that the rest of the country has so clearly acknowledged and in some cases supported? If only this discriminatory government would be ousted by more intelligent, less childish politicians.

I urge you to speed the process of the legalization of marriage for all Canadian couples by supporting the reference recently made by the Supreme Court of Canada. Please make it clear to all Canadians that you and your government stand behind the nation's demand for equal rights. Do not be coy; do not be vague; do not flip-flop; and do not disappoint. Show us your strength of character. Think of all the gay couples, as well as the millions of other justice-desiring Canadians, whose votes you can count on in the next federal election.

With sincere thanks for your support,

Bryce Kulak
Alberta


June 30, 2004

Dear Mr. Martin,

As a proud Canadian living in the US, I have watched with great anxiety and anticipation the recent federal election back home. The thought of a Harper government was too much to bear, especially having endured the last three years under Bush. As an openly gay man, I have always been proud of Canada's record on human rights, gay or otherwise. To think that overnight, my hard-earned rights could be taken away by a Conservative regime terrified me. This said, however, I was not so sure which of the more progressive parties I was going to vote for this time. After much internal debate, I based my decision, in part, to prevent a Harper government and, in part, to reward the Liberals for their record on economic and international developments, as well as the recent advances on gay rights back home. I voted for the Liberals in spite of the scandals that have plagued your campaign and your initial reluctance to stand up for people like me.

I woke up on June 29 a very delighted and relieved Canadian who lives south of the border but who is seriously considering returning to Canada in the near future. That desire is consolidated now that I know Harper is kept off the reign, at least for now. However, with the strong minority mandate that people like myself have rewarded you and your party, I now expect that you do more for minorities, including gays and lesbians, in the upcoming parliamentary session. Please remember that many people who believe in human and gay rights have stood behind you this time around. Therefore, I strongly urge you to ensure that members of your party work with members of the NDP and BQ to ensure the rapid passage of the same-sex marriage legislation, so that all Canadians can enjoy equal rights and access to marriage.

I look forward to the day when media outlets worldwide pronounce that Canada, as a country and not just its most populous three provinces, is at the forefront of human rights. I look forward to seeing Canada continue forward as a diverse and equal society, and an exemplary model to nations around the globe.

Please remember your pledge before the vote and the people who have brought you back to your office. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely yours,

Terry Huang


Jan. 26, 2004

SELECT to read "Alberta couple asks:  what defines a man  & woman?  Couple must wait for reassignment surgery to marry."I have been corresponding with both the Federal and Alberta provinical government for the past year in regards to equal marriage. It has been reported that you are considering reneging on allowing same-sex marriage. The information below has recently been submitted to the Alberta government and in turn they have submitted the information to their solicitor for further study.

I would like your comments on the following:

In the past I have asked a very simple question to both the Alberta government and the Federal government and neither of you have given me an answer. Is it necessary for a woman to have ovaries, breasts and the ability to carry a child? Is it necessary for a man to have a penis, scrotum and the ability to father a child?

Why am I asking this question - easy. My 20 year old daughter was born without ovaries and will never have a child. In fact, without medical science and the use of synthetic drugs, she would not be able to even have her menses. So is she still a woman? What about a man who has lost his testicles in an accident - is he still considered a man?

The arguement is that marriage has "always been" a man and a woman - so therefore I ask you to specifically define a man and a woman. Do I even qualify since I've had a hysterectomy? Does my daughter?

If, as you state, marriage is between a man and woman then the birth certificate must be an important part of this. So going by what you have stated, a person who has a birth certificate with the letter "F" on it, indicating they are female, this person could marry a person with the letter "M" on their birth certificate which would indicate they are a man. Right?

Okay, let's go with that. A person with the birth certificate that has a letter "F" who because of transition, has had a complete hysterectomy and chest surgery to remove all breast tissue. Who is on testosterone shots and has the deep voice, adam's apple, facial and body hair - but still has the birth certificate stating female. This person can marry a man? Interesting logic!!! Another way to think about this - my partner is a female-to-male transsexual. Currently the birth certificate still says female, yet appearance is male. So if my partner meets a man and falls in love, they can marry even though the marriage would have the APPEARANCE of a gay marriage but yet it would meet all the Alberta government's criteria to marry.

