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Part 3: A Study of the Political Left, Centre and Right as

Christian Voting Choices in Election 2006 


By Carman Bradley 


A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel. - Robert Frost


This essay is the third and last in a series relating to Election 2006, a series exploring reasons why the Christian witness made little impact on the same-sex marriage decision.  Indeed, the three essays also reveal much regarding why Canadian Christendom has had little influence over the decades on the course of Canadian governance.  Previous articles in the series are: “Part 1: Open My Eyes to See Who I Should Vote For – Jan 2006” and “Part 2: ‘We Believe in Tolerance and Separation of Church and State!’”  

Less than one week before the January 23, 2006 federal election, a top cleric in a respected evangelical denomination wrote to his pastors under the title “A Comment on the Upcoming Federal Election.” An extract from his guidance reads:


I want to assure you of three things.  First of all, I don’t know how I am going to vote and secondly, if I did, it would not be appropriate to share that information…it’s why we have secret ballots.  Thirdly, we don’t tell people how to vote [in our denomination].  It would be impractical, unthinkable and unbiblical to do so. [my underline and bold] 


God is not indifferent to Canadian politics and national governance.  Nor is the Gospel of Jesus Christ a revelation advocating social and political pluralism – acquiescence and indifference to conflicting social values and governance principles.  Dr. Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College and King’s College in New York City, and renowned Christian apologist declares “indifference” to be one of the Devil’s most successful weapons against faith and salvation.  And here he draws on the earlier thinking of Blaise Pascal (Pensées).  The Devil, according to Kreeft, delights in darkness and fog, not light.  Kreeft argues that indifference drains away passion and light – not only the light of faith, but also reason.  He writes:


Indifference is stupid.  Indifference is more fashionable today than it ever was before…If there is a certain symptom of social senility it is indifference, shown in slogans like ‘anything goes,’ ‘do your own thing,’ ‘different strokes for different folks,’ or ‘live and let live.’[1] 


We dare not teach anything worth teaching – wisdom, morality, religion.  If the reasons for this are political – if pluralistic democracy is incompatible with learning true wisdom – then by all means and for the sake of saving our children’s souls, let us quickly sweep away pluralistic democracy.  For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world’s approval and lose his own soul?[2]


Exactly who gave the clerical advice on the then upcoming 2006 Election (cited above in purple) or what denomination the minister was advising is not important.  It is the substance of his remarks, especially coming from a senior leader in Canadian Christendom that is cause for concern.  He will be referred to, as was done in the two previous essays of the series, as “our lukewarm minister,”meaning he is neither hot nor cold in spiritual conviction.  He is a victim, as Robert Frost points out, of being too broadminded; or as Peter Kreeft decries, of being indifferent; or he suffers from both maladies of the truth.  The like-minded are blinded by acculturation to liberalism and pluralism, both factors contributing to a general diagnosis of indifference – an apathy towards same-sex marriage and the message it sends to our youth about the morality of anal and oral sex, and a lack of concern about the negative consequences to traditional religious, family and parenting values caused by the state’s adoption of homosexism.  If our spiritual shepherds declare no clear discernment of God’s will in the course of such a pivotal campaign as Election 2006, what hope is there for the Christian “sheep”?  Moreover, what hope is there in effectively resisting the highly organized, unified and committed anti-Christian forces in Canadian politics?  God can and does perform healing miracles on nations, but Revelation 15-16 tells us that He is unlikely to repair our governance woes while a significant portion of Canadian Christendom is “lukewarm” in its witness - in a quandary over what to do in a key federal election, and unrepentant for being in such a state of indifference.    


According to EGALE (Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere; now also representing bisexuals, transsexuals and queers), the following table[3] depicts stakeholders unified in their endorsement of homosexism; and for most on this list, unified in the promotion and defense of marriage redefinition during the election campaign: 


Labour Unions

Canadian Auto Workers (CAW)

Canadian Labour Congress (CLC)

Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW)

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL)

B.C. Federation of Labour (BCFL)

Centrale des Syndicats du Québec (CSQ)

Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union

Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN)

Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

Fédération des travailleurs et des travailleuses

du Québec (FTQ)

Int’l Assn of Machinists & Aerospace Workers

Memorial University Student's Union

National Union of Public and General Employees

Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL)

Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC)

Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL)

Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique (Québec)

Telecommunications Workers Union

United Steelworkers of America in Canada

Canadian Federation of Students (CFS)

Asian Canadian Labour Alliance

Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation


Canadian Association for Community Living

Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies

Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW)

Canadian Association of University Teachers

Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA)

Canadian Psychological Association

Canadian Race Relations Foundation

Alliance of Portuguese Clubs & Assns of Ontario

Centre for Social Justice

Charter Committee on Poverty Issues (CCPI)

Chinese Canadian National Council (CCNC)

Chinese Family Services of Ontario

Council of Agencies Serving South Asians

Disabled and Proud

Family Service Association of Toronto

Fédération des femmes du Québec

National Action Committee on Status of Women

National Anti-Poverty Organization (NAPO)

National Anti-Racism Council of Canada

Groupes régionaux d’intervention sociale de Québec, de Chaudière-Appalaches et de Montréal

Homeworkers' Association

Université du Québec à Montréal

La Ligue des Noirs du Québec

Le MIENS – Saguenay Lac St-Jean

Metro Toronto Chinese and South East Asian Legal Clinic

Minwaashin Lodge - Aboriginal Womens Support Centre

 Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC)

Saskatchewan New Green Alliance

Silayan Community Centre

St. John's Status of Women

Ontario Assn for Marriage and Family Therapy

Political Parties


New Democratic Party Youth of Canada


Young Liberals of Canada

Secular Humanists

Humanist Association of Toronto

Religious Groups

Coalition of Liberal Rabbis for Same-Sex Marriage

Interfaith Coalition for Same-Sex Marriage

Karuna Community Services of the

Buddhist Communities of Greater Toronto

Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto

Muslim Canadian Congress (MCC)

 Canadian Unitarian Council

Buddhist Council of Canada

Oraynu Congregation for Humanistic Judaism

United Church of Canada

Human Rights Commissions

Law Commission of Canada (disbanded by Harper Government)

Manitoba Human Rights Commission

Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse du Québec

New Brunswick Human Rights Commission

Ligue des Droits et Libertés

Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens'

Association, Human Rights Committee

National Association of Japanese Canadians,

Human Rights Committee


National Association of Women and the Law

Asian Canadians for Equal Marriage

Association des mères lesbiennes du Québec


Newfoundland Human Rights Commission

Ontario Human Rights Commission

Prince Edward Island Human Rights Commission

Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

Homosexual Advocacy Agencies

Coalition Gaie et Lesbienne du Québec

Coalition québécoise pour le mariage civil des

conjoints et conjointes de même sexe

Dignity Canada Dignité

Egale Canada

Fondation Émergence – Gai Écoute

Newfoundland Gays and Lesbians for Equality

Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project


PFLAG Canada

Project Interaction - McGill School of Social Work

Rainbow Resource Centre, Winnipeg

Table de concertation des lesbiennes et des gais du Québec

Mouvement laïc du Québec

The Infertility Network

Leadership Conference of Secular Humanistic Jews

The Society for Humanistic Judaism

Toronto City Council

Toronto Tong Zhi Club

Vancouver Association of Chinese Canadians

Vietnamese Youth and Women's Community and Social

Service Association

West Coast L.E.A.F. Association

Misc Organizations and People

Centre d’orientation sexuelle de l’université McGill Chambre de commerce gaie du Québec

Hon. Bob Rae, former Premier of Ontario

Hon. David Peterson, former Premier of Ontario

The Very Rev. Bill Phipps, former Moderator,

United Church of Canada

The Very Rev. the Hon. Lois Wilson, C.C., former Senator and former Moderator, United Church of Canada



With the enactment of same-sex marriage law in the summer of 2005, the above homosexist groups and activists achieved a huge victory against a formidable array of opposing agencies and individuals.  And by January 2006, the only process that could keep Bill C-38 from becoming permanent Canadian legislation was the election of a majority Conservative Government, and if not this, then the election of a majority of small “c” conservatives opposed to marriage redefinition.  Pat O'Brien, MP for London-Fanshawe, for instance, left the Liberal Party in June 2005 over the gay marriage issue and was now sitting as an independent.  He reported that over 90 percent of his constituency was opposed to marriage redefinition.  Some Liberals running in Election 2006 (like the morally conservative Tom Wappel of Scarborough Southwest), declared their intent to vote against same-sex marriage, if re-elected.  Some three dozen Liberal MPs declared similar election platforms rejecting same-sex “marriage.” 


One month ahead of the 2006 election, at a meeting in Kitchener before a locally based coalition called “Defend Traditional Marriage and Family,” MP O’Brien said: 


The issue's not dead . . . and it won't be dead unless you buy into the spin that it's over.  There are millions of Canadians who still care about this issue. Check the polls.[4]


Indeed, according to a Leger Marketing poll of 2,013 voters conducted Dec. 9-13, 2005, some 55 per cent of respondents favoured a free vote in Parliament on the issue of same-sex marriage.  Supporters included 54 per cent of Liberal supporters and 61 per cent of Conservative backers.  Only thirty-six per cent of those polled said they did not favour a free vote on the issue.[5]

During the 2006 election campaign, the Harper led Conservatives issued a platform document called, “Stand Up For Canada.” And under a section titled “Stand Up For Families” the Party platform declared:


Giving MPs a free vote on marriage.  The Liberal legislation abolishing the traditional definition of marriage passed only on a whipped cabinet vote.  We believe that parliament alone, based on a completely free vote, should be able to determine the definition of marriage.


The Plan.  A Conservative government will hold a truly free vote on the definition of marriage in the next session of Parliament.  If the resolution is passed, the government will introduce legislation to restore the traditional definition of marriage while respecting existing same-sex marriages.[6]


On December 6, 2006, almost a year after the Harper Conservatives formed the new minority government; the motion to revisit Bill C-38 was tabled in Parliament.  It read:


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 next day the motion was defeated by a margin of 175 to 123.  With the Conservatives holding only 124 of the 308 seats in the House of Commons, most MPs saw the defeat as inevitable.  The vote appeared to be taken only to fulfill the election promise.  Harper called the vote “decisive'' and told reporters his government “will accept the democratic result.'' He also said he doesn't plan to reopen the file again. 


