Legal - Canada - Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights
this some kind of cruel joke? If so, it is
very black humour indeed. Although this is not yet (or again) a court case, the
fact that the three MPs who head the justice committee investigating whether gays
and lesbians should be allowed to legally marry in Canada have all stated publicly
that they are against this simple equal right, shows that we are not being judged
by a jury of our peers.
May 30, 2003
Committee will support same-sex marriage
We first heard hints of a thaw in the Liberal government's opposition to same-sex marriage, in private, off-the-record comments made to us and our friends/supporters. But there was nothing to report until today. This morning, the Ottawa Citizen carried a news report with the headline "Committee backs homosexual marriages". Is it time to make peace with our (former?) foe and praise the Liberal party?
May 6, 2003
The beginning of the end of discrimination
An internal document from the National Liberal Caucus Research Bureau became public this week. It was circulated last week to Liberal members of the Standing Committee that is looking at same-sex marriage. The paper, posted here in its entirety, reveals that the government finally understands that it must give same-sex couples access to full and equal marriage. Will the fight and delays finally stop?
April 11, 2003
CLC to parliament: comply with Charter
Canadian Labour Congress, representing 2.5 million workers, appeared today before
the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. The CLC spoke of justice and
fairness, telling the Liberal government to comply with our Charter. Religion,
they said, should not dictate secular laws. They urged the government to be socially
and legally responsible by enacting same-sex marriage.
April 10, 2003
What defines a man and woman?
An Alberta couple's written testimony to the parliamentary committee highlights the Liberal government's dysfunction regarding same-sex marriage: "Last year, I received a letter from Mr. Dave Hancock, Alberta Justice Minister, stating that when my partner finishes gender reassignment surgery, we will be able to marry. This brings up the question, what defines a man or woman?"
April 9, 2003
A question of fairness and dignity
Saskatchewan's New Green Alliance party made a submission to parliament's Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights that said same-sex marriage is a question of fairness and dignity. The NGA party says, "For Parliament to legislate an opposite sex requirement for marriage would violate the equality principles of Canada's constitution ..." Will Liberals honour the Charter?
April 8, 2003
Tomorrow's leaders call for equality today
Senior members of Canada's government continue to delay and resist the extension of full and equal rights to gays and lesbians. Increasingly, parliament is out of step with business, unions, and the public. Future political leaders demand good governance. Read the New Democratic Youth of Canada's submission to parliament, calling for same-sex marriage and compliance with the Canadian Charter.
April 2, 2003
Distinguished Albertan advocate for women & families calls for equal marriage
Edmonton, Alberta - The 2nd stop for the travelling Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights was Edmonton. For the second day in a row, members of parliament heard from a Queen's Jubilee Medal recipient. Author Beverly Smith, an advocate for women and families, defended same-sex marriage in terms of equality and freedom. It's not about sex or religion, but about love and commitment.
April 1, 2003
Columbians for equal marriage
Vancouver, British Columbia - The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights began their road show today in Vancouver. The committee was formed to assist Parliament in responding to the demand for same-sex marriage. Read statements from two witnesses: a couple involved in the B.C. marriage case, and Queen's Jubilee Medal recipient James Chamberlain (Surrey Book Banning case).
March 25, 2003
Fidelius? Will Canada go to the dogs?
The chair of the parliamentary marriage committee continues to be ineffective in maintaining the dignity of proceedings and participants. Minutes released today show gay love was again linked to illegal acts of bestiality & incest. Tolerance of gays was said to cause the destruction of civilizations. This process is called a cruel joke & stacked deck, in part, due to agendas of members like Liberal Pat O'Brien.
March 18, 2003
Same-sex marriage? How about no rights at all?
The Canadian Christian Women's Organization For Life used the parliamentary hearings as a platform to go beyond same-sex marriage and argue for the removal of existing rights for the LGBT community. The testimony spoke against the use of condoms, appeared to support state mutilation of gays, and even managed to bring Saddam Hussein into this unchallenged testimony.
March 12, 2003
Women of Canada
REAL Women of Canada demonstrated their contempt for Parliament, when they ignored warnings to stay away from hateful bigotry when speaking against same-sex marriage. According to their Feb. 12 testimony, same-sex couples are: drug users; incapable of fidelity; poor parents; and a gateway to incest and polygamy. But there are exceptions to the rule, and we can go straight! It all appeared most unreal.