Goody!!! I can't wait to tell the rest of our friends - many who are transsexual and gay. Oh and for your information this is the difference:

A transsexual is an individual (male or female) who has GID (Gender Identity Disorder) and has very strong feelings about and wishes to alter his or her body with hormones and sometimes surgery to become the opposite gender. Sexual orientation on the other hand, is distinct from gender. Therefore, an individual with GID (male or female) can be oriented primarily towards males or females or both. A male-to-female (biologically male) is considered female and would be heterosexual when attracted to males, although they are still biologically male and visa versa for a female-to-male.

Just so you understand here is an example: Kevin is biologically female and is going through transition to become male. Testosterone treatments have started, breasts have been removed and the hysterecotomy has been completed. Final surgery (completion of a penis) has not yet been done and Kevin is on a waiting list for a 3 year wait. During this transition, Kevin's birth certificate says female because of the government's laws about completing all surgeries prior to changing the birth certificate. Kevin is gay, which means he is attracted to males and meets Frank. Kevin, whose birth certificate still says female, can marry Frank simply because their birth certificates indicate opposite genders, yet their marriage appears to be a gay marriage. Oh and by the way, my partner is transsexual (female to male) and we were legally married in Ontario this past July. Since the marriage is considered legal I gather that the Federal government will not refute this fact and force this issue to go to court yet again.

Sincerely,

Donna Hobbes, Alberta


Jan. 12, 2004

Dear Prime Minister and Minister of Justice:

We were both amazed and saddened to read this morning that you plan on having more cross country hearings on same-sex marriage. We were involved in this charade less than a year ago and all it accomplished was that far right extremists were given an opportunity to spew their venom at gay and lesbian people. We remember only too well, the Christian lady who spoke of some countries that lop off body parts of homosexuals. Or another witness who suggested if we were allowed to marry it would open the door to homosexuals having sex with children. At the present time we have gay and lesbian couples being allowed to marry in Ontario and B.C. with Quebec soon to follow. Population wise this makes up about two thirds of the people of Canada. What more evidence do you require before you stop waffling on this important issue. This is an issue of human rights and common decency, not one of pandering for votes. We demand that you follow through with the legislation promised by Prime Minister Chretien. More hearings are only a waste of time and money.

Yours truly,

Lloyd Thornhill and Bob Peacock


Dec. 27, 2003

Dear Prime Minister Martin and Justice Minister Irwin Cotler:

I am writing this to express my concern over your delay in implementing same sex marriage beyond the boundaries of Ontario and British Columbia. I am currently a student at Hillcrest High School in Thunder Bay, Ontario and I am seventeen years old. I was a short time ago, a student at a Catholic High School. Despite having some open minded teachers who embraced equal marriage for gays and lesbians, the topic never reached beyond the boundaries of absolute secrecy. It got worse when I "officially" outed myself at this highschool. The students grew to become cruel, brutal and hateful, as all they saw of me was my sexual orientation, and not the person who they knew and at one point respected.

I have been advocating on behalf of gay rights ever since I outed myself to my friends, family and schoolmates. Gay rights are not 'privileges' as some have been quoted as saying. Gay rights are an extension of so called 'privileges'. They are the natural inherent rights of those who identify themselves as gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered.

These naturally inherent rights of all Canadians benefit all, but particularly those who belong to a class of minorities. This people not only benefit, but need such legislation in helping them to ensure equality and justice . Throughout time, the rights of gays and lesbians have significancy progressed. I believe the final element in adding equality to the same sex equation is equal marriage. The people of this minority have been and continue to be socially ostracized and oppressed. Without this final element, there will never be true equality. The social ostracization and oppression along with forms of physical and verbal abuse will continue unless others are made aware of our existence and our inherent equality.

Thank you,

Shane Esarik.


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