Eligible Christian voters will have to account for their actions (and inactions) on the same-sex marriage issue over the course of the national decision culminating in the voter stand taken on Election Day 2006.  Note that some 35 percent of eligible Canadians did not bother to cast a ballot on January 23, 2006.  A significant number of these were likely “Christians;” their voter apathy served only to weaken the Christian influence on our governance.  Highlighting the power of each vote in the 2006 election, 31 ridings were won by a margin of less than three percent; the lowest riding margin was 21 votes.[7]  [Indeed, in the previous election, MP Belinda Stronach was elected by less than 700 votes.  She is noted for her momentous defection to the Liberals, saving the Paul Martin Government from falling during a May 17, 2005 confidence vote, thus enabling the enactment of Bill C-38.]  The same-sex marriage bill was never inevitable and certainly not unstoppable even as late as January 2006.  The permanent enactment of same-sex marriage is a huge Christian defeat, an unprecedented judgment upon Canadian Christendom – professed to be 76 percent of the population in the 2001 Census.  For those believers, complacently content that the world is unfolding as it should, the following analysis is devoted to exploding your peace of mind; indeed the essay aims to reveal the weakness of the status quo Christian witness and to motivate you to take a stronger authentic stand for Christ.  For lukewarm clergy and lay Christians, who were perplexed in Election 2006 by the need to choose between the Liberals, NDP, Bloc and Conservatives, this essay lays bare the party platforms as seen from a biblical perspective.  


A study of parliamentary voting on same-sex marriage starting in 1999, including the related hate law legislation, Bill C-250, will reveal much about the disfunctionality of our so-called “representative democracy” and also show the extent of political polarization on crucial social and moral governance issues among the federal parties.  Moreover, a study into parliamentary governance will amplify the inappropriateness of the dogma of the church leaving the so-called "secular state" to do its “separate thing,” a theme well debunked in articles Part 1: Open My Eyes to See Who I should Vote For – Jan 2006 and Part 2: “We Believe in Tolerance and the Separation of Church and State!”   Last, a study of the parliamentary party system will confront the viewpoint that Canadian Christendom has a so-called credible “religious Left” – i.e. a faction of Christians called to collaborate with the New Democratic Party.


What exists today, which is no small dilemma for the centrist Liberal Party, is a colossal collision of the rights, values and interests espoused by those on the political “Left” - advocates of a postmodern worldview based on liberalism, humanism, Darwinism, homosexism and secularism; opposed by those on the political “Right” – advocates who adhere to traditional rights and values embodied in heterosexism and orthodox religious beliefs.  The clash of interests has existed under the banner of sexual liberation for over five decades and has most recently played itself out in the same-sex marriage decision.  A look at the numbers below (and in the subsequent analysis) will give pause for thought on the representative democratic nature of our government and on the extent to which the homosexual claim to marriage access has galvanized the political agenda of the Left and fractured the solidarity of the political Centre.  











           Purpose of Vote

Yes   No 

Yes   No   A

Yes    No    A

Yes  No  A

Yes  No  A 

Yes  No  A 


Liberal Government motion to retain traditional marriage [8]

216    55

130   15   15

  65    2     6

  5    13   2

12  25   3  

  4    0   0


Harper motion against Ontario Court ruling on same-sex marriage[9]

 132   137

  53    97  19

  73       4      1

 0    12   2

3   23    7  

 3    1     0


C-250, Svend Robinson’s bill to add “sexual orientation’ to hate crimes list[10]

 141   110

  91    41  38

  7      69     2

 14    0   0

 28    0    6

 1   0      3


Liberal Government Bill C-38 Same-Sex Marriage[11]

 158   133

  95    32    5

  3      93     3  

 17    1    1

 43    5    6

 0    2     2


Conservative Government motion To restore traditional marriage[12]

 123   175

  12    88    3

  110    12     2

  0    28   1

 0   46  5   

  1   1    0


[Note: In this table, the “paired” votes - the practice of linking a “yea” with a “nay” so that neither MP is registered with a yes or no, have been treated as absent MPs.]


In 1999, we find the greatest level of agreement on retention of traditional marriage with all its intendent heterosexist principles.  However, over time the NDP and Bloc adopt an unequivocal homosexist worldview and the Conservative Party retains its traditional heterosexist worldview.  After the Liberal Party first declared its position behind tradtional marriage, the Party flip-flopped to adopt the position of the political Left. 


When the voting patterns of the NDP and the Bloc Parties are isolated (see table below), it is evident the extent to which their social policies are homosexist.  In 2005, MP Bev Desjarlais, was the only NDP member to vote against same-sex marriage.  As a result she was not allowed by her Party to run in the 2006 election.   The NDP was unanimous in rejecting the 2006 motion to retain traditional marriage.  The homosexual advocacy agency EGALE gave the NDP Party an “A” rating and Leader Jack Layton an “A+” rating in advance of Election 2006.  The agency said of Mr. Layton:


Jack Layton had given a lifetime of unwavering, active support and leadership in the struggle for LGBT equality, including supporting equal marriage in every way possible. He did not allow a free vote, and punished former NDP MP Bev Desjarlais for voting against equal marriage. As a result she chose to leave the party and sit as an Independent. Jack Layton champions other LGBT issues, including providing explicit protection for trans people in the Canadian Human Rights Act and the National Day Against Homophobia. As a Toronto city councilor he marched for years in the local Pride parade.


Grade on LGBT issues: 100% on equal marriage; 100% on hate propaganda.  Based on the percentage of times MPs voted in favour of legislation furthering equality for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, versus those that voted against. Absences are not included. The NDP ranked first of the four parties with elected MPs. 100% is a perfect score. [13]


Paradoxically, while our evangelical “lukewarm minister” was stymied by the need to choose a political platform in Election 2006, so-called “organized labour” saw no quandary in making a choice; deciding to work relentlessly for the NDP cause.  Indemic to the ideology of “organized labour” is the socialist notion of solidarity, a concept which in most instances is at best just a euphemism for organized intolerance; at worst systematic bigotry.  Dissension is incompatible with the notion of solidarity.  Although unlikely that the more than a half million members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) are all socialists or all committed homosexists, the Union chose to show solidarity with the NDP in Election 2006.  During the campaign, CUPE issued fourteen fact sheets criticizing the political platforms of all parties except the NDP and five days before the election the Union issued a pro-NDP voters’ guide.  Indeed, six members of CUPE ran for the NDP in Election 2006.  In a free country like Canada such democratic rights and actions can take place, although it is hugely hypocritical of the political Left (and the “liberal” media) to countenance these types of interventions while crying “religious interference” when the church publicly declares the Gospel of Jesus Christ in opposition to political policies or when Evangelical and Catholic staff from Christian agencies like Focus on the Family chose to run for the Conservative Party. 


However, unlike members of CUPE, members of Canadian Christendom are not in a union, not free to ignore God’s will.  Believers are in an autocracy under one God, in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Believers must declare solidarity with the one Gospel of Jesus Christ and solidarity with the counsel of the one Holy Spirit.  Regrettably, it is a gross lack of solidarity in Christian faith that is the root cause of the ineffectual Christian witness within Canada.   Consider the ironic fact that both CUPE and Canadian Christendom have members working for school boards, hospitals, municipalities, universities, public utilities, homes for the aged, day-care centres, children’s aid societies, libraries, transit systems, emergency services and other publicly funded employers.  Yet, only the Union is truly committed to winning society over to their point-of-view; the Union and its allied agencies listed in the opening table to this article are winning the struggle for Canadian hearts and minds. 


According to their website, CUPE is firmly committed to fighting all forms of harassment and discrimination including homophobia – which is liberationist lexicon for all natures of disagreement with the tenets of homosexism.   Ergo, CUPE is firmly committed to fighting the heterosexist views of gender and sexual morality held by Christians and most followers of other traditional world religions.  Much of CUPE’s political and educational work on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues is the domain of the National Pink Triangle Committee (NPTC).  This Committee takes its name from the pink triangle symbol worn by those targeted as homosexuals in the Nazi concentration camps of the Second World War.  It has since been reclaimed by the lesbian and gay community as a symbol of struggle and survival.  And within the labour movement, the pink triangle has also become known as a sign of activism and solidarity.[14]  The CUPE website declares that education is key to the work of the NPTC.  For example, the Committee helped develop a workshop for union members on LGBT issues. The Pride in CUPE Workshop is designed to explode the myths and stereotypes that portray LGBT people negatively.  In their own words, the Workshop attempts to demonstrate that since homophobia and heterosexism, like all belief systems, are learned, so too can such harmful ideologies be unlearned through education.  [my underline]


CUPE’s homosexist viewpoint:

There is no qualitative difference in the love shared between two people, whether those two people be a man and woman, two women, or two men.  We know that our relationships are valid. The extension of marriage rights would enhance the validity of our relationships throughout Canadian society thereby helping to bring an end to the discrimination we endure. We dare to dream of a time when our children are not bullied and harassed at school because their parents are of the same sex; we dare to dream of a time when our families accept our relationships as loving and committed and not as a “passing phase” or “alternative lifestyle.” For us, marriage is about equality, choice and ending the discrimination we know all too well.[15]



The passion with which CUPE, in solidarity with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and the NDP, uphold their homosexist convictions rivals any so-called “religious fundamentalists.”  Indeed, their secularist anti-Christian dogma has been labelled “religious humanism.”  The extent of CUPE’s indifference to homosexual, bisexual and transgendered lifestyles, including alternative parenting and family variations is such that the Union will not countenance the idea of marriage equivalency – a “separate but equal” same-sex union registry.   They argue:


The creation of an ‘equivalent’ to marriage for same-sex couples would perhaps satisfy those who believe that marriage ought to be the exclusive preserve of heterosexual couples; however, it would not satisfy equality seekers and the ongoing legal challenges would continue. This option would also add nothing new to the legislative landscape; this is because lesbian and gay couples already have a majority of the rights and responsibilities enjoyed by opposite-sex married couples. For example, the passing of Bill C-23, the Modernization of Benefits and Obligations Act 2000, provided equality for LGBT Canadians in over 68 federal laws. Yet, lesbian and gay Canadians are still denied access to marriage.[16]


The point in coming this far in elaborating the unionist-NDP position on homosexuality is to remind Christians (particularly Christian voters!) of the extent to which the ideology behind the NDP is incompatible with the Christian worldview.   Lukewarm Christians and the liberal-minded - in a three party quandary over how to vote, need to wake up and recognize that firmly committed to diversity is an oxymoron, this really means firmly committed to undermining Christian values.  Orthodox religious beliefs are not tolerated in the socialist view of diversity.  This means the NDP are firmly committed to: (1) winning the clash of rights and freedoms in the public square between those holding homosexist values and those adhering to a heterosexist worldview; and (2) winning the morality wars between those holding secular humanist ideologies and believers adhering to orthodox religious tenets. 