March 5, 2003
As minutes slowly trickle out from the proceedings of the marriage hearings, conducted by Parliament's Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, it becomes clear that some opponents to same-sex marriage are filled with bizarre and hateful notions. The most recent example is found in minutes, published today, from the February 11 appearance of the Catholic Women's League.
February 26, 2003
United Church Supports Equal Marriage
In the absence of timely minutes from the Parliamentary hearings on marriage, the United Church issued a press release yesterday that outlined their Feb. 13 testimony. The United Church told the federal government's marriage committee that Canada's largest Protestant denomination supports same-sex marriage. Fear tactics used by other denominations were flatly described as "not true".
Largest Union Backs
CUPE, representing over 500,000 union members, defended our Charter right to same-sex marriage today when they presented their case before Parliament's marriage committee. This powerful ally debunked the Justice Minister's alternatives (i.e., civil unions, getting out of marriage, or maintaining the status quo) and outlined the fair and just reasons for ending marriage discrimination now.
Read complete details of CUPE's Submission (MS Word Doc)
Metroplitan Community Church of Toronto Calls For Equal Marriage
MCC Toronto, the church that married us in January 2001 (now part of the Ontario marriage challenge), presented their case for same-sex marriage to Parliament's marriage committee today. MCC Toronto's Senior Pastor, the Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes, and lawyer Douglas Elliott, addressed the legal, spiritual and emotional sides of the debate.
"For MCCT, there is no sacrament of registered domestic partnership," Rev. Hawkes told the committee. "The only solution for the members of our Church is to have their marriages recognized as equal to the marriages performed in any other Canadian church."
February 11, 2003
Couple Speaks to Committee
Michael Hendricks and Rene LeBoeuf, the Quebec couple that found victory in Quebec court last summer, were in Ottawa this week to defend their right to same-sex marriage. They presented their case to parliament's Justice Committee amidst media claims that witnesses were being mistreated by the politicians in charge. In addition to their prepared statement, read the couple's first-hand report on their experience in Ottawa.
that there were people who had already made up their minds and they're just here
to prove their point. Their questions are not actual questions.... Their questions
are ways of stating their already decided opinions. There was a badgering of the
witness, not letting people finish their sentences, etc."
The so-called "justice committee" formed by the Liberal party again disgraced itself yesterday when some of the bigots on the panel displayed their prejudice and mean-spirited ignorance for the rest of the country to see.
Committee Is Discredited
The Canadian Liberal government continues to attract criticism for its failure to honour charter rights for its gay and lesbian citizens, despite repeated court orders to do so and wide-spread support for equal marriage from leading opinion makers from across the country (you can find many examples on this web site). This week, Parliament's Committee on Justice and Human Rights was described as a "deck stacked against gay marriage" in a January 21 Times Colonist (Victoria, British Columbia) headline.
No Clause for Celebration
The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights met at 3:38 p.m. on Wednesday, November 27, 2002, in Ottawa to discuss how to respond to Ontario and Quebec court orders that demand the end of marriage discrimination.
It was not a promising start. The Canadian government's lack of leadership on this issue has confused some of the committee members. Others are poorly informed on legal precedents that have brought the country to this point. The government declined to rule out the most extreme measures, if it feels that tyranny of the majority is the appropriate response to charter issues involving gays and lesbians.
November 12, 2002
One Reasonable Choice - Equal Marriage
Justice Minister, Martin Cauchon, has released his Liberal government's paper on marriage, setting out the various options that Parliament is considering in response to the recent court judgements calling for same-sex marriage in Ontario and Quebec. We invite you to explore!
October 4, 2002
Your Rights Under "Interpretation"
Yesterday (Oct. 3), in Canada's House of Commons, members of parliament debated the merits of the Liberal government's plans (or lack thereof). Eventually, as we knew it would, the love that Liberals dare not register, was brought out into the open once again. Read how Ottawa has been struggling to maintain marriage discrimination.
Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women Council (April 30, 2003)
Donna Kilpatrick and Kale Hobbes (Alberta, April 8, 2003)
Scott Campbell, Dalhousie Law School (April 7, 2003)
Read the Canadian Unitarian Council's Submission (Feb. 26, 2003)
Read complete details of CUPE's Submission (MS Word doc, Feb. 25, 2003)
Submission of the Vanier Institute of the Family (Feb 18, 2003)
EGALE's submission to the committee (Feb. 4, 2003)
PRÉSENTATIONS D'EGALE (Feb. 4, 2003)
Law Commission of Canada (Jan. 30, 2003)