Wednesday, November 29, 2006

South Africa moves forward, Canada contemplates a step back

As Stephen Harper announces that there will, in fact, be a vote in the House of Commons about whether Canada should re-visit the same-sex marriage debate, with debate to start on December 6th, I thought it would be worth noting that another country is rapidly heading in the opposite direction. South Africa has now passed its same-sex marriage bill through both the lower and upper house of its Parliament, and the bill is expected to be signed into law by Thabo Mbeki by the end of the week.

To any Conservative or Liberal MPs who are waffling on whether or not to vote "yes" on this motion, I would strongly urge you not to. Short of invoking the notwithstanding clause, there is no other way to turn back the clock on this issue, and even then, there have been over 10,000 same-sex marriages in Canada since the courts handed down their first rulings in Ontario and BC in 2003 which would have to be addressed - including mine. It's time to redirect the focus of Parliament to more productive ventures, which aren't going to be slapped down by the courts at the first challenge - even without the help of the now-cancelled Court Challenges program.

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