If the NDP demonstrated a shred of tolerance for the millenniums-old perspective on homosexuality held by traditional world religions (indeed, if they showed any tolerance for orthodox views on abortion, sexual liberation, family, marriage and feminism) a Christian might have beginning circumstance to argue in favour of supporting the Party.  However, there is none.  Look at the parliamentary voting pattern; the NDP intolerance extends to removing all MPs who challenge the Party’s ideological solidarity.  Their extremism extends to refusing a separate but equal “same-sex union” registry, all the while acknowledging that gays, bisexuals, lesbians and transgendered citizens have all the protections and privileges possible short of marriage.  The NDP’s fanatical insistence on the need to use the “M-word” implies that countries like Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Hungary, New Zealand, Switzerland, Slovenia, Iceland, Czech Republic and Luxembourg are in gross violation of human rights because of their “democratic” choice of civil unions and registered partnerships over the redefinition of marriage. 


Only four other countries (out of 193 worldwide) have redefined the millenniums-old heterosexual institution of marriage to include homosexuals.  And in all of these states the pivotal role of leftist politics in enabling the extraordinary legislation is unmistakable.  Before continuing with the Canadian analysis, it is worthwhile examining these four international cases.


Consider the Netherlands.  Rod Dreher, writing for the National Review, said of Holland:


I have just entered Amsterdam's red-light district in — honest! — an attempt to visit the Oude Kerk, the medieval ‘old church’ that is the capital city's oldest stone building. Because the streets are so clean, orderly, and nonthreatening, you hardly realize you've entered the louche part of town, until you notice that the sickly-sweet aroma of burning hashish from the ‘coffeeshops’ never really goes away. Then you notice display windows proffering a selection of bizarre devices and videos appealing to every imaginable vile affection…And, of course, there are the whores, many of them transvestites, standing in their windows, rapping on the glass to solicit attention and trade. The Oude Kerk sits in the middle of this cesspool, a faded jewel in a steaming dunghill... this country is perhaps the world's most postmodern nation, the place where liberalism has penetrated most deeply. It's an egalitarian social democracy, sexually emancipated, thoroughly irreligious, and largely devoid of nationalist consciousness. Holland prides itself on tolerance über alles — except, of course, toward conservatives... The Left captured the culture without firing a shot. The welfare state burgeoned, and cultural leftists took over influential opinion-leading posts in academia and the media. They have so thoroughly dominated the national conversation for an entire generation that there are barely any conservatives left… ‘The Dutch worry about what's happening to civil society, but they don't understand that the state cannot make you moral,’ says Livestro [director of the Edmund Burke Foundation, a conservative think tank]. ‘They fail to see that civil society starts with personal morality, and with the family.’ The social problems are connected to the decline of religion and the consequent loss of faith in traditional Judeo-Christian morality. Some 30 years ago, 60 percent of the population were at church on Sunday morning; today, it's between 8 and 13 percent. The media have relentlessly mocked religion.[17]


With Dreher’s comments as a hasty “conservative synopsis” of Holland’s social and political situation, one can place the dynamics, which led to the state’s adoption of same-sex marriage in fuller context.  At a conference to explore legal issues related to marriage organized by the International Lesbian and Gay Law Association and InformaGay (Italy) in June 5-8, 2002, at Turin, Italy, guest speaker Dr. Kees Waaldijk explained the role of leftist extremists in Holland’s move to redefine marriage.  This Dutch same-sex marriage expert said:


By 1994, with the government [Christian Social Democratic Government] in its last days, legislation for Registered Domestic Partnerships (RDPs) was introduced. This helped to generate further discussion with the public and in the media. Then the left-wing gay movement, the more radical gay movement, turned around and said, of course there should be full equality! There was a real idological shift in the old gay movement. It caused many more people to think about it - what marriage really is. Opposition from religious groups was of little consequence in the Netherlands.  It's a very secular society. There was strong opposition from some really traditional protestant churches and from the Bishops, but the rest of the Catholic church didn't say much.[18]


After the defeat of Lubbers’s coalition government in the May 1994 general election, Wim Kok’s Labor Party assembled a new coalition.  Kok took office as prime minister in August 1994 and then presided over decisions to first legalize same-sex partnerships, then to make same-sex marriage the law followed by legalizing prostitution and euthanasia.  Kok’s socialist ideological mind-set is evident from his background.  From 1973 to 1985 Kok served as chair of the Netherlands Federation of Trade Unions.  He also led the European Trade Union Confederation from 1979 to 1982.  In 1985 Kok left his leadership post at the Netherlands Federation of Trade Unions and ran for a seat in the lower house of the Dutch parliament.  Kok won the election as a member of the Social Democratic Labor Party.  The following year he succeeded Joop den Uyl as the Labor Party’s leader.  In 1989, Kok became deputy prime minister in the coalition government of Ruud Lubbers, leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA).  In the same year Kok was named vice chair of the Socialist International (SI), the worldwide organization of social democratic parties.[19] 


The role of the political Left in the Belgian and Spanish adoptions of same-sex marriage is no less striking, although unlike Holland, the rise of socialist governance in Belgium and Spain followed unforeseen, untimely political calamities. 


After noting that Belgium's Christian Democrats had ruled over the country's politics and had secured a code of religious ethics for decades, Juliane von Reppert-Bismarck, a European affairs reporter for Dow Jones Newswires in Brussels, asks a rhetorical question about Belgium’s same-sex marriage legislation:


So what happened in this country whose state religion is Catholicism, a country that shutters its shops and banks on Catholic holidays, and where the bad word for gay translates as the shortened version of pedophile?


In response she writes:


That opportunity materialized in 1999 through a completely unrelated event. Reject motor oil had been routinely added to Belgian animal feed. When the public learned about it, a massive food scare ripped across Belgium. People feared that everything from chicken to chocolate was contaminated by toxic dioxins. National elections were a few weeks away.


In fact the European Commission ordered governments to track down and destroy all Belgian poultry products that may have been tainted with a cancer-causing chemical in what would become Europe's biggest food crisis since the scandal over "mad cow" disease. The Commission, the executive body of the European Union, lashed out at Belgium for sitting on the information for weeks and warned that it might take legal action. Two Belgian cabinet ministers resigned, leaving the government in a shambles eleven days before the federal election.  Von Reppert-Bismark describes the electorate’s response:


As countries around the world slammed their doors against Belgian imports, furious Belgian voters ousted the Christian Democrats from all major political posts.  An incoming coalition of liberals and left-leaning parties promised far-reaching reforms…The new Belgian government legalized euthanasia and marijuana and outlawed discrimination. The anti-discrimination law restricted the power of those who opposed gay rights, and gay marriage became legal. On January 31, 2003, the parliament voted by a 91-22 majority to give full civil marriage rights to gay couples.[20] [my underline] 


David Paternotte of the Centre de sociologie politique (C.S.P.), Université libre de Bruxelles adds:


The LGBT mobilisation in favour of same-sex couples’ legal recognition occurred in a period of profound reform of West-European socialism and at a time of crisis for the Parti socialiste. Leaders were trying to renovate their party to face the spectacular decline of traditional working class, the political scandals linked to the party’s old guard and the challenges brought by postmodern values. They were also threatened by the rise of Ecolo, the French-speaking green party, which had a clearer stance on gay and lesbian rights….


Secondly, we need to pay attention to the specific context in which same-sex marriage has been allowed. Indeed, like in Spain, the access of a new coalition to power in 1999 constituted a decisive moment. The electoral defeat of Christian-democratic parties after fifty years of almost uninterrupted presence in the cabinet opened up an opportunity window for ethical questions. The new coalition, formed by liberals, socialists and greens, wanted to embody political change and LGBT issues were an easy way to exemplify the rupture.[21]


For same-sex marriage to be heralded by socialists it had to fit the ideology.   Paternotte writes:


Civil marriage has to be looked at and we must check whether its dramatic transformation over the last decades is mirrored by social representations. More precisely, two shifts were needed in left-wing circles to turn the opening-up of civil marriage into a legitimate claim. Civil marriage had to appear as an equality mechanism which was suitable for emancipatory politics and its definition had to be disentangled from (heterosexual) procreation.


Finally, we need to point out a radical transformation of the meaning of equality, which is also noticeable in other social sectors…. It is no longer aimed at the realisation of a specific social project, but rather at the expression of the individual’s will and the widening of the scope of her choice. Therefore, equality does no longer stem from a certain vision of what society should be, but is concretised through a freedom of choice. As a socialist MP asserted during the parliamentary debates, the opening-up of civil marriage is not “an obligation, but a freedom, a freedom of choice (…). Every woman or every man should be allowed to choose and to take on her/his personal choices thanks to the legal arrangements they are offered. This is the true legislator’s role: to offer legal arrangements, which respect everyone’s life choices” [Chambre, Compte rendu intégral, plenary session of 30 January 2003, PLEN 318, p. 38. ]


This latter remark reveals an interesting paradox, which also characterises other left-wing parties. Indeed, such a definition of equality is typically liberal, as it attempts to enhance the individual’s freedom and reduces equality to its formal elements, here choice and self-determination. [My underline.]


In the Spanish case, four days before the election in 2004, the center-right Peoples Party of Prime Minister José María Aznar appeared headed for an easy victory over the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party led by Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.  Everything changed, however, when al-Qaeda terrorists bombed a number of commuter trains in Madrid killing 191 and wounded 1,755 others.  Many Spaniards blamed the bombing on the pro-American polices of Aznar, especially his support of the invasion of Iraq.  Still others bitterly resented Aznar’s hasty and false assertion that the terrorists were ETA - Basque Separatists, and not Islamic militants bent on retaliation for Spain's support of the war in Iraq.  The political backlash toppled the Aznar government and resulted in the withdrawal of Spain’s 1200 soldiers stationed in Iraq and a reversal in fate for same-sex marriage legislation.   


