Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Earth to Mr HArper: THere are More Important Issues

A year ago the Parliament of Canada passed Bill C-38, an act legislating equal rights to marriage for same-gender couples. THe vote was semi-free (to stay in Cabinet one had to vote for the legislation, but non-Cabinet members of the governing party could vote their conscience. Most of the opposition parties also allowed their members to vote their conscience). This Bill subsequently passed the Senate and was signed into law by the Governor-General.

THen we had an election. During that election the now Prime Minister Stephen HArper promised that he would call for a free vote asking whether Bill C-38 should be reconsidered (nevermind that thousands of gay and lesbian couples have been legally married since provincial courts started ruling that the old definition of marriage was unconstitutional). And now we have entered that debate.

THe United Church of Canada and our partners are arguing, as are a majority of Canadians according to polling, that this is a bad idea. "United Church Says No to Reopening Debate over Same-Sex Marriage in the House of Commons ". ANd really, I have to ask if it needs the time it is taking?

We have troops in a war in Afghanistan (42 killed thus far). WE have thousands of Canadian men, women, and children relying on food banks to survive. We have First Nations communities that can't drink their water. We have all sorts of other issues that make a difference in people's survival. But lets not look at that, let's reopen a debate about a topic that has already been settled not only by legislation but by a ruling of the Supreme Court. A topic, I might add, which makes no difference in the day-to-day life of heterosexual couples (how same-gender marriage is a threat to "traditional" marriage is beyond me).

Please Mr. Harper, drop this sop to your far right supporters and get on with the business of governing.

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