Just a few months into office Prime Minister Zapatero caught the opposition off guard, giving an unexpected speech backing same-sex marriage legislation.  Jennifer Green, reporting for the Washington Post, described the major victory for the governing Socialist Party:


Gay marriages will be permitted in Spain as soon as the law, which passed the Congress of Deputies in a 187 to 147 vote, is published in the official government registry, according to the parliamentary press office. The Spanish law also gives same-sex couples the right to adopt children and receive inheritances.  The vote was held after Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero unexpectedly took the floor of parliament to speak in its support. ‘We are expanding the opportunities for happiness of our neighbors, our colleagues, our friends and our relatives, he said. ‘At the same time, we are building a more decent society.’ A roar of applause rippled through the visitors' galleries of the historic 19th-century chamber, and supporters who had gathered outside the building cheered after votes were cast.  Mariano Rajoy, the leader of the opposition Popular Party, who was denied the opportunity to address parliament after Zapatero's surprise appearance, accused the prime minister of dividing Spanish society.  ‘I have the firm conviction that if Zapatero had called together all the parties, we would have created a law that would have majority support in parliament and among Spaniards,’ he said.  The Popular Party, which has favored recognizing civil unions without using the word marriage, said it would consider an appeal to the Constitutional Court, Spain's highest tribunal.  Rajoy said the issue was ‘not a debate between Catholics and non-Catholics’ in this country.[22]


Canada aside, the only other country to enact same-sex marriage is South Africa.  Unlike the sudden turmoils, which gave unexpected empowerment to socialist parties in Belgium and Spain, the left-wing African Nationalist Congress has been the dominant political power in South Africa since the first post-apartheid election in 1994.  [Note: President FW de Klerk lifted the ban on the ANC in 1990.  The ANC, in 1994, won 63 percent of the seats in the National Assembly, in 1999 – 66 percent, and in 2004 – 70 percent.]  In addition to being the dominant political party in South Africa, the ANC is also in solidarity with the Socialist International, which according to an ANC policy document, “opens the way for closer interaction with over 140 socialist, social democratic and labour parties and organizations from all continents."[23]  Moreover, within the state of South Africa, a solidarity of labour, socialists and communists has given expression in a Four Party Alliance of the political Left:


ANC – African National Congress

SACP – South African Communist Party

COSATU – Congress of South African Trade Unions

SANCO – South African National Civic Organization


These political organizations share a fundamental strategic agreement that the primary task is implementation of a National Democratic Revolution (NDR) founded on the vision of the South African Freedom Charter originally drafted in 1955 (no mention of “sexual orientation” rights in the Charter at that time).  Moreover, these goals are seen as a synchronous part of a global movement.  In 2002, only four years before the South African decision to enact same-sex marriage, Michael Sachs, researcher for the Headquarters of the African National Congress (ANC), described a new movement emerging under various names: “global solidarity movement,” “global social movement,” “global civil society.”  Beyond resisting the oppression of capitalist privatization and global economic organization, Sachs noted a convergence of policy around the issue of social inequality.  He wrote:


The 'Call of the Social Movements' adopted at the Second World Social Forum (in Port Alegre, Brazil at the beginning of 2002) declares: ‘We are diverse - women and men, adults and youth, indigenous people, rural and urban, workers and unemployed, homeless, the elderly, students, migrants, professionals, peoples of every creed, colour and sexual orientation.’  The expression of this diversity is our strength and the basis of our unity. We are a global solidarity movement, united in our determination to fight against the concentration of wealth, the proliferation of poverty and inequalities, and the destruction of our earth. We are living and constructing alternative systems, and using creative ways to promote them.’[24] [My underline.]


Although not incorporated in the ANC “Freedom Charter” of 1955, "Sexual orientation" had been included in the equality protections of the South African Interim Constitution when it was adopted in 1993, making the new bill of rights the most liberal in the world.  According to human rights watch, the language in the Constitution is owed to the extraordinary efforts and advocacy of gay and lesbian activists; to effective coalition-building with other civil society groups; and to the openness of the African National Congress, which had taken up gay and lesbian rights in its "Policy Guidelines for a Democratic South Africa" in 1992.[25]  The fact that the ANC struggled as much as they did (fourteen years later) with the notion of same-sex marriage indicates the Party had little idea in 1992 that protecting sexual orientation rights would move wildly beyond job and personal security protections and equal tax benefits to a bid by gays and lesbians for the state to fully deconstruct all heterosexist institutions and adopt in their place a homosexist worldview - the crowning symbol of which is the redefinition of marriage. 


In September 2006 (three months before the same-sex marriage decision), the ANC Whip, the bi-weekly newsletter of the ANC Caucus, recorded that the Government’s preferred approach to the issue was to enact “domestic partnerships.”  The newsletter records:


Content Chapter 3: to ensure the right to equality and dignity of partners in domestic partnerships and to reform family law, to comply with the provisions of the Bill of Rights, through: (1)The recognition of the legal status of domestic partners, regulation of the rights and obligations of domestic partners.  Protection of interests of both domestic partners and interested parties on the termination of domestic partnership; and (2) Final determination of financial relationships between domestic partners and interested parties upon termination of domestic partnerships.[26]


The Caucus newsletter also clearly outlined the “Political Implications” of the bill:


The African National Congress has passed about 35 pro-sexual orientation laws since it came into government in 1994.  This is law reform unprecedented anywhere in the world. The passing of these pieces of legislation is proof that the ANC is committed to the values enshrined in the Constitution.  This bill, however, has introduced a number of social and moral challenges based on the traditional definition of the marriage institution. Secondly, the ruling by the Constitutional Court that the Parliament has to pass this Bill by December 2006 is likely, unless processes are fast tracked, to deny maximum participation through public hearings, especially at Provincial level given the time line requirements for bills to be processed.


The December 2005 Constitutional Court’s decision ruling the Government to address the same-sex marriage issue by the end of 2006 did not dictate how the Parliament might approach the issue.  Those opposed to the “separate but equal” solution labeled the ANC’s initial proposal as “sexual apartheid.”  By early October, the ANC Government was split on the issue of recognizing even homosexual unions or partnerships.  A separate ANC Party vote settled the matter and detailed the nature of Party solidarity in the endOn October 9, the ANC voted (outside of Parliament) to support a same-sex marriage bill.  According to news center staff, the ANC vote assured the bill’s success.  The news center reported:


The party decision also is seen as a stiff rebuke to Jacob Zuma who last month was forced to apologize for calling gay marriage ‘a disgrace to the nation and to God.’ The former [ANC] Deputy President is seen as a likely contender for president but the party vote to support same-sex relationships is seen as throwing that into question.


The full party support came after members of the national executive committee reminded party members that the ANC had fought for human rights, which included gay rights, and equality for all. With the party's full support there is little chance the bill will be defeated.[27]


ANC member, Patrick Chauke, chair of the Parliamentary Home Affairs Committee, which was deliberating the bill, was quoted in the Business Day, a local daily newspaper, as critically commenting: "you won't find things like this anywhere else in Africa."[28]  Indeed, in pursuit of its Constitutional goal of zero discrimination the ANC had already endorsed: (1) the state’s proclamation that gay sodomy and heterosexual intercourse were equal expressions of sexuality; (2) that motherhood and fatherhood were of no special importance over same-sex parenting; (3) that marriage had little to do with child rearing; (4) and that natural heterosexual procreation by the biological mother and father was of no more preference to the state than alternative conception means needed in all same-sex relationships to overcome inert sexual unions.  For illustration of this applied “equality” ideology, Judge Albie Sachs, member of the Constitutional Committee, the National Executive of the ANC, and justice of South Africa's Constitutional Court, wrote in a concurring opinion to the court's unanimous 1998 decision overturning sodomy laws in the country:


The acknowledgement and acceptance of difference is particularly important in our country where group membership has been the basis of express advantage and disadvantage. The development of an active rather than a purely formal sense of enjoying a common citizenship depends on recognizing and accepting people as they are.... What the Constitution requires is that the law and public institutions acknowledge the variability of human beings and affirm the equal respect and concern that should be shown to all as they are. At the very least, what is statistically normal ceases to be the basis for establishing what is legally normative. More broadly speaking, the scope of what is constitutionally normal is expanded to include the widest range of perspectives and to acknowledge, accommodate and accept the largest spread of difference. What becomes normal in an open society, then, is not an imposed and standardized form of behaviour that refuses to acknowledge difference, but the acceptance of the principle of difference itself, which accepts the variability of human behaviour.


The invalidation of anti-sodomy laws will mark an important moment in the maturing of an open democracy based on dignity, freedom and equality. As I have said, our future as a nation depends in large measure on how we manage difference. In the past difference has been experienced as a curse, today it can be seen as a source of interactive vitality....


A state that recognizes difference does not mean a state without morality or without a point of view. It does not banish concepts of right and wrong, nor envisage a world without good and evil.... What is central to the character and functioning of the state, however, is that the dictates of the morality which it enforces, and the limits to which it may go, are to be found in the text and spirit of the Constitution itself.[29] [My underline.]


Christians wondering about whether to vote for a political left party, be it in South Africa, Canada, or elsewhere, should ask themselves what “spirit” is behind the political Left’s propensity for making an idol out of a man-made constitutions, and condoning anal sex among homosexual men as a sign of the “maturing of an open democracy based on dignity, freedom and equality.”  The deadly ecology of anal sex follows no man-made constitution, AIDS and a normative age at death for gay men of forty are not dignifying realities, banishment from giving blood and adhering to the condom code for one’s survival are not expressions of freedom, and an inert sexual relationship is not equal to a procreative union.   Judge Sachs and the political Left adhere to the idea that morality can be enforced from the spirit of a human parchment.  The idea is totally anti-Christian, fundamentally humanist, and the condoning of anal sex is deeply flawed public health policy.  To give the moral nod to sodomy in the way judge Sachs does is simply inexcusable after two decades of AIDS experience and research.


David Black, in his book The Plague Years: A Chronicle of Aids the Epidemic of Our Times, explains a key lesson of the consequence of unfettered individual, rights-based legislation based on situation ethics; a lesson that the political Left refuses to acknowledge.   As with judge Sachs’ 1998 vision for the South African state, in the 1980s it had become heresy in America to suggest that moral questions regarding homosexuality should be publicly confronted, even in a raging AIDS pandemic then infecting 270 new men every day and estimated to claim 385,000 men by 1990.[30]  In the unprecedented AIDS crisis straight politicians such as New York’s Mario Cuomo felt trapped.  He knew if he did nothing, he’d be attacked by the Right, and if he did something, he’d be attacked by the Left.  Black writes:


But why shouldn’t a society confront questions of morality?  The danger comes not from the debate but from the belief that moral questions are legislatable.  In fact, the courts, simply by addressing a moral issue, undermine morality…Even if the law [closing bathhouses] did have an effect - especially if it had an effect - it removed from the individual the burden of behaving morally.  The question becomes not what is right?  But what can I get away with?  As morality changed from a spiritual to a legal issue, it lost its private hold over people.  Courts replaced conscience.  The fight over the bathhouses confused the moral question (what sex acts should someone with AIDS allow himself to perform?) with the legal question (what is the government’s responsibility in promoting public health?).[31]


Christians should not support or collaborate with political parties that are fundamentally entrenched in anti-Christian ideologies that endorse patently unscriptural behaviors.  Continuing with the South African example a little longer, Dr. Peter Hammond, representing Christian Action (CA), reveals the anti-Christian face of South Africa’s political Left, displayed during his testimony on same-sex marriage.  He writes of his experiences:


We testified that marriage is the basic building block of society. It provides stability, nurture, training and protection for the next generation. That is why marriage has always been protected in law. Any undermining of this foundational institution will have disastrous and far-reaching implications for civilization. We witnessed firsthand the absolute contempt which ANC members of Parliament hold for God, His Law, the Bible and even the voters. They chuckled when we pointed out that the vast majority of voters opposed this Bill and challenged them to hold a Referendum on the issue. We don’t need to follow the electorate, we must lead the masses – in a creative way!’ declared one of the ANC members in the National Council of Provinces when I challenged him.


Although the Parliamentarians listened respectfully, and with obvious agreement and nodding of heads, to the pagan archpriestess Donna Vos of the Circle of the African Moon, they reacted with great hostility to the Christian presentations opposing the Bill.  Archpriestess Donna ‘Dark Wolf’ testified that ‘the pagans, who represent the oldest religion in the world, that of the Ancient Greeks, Romans and Druids, whole-heartedly support same-sex marriages and the Civil Union Bill/Act.’ She asserted that, as people fall in love with a soul, it is irrelevant what body, gender or parts thereof their partners had. She asserted: ‘True democracy must respect all religions, including paganism.’ The pagan presentation claimed that it was ‘unthinkable that Christianity should continue to manipulate legislation’ as Christianity was the ‘new religion,’ paganism as ‘the oldest religion’ should have pre-eminence. ‘We are bound by nature, trees, plants, hills… not by the Bible or by the Christian God.’


While the Parliamentarians seemed very happy to accept the pagan presentation, they vitriolicly attacked the Christian presentations and representatives. I heard ANC members of Parliament say in response to our presentation: We don’t believe in your God. We don’t live by the Bible or by the Christian God. It’s no good quoting to us what Paul or Isaiah said. We don’t believe in your Paul or Isaiah.’ Another Parliamentarian claimed that he had been raised as a strong Christian’ but that he would not impose his own religious views on his children. They had not been baptized and he does not allow his religious views to interfere with his politics! We leave the Bible in church, here in Parliament, the Constitution is supreme!’  One ANC member declared: “The Bible was used to justify Apartheid, so we cannot use the Bible to stop homosexuals from getting married.”


‘Is it right for you Christians to impose your morals on everyone else? Do you expect us to defy the Constitutional Court?’ Another ANC member berated us: ‘Why drag children into this Bill? What do children have to do with marriage? This Bill says nothing about children. We are only talking about a union between two people. If children result or are adopted that is another matter. It is not an issue in this Bill. So why are you talking about the children? What do children have to do about marriage?’[32]


Sehlare Makgetlaneng, head of the Southern Africa desk at the Africa Institute of South Africa, a Pretoria-based think-tank, claimed the bill did not reflect the view of Africans anywhere in the continent:


The bill did not have the approval of the majority - the minority in the society had actually set the wheels in motion for the bill in the 1990s, when the constitution was being written.[33]


In the face of such strong feelings and division, the ANC had issued a three-line whip, the strictest disciplinary command the party can give its MPs, to compel them to be both present in the chamber and to vote in favour of the party line supporting the Bill.[34]  After demanding full solidarity, the vote taken in November passed 230 to 41 with three abstentions. 


Responding to accusations after the vote that the Party had refused to allow its MPs to follow their consciences and/or honestly represent the will of their constituencies, Vytjie Mentor, the ANC Caucus Chairman, told The Sunday Independent, a South African newspaper:


There was no such thing as a free vote or a vote of conscience.  How do you give someone permission to discriminate in the name of the A.N.C.?  How do you allow for someone to vote against the Constitution and the policies of the A.N.C., which is antidiscrimination?[35]


One may credibly speculate on the day when the ANC will respond in solidarity to a future claim by bisexual, transgender or polygamous minorities wishing marriage equality and an end to discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation.  The hypocrisy and irrationality of the ANC Caucus Chairman’s political response (above) is highlighted by the Party’s simultaneous acceptance that marriage officers (civil servants) need not perform a ceremony for a same-sex couple if doing so would conflict with his or her “conscience, religion and belief.”  


Melanie Judge, the program manager for OUT, a gay rights advocacy group, credited South Africa’s liberal Constitution with forcing change.  She said:


This has been a litmus test of our constitutional values.  It forced us to consider: What does equality really mean? What does it look like? Equality does not exist on a sliding scale.[36]


Epitomizing her assertion of “absolute constitutional equality,” Ms. Judge said the new provision allowing civil officers to refuse to marry gay couples on matters of conscience was unconstitutional and would provoke further legal challenges.  She commented:


We can’t be in the situation where civil officers can decide who they want to marry and who they don’t want to marry.  They aren’t able to refuse to marry a black person and a white person. Why are same-sex couples different?[37]


For many participants, had the bill passed as initially written, South Africa would not have legalized same-sex marriage, but would have provided civil unions.  However, the Government made a last-minute amendment to the Civil Unions Bill, changing it so as to permit the "voluntary union of two persons, which is solemnized and registered by either a marriage or a civil union." 


The final bill was opposed by almost all the opposition parties.  The Democratic Alliance (DA) accused the African National Congress (ANC) of having misled South Africans during the proposed law's hearings. DA spokesperson Sandy Kalyan said during the parliamentary debate on the proposed law:


It is unfortunate that the ANC pulled the amended version of the Civil Union Bill out of the bottom drawer merely a day before voting in committee.  Surely, the portfolio committee on home affairs has misled the public in the hearings because the version before us is not the one presented at all the hearings.


It was unfortunate that the ANC had forced its MPs to ignore their conscience and vote in favour of the Bill as a show of loyalty.  It was quite interesting to note how much support there was by the ANC for the section which refers to marriage officers who may apply to the minister, on the grounds of conscience, not to conduct unions or marriages for same-sex couples... yet the ANC will not allow its MPs to vote for this Bill on grounds of conscience.[38]


The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) said its principles did not allow it to approve such a law.  Party spokesperson Inka Mars said:


The IFP has always advocated strong family principles and we are ultimately guided by strong moral values. We feel that there were several other options in relation to this issue that Parliament did not explore properly.  Therefore, we reject any notion of same-sex unions or marriages and we oppose this Bill.[39]


The Freedom Front Plus said it is of the view that marriage is an institution created by God between man and woman, and it would therefore not endorse the proposed law.[40] 


African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) leader Kenneth Meshoe described the passage of the Bill as “the saddest day” of the democratic Parliament in 12 years.  He said while some forces are trying to convince people that homosexuality was okay, God considers it "an abomination." Meshoe had warned his MPs that voting in favour of same-sex marriage was a rejection of God's laws, and those who did so would face divine wrath.  He said the Bill, by inference, "calls sexual perversion a legitimate alternative lifestyle that should be openly accepted."  He warned:


With this Bill, the ruling party and all those who support it are inviting serious trouble on themselves, without even considering the impact this Bill will have on future generations.[41]


And Steve Swart, a legislator with the ACDP and a proponent of the constitutional amendment, said the Parliament had ignored the views of ordinary citizens and international norms.  He commented:


We are out of step with the rest of Africa and with rest of world.  The international norm is civil unions, as opposed to same-sex marriages. What happened today conflicts with the views of the majority of South Africans.[42]


Returning to the Canadian front, we find (as demonstrated in the above international example) that there is an intellectual irony and spiritual paradox in the notion that the political Left is “progressive” in its revolutionary zeal for social tolerance and religious diversity.  One may be tempted to admire the fundamentalism and passion empowering the political Left’s homosexist activities and policies; however, the absurdity of these socialist policies from a Christian perspective lies in the Left’s allusion that God sanctifies homosexism and religious diversity.  Authentic Christians (as contrasted with counterfeit believers) know these arguments of the Left to be grossly fallacious.  Moreover, the hypocrisy and political expediency of the NDP position (indeed, also the positions of the Liberal Party and the Courts) is revealed by their on-going silence over support for bisexual (three person) marriages.  This is doubly ironic for the NDP; since they are now boasting of their political agenda for transsexual equality rights (see below).


Christians know that God instituted marriage as the covenant (precondition) for righteous opposite sex sexual relations and that God designed humans as male or female so that the two may become one flesh through the act of sexual intercourse.  Scripture makes no provision for righteous same-sex sexual relations.  The Apostle Matthew quotes Christ making this point:


Have you not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female.  And said, for this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh. (19:4-5)


Nowhere in Scripture is homosexuality cast in a positive light; homosexual behavior is universally condemned in the Bible.  The homosexist ideology of the NDP is therefore, fundamentally anti-Christian. 


Nowhere in Scripture does God directly or indirectly state that religious diversity is “progressive.”  To the contrary, the Apostle John quotes Christ as stating:


I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)


In this light, it is no surprise to find that the NDP critic for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues should be a staunch member of the United Church of Canada.  [For a full analysis of United Church doctrines see - UCC: Abject Apostasy.]  The Honourable Bill Siksay’s biography reads:


As a lifelong member of the United Church of Canada, Bill has been a very active layperson in church affairs. He has served as a church representative on the Victoria University (at the University of Toronto) Board of Regents. Bill also served on the National Task Force on the Changing Roles of Women and Men in Church and Society, and he has chaired the church’s National Pastoral Relations Committee.


Bill has also been an activist with Affirm United, the organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender United Church members and adherents. Bill was a candidate for the ministry in the United Church in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He was one of the first gay or lesbian people to come out in the process toward ordination, and was a leader of the campaign that saw gay and lesbian church members secure the right to be considered for ordination and commissioning in the United Church.[43]


And on 7 November 2007, to mark 40 Years of NDP struggle for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Transgender (LGBTT) rights, the Party’s Federal Council (in response to the leadership of the Honourable Bill Siksay) adopted a comprehensive new policy on LGBTT issues.  The news release reads:


Ottawa - Forty years ago this month, the New Democratic Party took a historic stand for equality and justice in Canada.


On November 7, 1967, the Supreme Court of Canada rejected the appeal of George Everett Klippert, who had been condemned to indefinite imprisonment for consensual sexual relations with other men. The next day, Tommy Douglas, the first leader of the NDP, rose in the House of Commons and called for homosexuality to be decriminalized. [click here to hear what Pierre Trudeau, Robert Stanfield and Tommy Douglas had to say about the Bill.  Douglas referred to homosexuality as a sin and a pyschological aberration, but not a criminal act.]


Since then, the NDP has never ceased to lead the pack in defence of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and transsexual rights. New Democrats succeeded in banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, tirelessly worked for equal marriage, and are fighting today for international LGBTT rights and for an end to discrimination based on gender identity.


As proof of its firm resolve to stand up for full equality and human rights, the NDP marked this important anniversary by unanimously adopting a comprehensive range of policies on LGBTT rights during its Federal Council in Winnipeg on November 3.


“This action by the NDP Federal Council gives us the clearest and most comprehensive policies on LGBTT issues of any party,” said Bill Siksay,[44]


The following are some pertinent extracts from the policy declaration:


WHEREAS the New Democratic Party boasts a proud history of fighting for the rights of sexual and gender minorities …THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the NDP adopt the following policies:

• that the Government should pursue the objective of prohibiting sexual orientation and gender identity as reasons for discrimination in the international human rights agreement;

• that refugees who flee their country following discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity should have the right to fair review of their case by public servants, requiring the adequate training of public servants and raising of their consciousness regarding the treatment of refugees;

WHEREAS no province allows changing the legal sex assignment without medical certification of the sex change surgery (while it is possible in the United Kingdom and in some American States), which causes endless legal and official problems for transgendered people…BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, as a first step, the NDP undertake to abandon its own practices which could be harmful to the full participation of transgender and transsexual people:

1. That it affirm that, as far as the party is concerned, gender is a matter of self-definition, and therefore that people are of the gender with which they identify; and

 2. That it replace on its membership forms, the choice between “male” and “female” with “woman” check-box to the list of equity groups with which members can identify, thereby allowing us to maintain our usual activities in promoting the participation of women, while recognizing the possibility of multiple modes of gender identification;[45][my underline]


The worldview behind such policy declarations is radically opposed to the Christian worldview.  Where in Scripture does it say “gender is a matter of self-determination”?  Where in Scripture does it say God made “multiple modes of gender identification?”  Does the Honourable NDP critic for LGBTT issues (or his Party and church) care what the Bible states? 


The extremism of the NDP agenda on sexual orientation issues is evident when one realizes that married homosexual couples represent 0.0007 of the population.  Moreover, the portion of all Canadian couples (married and common-law) that are homosexual is 0.6 percent, and of this fraction of a percent, only 27.5 percent are in marriages.[46]  Note also that in March 2006, Statistics Netherlands released estimates on the number of same-sex marriages each year - 2,500 in 2001, 1,800 in 2002, 1,200 in 2004, and 1,100 in 2005.  In addition to the sliding interest in homosexual marriage, the agency also notes that marriage in general (both same- and opposite-sex) has fallen off noticeably over the past five years.[47] [See also Dutch Decline: Losing Interest in Matrimony.]


And now a brief look at the Bloc Québécois will reveal much about the impact Gilles Duceppe has on policy implementation, particularly related to the Party’s full adoption of a homosexist worldview.  The Bloc Québécois polarization to the homosexist position is as total as the NDP, although slightly slower in arriving at that position.  In 1999, only 17 of 35 Bloc MPs voted against the traditional definition of marriage; however, by 2003, only three Bloc MPs voted in favour of traditional marriage and, on Bill C-250, there were no dissenting votes.  Five MPs of 54 came out against Bill C-38.  Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe would not allow a free vote in 2006 on the motion to restore traditional marriage.  Bloc MP, Louise Thibault, quit to sit as an independent over his directive.   Columnist David Akin reported:


She [Tibault] says that she cannot be part of a party that doesn’t allow for dissent and she blames Duceppe for being too rigid. Thibault voted to overturn Canada’s same-sex marriage legislation. Duceppe had ordered his caucus to vote in support of same-sex marriage rights. [48]


EGALE gave Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe an “A” rating and the Party a “B.”  The agency said:


Gilles Duceppe was personally a strong supporter of the equal marriage bill and equality for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people generally, and spoke eloquently about why equal marriage was the right thing to do. He enjoys a perfect voting record in Parliament on LGBT issues.


Caucus Grade: 87% on equal marriage; 95% on hate propaganda.  Based on the percentage of times MPs voted in favour of legislation furthering equality for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, versus those that voted against. Absences are not included. The Bloc caucus ranked second of the four parties with elected MPs. 100% is a perfect score.[49]








           Purpose of Vote

Yes   No 

Yes  No  A

Yes  No  A 


Liberal Government motion to retain traditional marriage

  17    38

  5     13   2

  12   25    3  


Harper motion against Ontario Court ruling on same-sex marriage

 3    33

  0     12   2

  3   23    7  


B-250, Svend Robinson’s bill to add “sexual orientation’ to hate crimes list

  42      0

  14      0   0

  28    0    6


Liberal Government Bill C-38 Same-Sex Marriage

  60      6

  17     1    1

  43     5    6


Conservative Government motion to restore traditional marriage

  0    74

   0    28   1

  0   46    5     


When the NDP and Bloc votes are removed from the Canadian political puzzle, what remains is the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party and a few Independent MPs (see table below).  Had only these parties voted after 1999 the results would have been reversed in all cases.  Traditional marriage would have prevailed; the state’s tradtional heterosexist worldview undergriding the Consitution would have been preserved along with “tolerance” and “protection” of homosexual rights.  After all, in 1999, when the Chretien Government so strongly endorsed traditional marriage, Canada had the same Constitution and the same Charter of Rights and Freedoms referred to in the 2004-05 deliberations. 









           Purpose of Vote

Yes   No 

Yes   No   A

Yes    No    A

Yes  No A 


Liberal Government motion to retain traditional marriage

  199    17

  130   15   15

  65       2      6

  4      0     0


Harper motion against Ontario Court ruling on same-sex marriage

  129   102

  53    97  19

  73       4      1

  3     1     0


B-250, Svend Robinson’s bill to add “sexual orientation’ to hate crimes list

  99   110

  91    41  38

  7      69     2

  1     0      3


Liberal Government Bill C-38 Same-Sex Marriage

  98   127

  95    32    5

  3      93     3  

  0      2     2


Conservative Government motion to restore traditional marriage

  123   101

  12    88    3

  110    12     2

  1     1     0


Notwithstanding the option of civil unions, a path taken by most countries that have faced the same-sex marriage issue, the Liberal Party reversed its opinion in 2003 to one advocating the redefinition of marriage.  And in spite of the fact that the Supreme Court refused to declare the exclusive traditional definition of marriage unconstitutional in 2004, the Liberals launched their new position under the slogan: “It’s the Charter Stupid!”  Little wonder the Party became highly fractured by a string of policy positions fundamentally moving the Party in line with the NDP. 


EGALE gave the Liberal Party a “B” rating and Leader Paul Martin an “A” going into Election 2006.  The agency said:


Paul Martin provided effective leadership on equal marriage. His government introduced the equal marriage bill (Bill C-38) and he overcame Conservative delay tactics and threats from some in his own caucus to win its passage. Mr. Martin spoke eloquently about the need for the equal marriage bill in order to comply with the Charter.  Paul Martin’s government is generally supportive of advances in trans equality. His government also supports the National Day Against Homophobia.


Caucus Grade: 73% on equal marriage; 69% on hate propaganda.  Based on the percentage of times MPs voted in favour of legislation furthering equality for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, versus those that voted against. Absences are not included. The Liberal caucus ranked third of the four parties with elected MPs. 100% is a perfect score.  The Liberal caucus is divided on LGBT issues, with many strong supporters and quite a number of strong opponents.[50]


“Our lukewarm minister” and like-minded Christians in a quandary over who to vote for in Election 2006 (the Liberal Sponsorship Scandal notwithstanding), need to fully recognize the deceitful manipulations and misleading propaganda surrounding same-sex marriage issued by the Liberal Party leading up to and including the Election.  The following series of extracts from House of Commons debates reveals the Liberal reversal on the constitutionality of traditional marriage and flip-flop on the human rights claim to redefine marriage inclusive of homosexuals.  The following Hansard extracts also reveal the Liberal’s fallacious claim for the need to use the notwithstanding clause in order to prevent marriage redefinition.  The House of Commons references in total reveal a hidden and manipulative homosexist agenda by the Party.  Lastly, the extracts depict a Liberal Prime Minister bent on ignoring the democratic process in forcing same-sex marriage through Parliament.  In sum, the Liberal Party’s homosexist political agenda cannot be differentiated from that of the NDP in Election 2006, even though Egale gives the Liberal Party and its leader a lesser rating.


Motivated, in 1998, by concern that the Liberal Party had a secret agenda for enacting homosexual marriage, Mr. Tom Wappel (Scarborough Southwest, Liberal) moved that Bill C-225, an act to amend the Marriage (Prohibited Degrees) Act and the Interpretation Act, 1997, be read the second time and referred to a committee. He said:


“Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to ensure that a marriage is void unless it is a marriage between one unmarried man and one unmarried woman.”


One of the things that has been stated in a letter by both the previous and present justice ministers is the following: ‘The definition of marriage in federal law is not in a statute passed by Parliament, but is found in what is called the federal common law, dating from an 1866 British case of Hyde and Hyde v Woodmansee. This case has been applied consistently in Canada and states that no marriage can exist between two persons of the same sex, or between multiple wives or husbands. Thus, the definition of marriage is already clear in law in Canada as the union of two persons of the opposite sex.’  That is what the justice ministers have said in writing. What is important to note in this statement is that the definition of marriage is to be found in federal common law. Common law is, plain and simple, judge made law. Therefore, it can be changed at any time by judges. There is no statute to guide or restrain judges.



The Department of Justice has indicated in writing reasons why it does not support the bill. According to the Department of Justice one of the reasons is that it is clear in federal law what a marriage is. That is not an accurate statement of the law. Why do I say this? Because there are numerous continuing challenges in our courts to this definition, both by those who wish same sex unions to be recognized as marriages and those whose religious beliefs permit multiple wives or husbands.



One case will illustrate this point. The case is Layland and Beaulne v Ontario Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, Attorney General of Canada, et al. In this case, decided by three judges of Ontario in the divisional court, two male homosexuals sued to force the province of Ontario to issue them a licence to marry. If as the justice department states the definition of marriage is already clear in law, we would have expected a unanimous decision against the applicants. In fact, the decision was two to one. I will read some brief excerpts from the dissenting judgment: ‘I am of the view that restricting marriages to heterosexual couples infringes and violates the applicants' section 15(1) charter rights and that such violation cannot be justified under section 1 of the charter. I also agree with the position of the church that there is no common law prohibition against same sex marriages in Canada.’  In this case the church was the Metropolitan Community Church of Ottawa. She goes on: ‘In the opening paragraph of these reasons, I have noted that the common law must grow to meet society's expanding needs.... To say that the state must preserve only traditional heterosexual families is discriminatory and contrary to the equal benefits and guarantees they’—that is, homosexuals—‘are entitled to at law.... A rule with a discriminatory purpose may not be justified under section 1’—of the charter. ‘Further, I agree with counsel for the applicants that there is no rational connection between supporting heterosexual families and denying homosexuals the right to marry. It is illogical and has no beneficial impact on the goal. To deny them the right to marry is a complete denial of their relationship and a denial of their constitutional rights.’


If the law is clear as the justice minister and the justice department state that it is, then this judge should never have made these statements in a dissenting judgment. The fact is that in the next such application, the dissenting judge could find an ally and the decision could be two to one in the opposite direction. This is entirely possible and predictable since the current law is judge made common law. If the law is to be clear as the justice ministers would have us believe, it must be confirmed in statutory form so that a judge cannot draw the conclusions drawn by the dissenting judge in Leyland.[51]


Mr. Wappel went on to state:


Some speakers missed some of the points. For example, the hon. member for Burnaby—Douglas said that no one is shirking the debate. No one in here is shirking the debate because we are all here debating. However one of the stated reasons of the justice department for opposing the bill is that it risks opening further debate, particularly if referred to committee. The Department of Justice is shirking the debate, not members of parliament in the House of Commons. Some speakers want to redefine marriage. I remind members that the position of the federal government, the position of the Government of Canada, the position of the minister, is that the law I quoted at the beginning is the law of Canada. The Department of Justice will continue to defend that law. I am trying to put that in statutory form so that the judges of the country can see that the people of the country, as represented by their members of parliament, have spoken and give them guidance on the position of the government. Marriage is the voluntary union between one man and one woman who are not otherwise married. In fact that is what the majority of people believe a marriage should be. We are not talking about benefits. We are not talking about pensions. We are talking about the concept of marriage.[52]


In 1999, Lawyer, Justice Minister and Attorney General, Anne McClellan, said regarding a Government motion to retain traditional marriage:


We on this side agree that the institution of marriage is a central and important institution in the lives of many Canadians.  It plays an important part in all societies worldwide, second only to the fundamental importance of family to all of us…the definition of marriage is already clear in law…Let me state again for the record that the government has no intention of changing the definition of marriage or of legislating same-sex marriages.  No jurisdiction worldwide defines a legal marriage as existing between same-sex partners.[53]


The definition of marriage, which has been consistently applied in Canada, comes from an 1866 British case which holds that marriage is ‘the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.’ That case and that definition are considered clear law by ordinary Canadians, by academics and by the courts. The courts have upheld the constitutionality of that definition.


The Ontario court, general division, recently upheld in Layland and Beaulne the definition of marriage. In that decision a majority of the court stated the following:


- unions of persons of the same sex are not ‘marriages’, because of the definition of marriage. The applicants are, in effect, seeking to use s. 15 of the Charter to bring about a change in the definition of marriage. I do not think the Charter has that effect.


One may then ask why we are here today and why we are using the already limited time of the House to debate a motion, on which, I suspect, there will be no fundamental disagreement inside or outside the House.


I am aware, as are other ministers, that recent court decisions and resulting media coverage have raised concern around the issue of same sex partners. It appears that the hon. member believes that the motion is both necessary and effective as a means to keep the Government of Canada from suddenly legislating the legalization of same sex marriages. That kind of misunderstanding of the intention of the government should be corrected.


Let me state again for the record that the government has no intention of changing the definition of marriage or of legislating same sex marriages. No jurisdiction worldwide defines a legal marriage as existing between same sex partners. Even those few European countries such as Denmark, Norway and Holland, which have recently passed legislation giving recognition to same sex relationships and extending some of the same benefits and responsibilities as available to married spouses, maintain a clear distinction in the law between marriage and same sex registered partnerships.


Norway's ministry published a statement in 1994 that makes this distinction clear. Although a same sex relationship may have many of the same needs, the Norwegian government clarified that it, the same sex partnership, can —never be the same as marriage, neither socially nor from a religious point of view. (Registered partnership) does not replace or compete with heterosexual marriage—(and the) opportunity for homosexuals to register their partnerships will not lead to more people opting for homosexual relationships rather than marriage.


I fundamentally do not believe that it is necessary to change the definition of marriage in order to accommodate the equality issues around same sex partners which now face us as Canadians. The courts have ruled that some recognition must be given to the realities of unmarried cohabitation in terms of both opposite sex and same sex partners.


I strongly believe that the message to the government and to all Canadian governments from the Canadian public is a message of tolerance, fairness and respect for others.[54]


And three years later (November 2002), Justice Minister Martin Cauchon, under Prime Minister Paul Martin, outlined civil unions as a constitutionally sound alternative to the marriage issue.  In his department’s discussion paper titled “Marriage and Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Unions” under the sub-title “Marriage could remain an opposite-sex institution.  What would this be like?” the Department wrote:


If Parliament chooses to keep marriage, as it is, that is the ‘union of one man and one woman,’ this opposite-sex meaning could be set out explicitly in a new federal law.  In that case, this would be a clear expression of what Parliament believes marriage is, but would not address the equality concerns of same-sex couples.


If Parliament wished to also address some of the equality concerns, it would enact a new federal statute creating a new registry that would be deemed equivalent to marriage for the purposes of federal laws and programs.  This new civil union or domestic partner registry would either be open only to same-sex couples and to opposite-sex couples who choose not to marry.  The federal statute creating this new registry could include a provision stating that marriage is an opposite-sex institution. [55]


The Justice Department discussion paper went as far to characterize, “What are others doing?”

Canada is not the first country in the world to address whether and how to legally recognize same-sex unions.  Indeed, Canada is coming to the debate later than many countries.  Several countries have debated this issue for many years and have come up with a variety of approaches, ranging from same-sex marriage in the Netherlands to the legal recognition of domestic partners, registered partnerships and civil unions in Scandinavia, parts of Europe and parts of the United States.  Although some of these approaches appear to be similar, each is quite different, as it has been created to fit the particular society and to comply with the specific constitutional and legal structures in each country.  Most countries have decided to retain marriage as an opposite-sex institution, and none has decided to leave marriage exclusively to religion and stop recognizing it in law.[56]


Justice Minister Cauchon was well aware of the importance of the same-sex marriage decision and the viable options.  He wrote in the “The Message from the Minister” in the 2002 Justice Department discussion paper:

Marriage has been widely debated in recent years.  Perhaps no single issue touches more people…But marriage is not just about law.  Challenges to the opposite-sex meaning of marriage bring a new focus to the continuing debate about the future of marriage in Canada…People in Canada and their representatives must now decide whether marriage should remain an opposite-sex institution, perhaps along with the creation of a new registry for civil unions that would be deemed equivalent to marriage for the purposes of federal law and programs, or be changed to include same-sex couples or cease to be reflected in law.[57]


So what happened to these Liberal promises to protect traditional marriage and consider compromise alternative solutions?  Mr. Russ Hiebert (South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, CPC) summarized the Progressive Conservative perspective on the Liberal’s flip-flop to the House:


No one would debate that the Supreme Court of Canada has set itself up as the defender of minority rights in this country. If this issue was really a question about the fundamental human rights, as the Prime Minister claims, then why did the high court not say so.  The government asked the high court a direct question: Is there a constitutional requirement to redefine marriage? The court refused to answer. It said that it was merely a political question for Parliament to decide.  Why is this government pursuing this? Let us take a look at the history of this issue. In the House of Commons and in the courts the government took the public position until June 2003 that marriage was the union of one man and one woman. Suddenly, just days after the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that marriage should be redefined to include any two persons, the government reversed course 180 degrees. It completely flip-flopped on this all-important issue.


What happened? Did the government have a remarkable conversion experience? Did it have a revelation of a brand new human right than on other national or international court of justice or even the UN commission on human rights has ever recognized? What changed in the course of literally a few days to suddenly convince the Liberal government of this new right?  Is there another explanation? Did the government decide long before this issue ever made it to the courts to pursue the redefinition of marriage in law? Did the government in fact have a hidden agenda all along, a hidden agenda that was first exposed publicly in June 2003, a hidden agenda that had to remain hidden for years because too many Liberal MPs in the backbenches would not tolerate it without the courts taking the lead.


There is evidence to support this proposition. First, the federal government has given same sex marriage advocates, Egale, hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years to support their litigation.  Second, the Liberals have given millions more to the court challenges program which has funded numerous other intervenors in these court cases. The court challenges program even funded the litigation strategy meetings that led to marriage being challenged in the courts in the first place.  Third, there is the extremely tight relationship between Egale and past and present prime ministers and justice ministers. According to a National Post editorial of March 1, 2000, the former justice minister, now Deputy Prime Minister,[Anne McLellan] ‘Already agreed with Egale to consult them before deciding whether or not to seek leave to appeal. Egale simply told the minister what to do and she did it. Her secretive collusion with Egale, with whom she pretends to have an adversarial relationship in court, raises more than political questions. It raises questions of ministerial ethics as well.’ There are no legal reasons for redefining marriage but are there even legitimate political reasons for doing so?[58]


Only a few weeks earlier, Mr. Pat O'Brien (London—Fanshawe, Liberal) also criticized the Liberals for the flip-flop:


Madam Speaker, I want to be very clear that absolutely no one in my party sought to vet my speech in any way. What I say today are my own words and I will stand by them.


This debate is truly an historic occasion for what is at stake is the future of the most vital institution in our nation, marriage and the family. Bill C-38, if enacted, will change the definition of marriage in Canada to include same sex couples. The bill states, ‘Marriage, for civil purposes, is the lawful union of two persons to the exclusion of all others.’


This proposed definition is one that both I and my wife Evelyn, and millions of other Canadians find unnecessary, illogical and morally offensive. Opponents include members of every political party and no political party, of every faith and of no particular faith. Same sex marriage is an oxymoron because it denies the heterosexual prerequisite of true marriage. It is a real threat to marriage and the family which is the basic foundation of all human societies.


Mr. Justice Gonthier in the December 19, 2002, Supreme Court of Canada decision of Nova Scotia v. Walsh states:


Marriage and the family existed long before any legislature decided to regulate them. For centuries they have been central to society, contributing to its social cohesion and fundamental structure...Marriage and the family promote the psychological, social and economic well-being of all members of the family unit...The fundamental nature of marriage inheres in, among other things, its central role in human procreation...Marriage and family life are not inventions of the legislature; rather, the legislature is merely recognizing their social importance.


Rather than attacking marriage in a misguided effort to treat same sex couples fairly, our courts and our governments should be protecting the institution of marriage and defending the traditional definition.


In October 2001, in a decision which upheld the opposite sex requirement of marriage, Mr. Justice Pitfield of the supreme court of British Columbia emphasized the fundamental role of marriage when he stated: ‘The state has a demonstrably genuine justification in affording recognition, preference, and precedence to the nature and character of the core social and legal arrangement by which society endures...The gain to society...of the deep-rooted and fundamental legal institution of opposite-sex marriage outweighs the detrimental effect of the law on the petitioners.’


In other words, traditional marriage is a unique and vital relationship on which the future of humanity depends. As such, it does not offend the Charter to treat this special relationship in a preferential manner. True marriage results in the unifying act of sexual intercourse and is reproductive in type.


Robert P. George addresses this point in his article ‘Same Sex Marriage and Moral Neutrality.’ He states: ‘What most of the proponents of same-sex marriage fail to realize is that the unity of spouses is distinct from any other kind of unity. What makes it distinct is the reproductive-type act, whereby a man and a woman become a single reproductive principle. This distinction makes marriage intrinsically ordered to the good of procreation as well to the good of spousal unity, and these goods are tightly bound together.’


Repeatedly one hears that same sex marriage is a matter of human rights or minority rights and that to prohibit same sex relationships from being called marriage is unfairly discriminatory under our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. A plethora of public opinion polls shows that Canadians are divided on this point about evenly. Expert opinion is certainly divided even in the legal community.


As others have noted, those who claim same sex marriage is a human right cannot point to a single ruling by any national or international court, including the United Nations, or indeed by a human rights tribunal to support those arguments. Some people have even tried to draw an analogy between the women's rights and the black civil rights movements with the demand for same sex marriage. This analogy is utterly false. However well-intentioned its proponents, only by a misreading of history and the use of specious logic can one possibly arrive at such patently false conclusions.


Millions of Canadian women and many black persons, including personal friends of mine, feel insulted by this false analogy. To equate their legitimate demands for equal and just treatment consistent with natural moral law with the illegitimate demands for same sex marriage in contravention of natural moral law is illogical. It is equally illogical to argue that the natural extension of protecting individual rights of gays, which I and most Canadians support, is that two gays in a sexual relationship somehow have the right to co-op the term marriage to describe their relationship. The Charter does not speak to group rights, even a group of two people. Rather, it speaks solely and exclusively to individual rights.


It should be noted that some gays and lesbians are most eloquent and persuasive opponents of same sex marriage. Consider the words of John McKellar, Executive Director of HOPE, Homosexuals Opposed to Pride Extremism, who has stated: ‘..[it is] selfish and rude for the gay community to push same sex marriage legislation and redefine society's traditions and conventions for our own self-indulgence. Federal and provincial laws are being changed and the traditional values are being compromised just to appease a tiny, self-anointed clique...’


I certainly agree with Mr. McKellar and with Bishop Ronald Fabbro of the Roman Catholic Diocese of London, who states:  ‘…the issue is one of the common good of society, rather than one of individual rights. We have seen, in the last few decades, factors that have led to the devaluing of marriage, such as the increase in common-law unions and more lax divorce laws. Our concern is that this change in the definition will further devalue marriage.’


The proponents of same sex marriage argue that no harm will be done to marriage and society if marriage is reconstructed to include same sex relationships. They note that gays and lesbians are being married in much of Canada currently and the sky has not fallen. Such facile and simplistic arguments totally ignore considerable expert advice which warns about the future long term erosion of marriage and the family if we surrender to the same sex lobby.  [See also Dutch Decline: Losing Interest in Matrimony]


Lesbian theorist Ladelle McWhorte argues that if gay people are: ‘...allowed to participate as gay people in communities and institutions [heterosexuals] claim as theirs, our presence will change those institutions and practices enough to undermine their preferred version of heterosexuality and, in turn, they themselves will not be the same.’


Yale University's expert legal theorist William Eskridge, an openly gay man, candidly concedes that: ‘Gay experience with families we choose delinks family from gender, blood, and kinship. Gay families of choice are relatively ungendered, raise children that are biologically unrelated to one or both parents, and often form no more than a shadowy connection between the larger kinship groups.’


McGill University Professor Daniel Cere argues that the recent judgments in favour of same sex marriage are based on a vision which would disconnect children from their natural parent and that parenthood is reduced to nothing more than a functional activity separate from procreation.


If Bill C-38 becomes law, I sincerely hope these experts are wrong. However, the unmistakeable lesson of history is that they are right.


The legislation reconfirms the existing guarantee of religious freedom by which religious officials cannot be made to officiate at wedding ceremonies in contravention of their religious beliefs. So far, and with good reason, religious authorities in Canada do not feel very reassured on this point. It is easily predictable that this so-called guarantee will be challenged by gay and lesbian activists in a variety of ways. Given the track record of our Canadian courts, whenever religious freedom has clashed with supposed gay rights, it is all too obvious that religious leaders should be very concerned.


Religious leaders and Canadians who embrace religious values not only have the right but the duty to speak out in this debate. This is our country too, and we have every right to oppose this most serious threat to the cornerstone of our society: marriage and the family. The argument that we must be silent as per some erroneous and nebulous notion of the separation of church and state displays an incredible ignorance of Canadian history and the very founding of this nation in 1867.


In light of the inexorable judicial activism we have witnessed in the post-charter years, it seems clear to me that ultimately there is only one way to preserve the traditional definition of marriage: the use of the notwithstanding clause. The Leader of the Opposition argues that there is a way to preserve the traditional definition of marriage, short of using the notwithstanding clause. I will not repeat his arguments, but if his opinion proves to be legally correct, I will gladly support such a course of action. Millions of other Canadians would surely agree as well. For me, the use of the clause should be a last resort on vital issues and if it proves to be the only option, I support using it.


The Prime Minister argues that the use of the notwithstanding clause in this case would imperil the rights of all minorities who, in future, could find themselves threatened by the use of the clause to deny them their rights. Again, this argument equates the illegitimate demand for same sex marriage to the legitimate demand of other minorities for equal rights. With all due respect to the Prime Minister, it is illogical, hyperbolic and rather less than convincing to millions of Canadians, including legal experts.


May I remind those critics who vilify this clause, that it is section 33 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Indeed, it can be argued that without this clause, the Charter would never have been agreed to by the political leaders of Canada in 1981. Therefore, should there prove to be no other option, I call again on the Prime Minister to invoke this clause and defend the only logical and valid definition of marriage, the traditional definition.


The Prime Minister further has stated that we cannot return to the past, that is, retain the traditional definition of marriage ‘with a simple snap of the fingers’. Recall that incredibly it was a simple snap of the legal fingers of three judges in Ontario that instantly redefined marriage in June 2003. This shockingly arrogant ruling is an insult to the people and Parliament of Canada. At that time, as I served on the Justice Committee, I called for the ruling to be appealed by the federal government. The failure to do so is clearly the reason that the Supreme Court refused to address itself to the constitutionality of the traditional definition of marriage, which was question four in the reference to the court. Surely that time, when the Justice Committee hearings were reduced to a pathetic farce, should be recorded as one of the most disgraceful and duplicitous moments in the history of our parliamentary deliberations as a nation. It was also the quintessence of judicial activism at its worst.


I further call again on the Prime Minister to extend to all Liberal members of Parliament, including cabinet ministers, a free vote of conscience. This is no mundane piece of legislation. It is one of the most important decisions any Canadian Parliament has made or will make.[59]


On June 6, Liberal MP Pat O'Brien announced his departure from the Liberal party to sit as an Independent because he did not like how the Party was handling hearings on the same-sex marriage legislation.  He said at the time:


I've taken the only course of action I can take and still feel good about myself.  I had assurances it would be meaningful and fair from the prime minister. That's not what's happening, in my judgment.[60]


O'Brien also said he could not accept the rush by the Liberal government to redefine marriage. 


Once again, the Christian reader needs to challenge voting positions that essentially refute, ignore, or otherwise diminish the importance of the arguments put forward by Parliamentarians like Tom Wappel and Pat O’Brien.  To declare as “our lukewarm minister” did on the eve of Election 2006 - that he has no idea who he should vote for - is an astoundingly ill informed and weak Christian witness.  The reality of the Gomery Commission findings of criminal corruption in the Liberal Party (Gomery investigated the so-called “Sponsorship Scandal”) and the Commission’s declaration of a "culture of entitlement" existing within the Liberal Government, serves as “icing” on top of an all together toxic “cake” (for Christian voters) that the Liberal Party had baked going into Election 2006.  


Moving on to the political Right, there are inherent reasons for the usual labeling of evangelicals and fundamentalist Christians as members of the “religious Right.”  If you recognize that the traditional worldview behind the constitution and most institutions of governance within Canada is Christian, and that the liberalization of societal values over the recent decades has been at the cost of Christian values – i.e. a zero-sum dynamic, then it is not difficult to recognize the natural linkage in mindset between small “c” conservatives and orthodox Christians.  Equally obvious, we should not expect EGALE or other liberal activist agencies to ever be endorsing parties or policies of the political Right.  Indeed, EGALE gave both the Conservative Party and its Leader Steven Harper an “F” rating during Election 2006.  The agency said:


While Mr. Harper has long opposed advances in equality, for the first time ever he is seeking to take away equality rights. On the first day of the election campaign Stephen Harper told reporters that if he becomes Prime Minister he will re-open the issue in Parliament, with the goal of introducing legislation defining marriage as a man and a woman. He maintains that he can do this without using the notwithstanding clause, despite the consensus of legal experts who say he is not being honest with Canadians.


Caucus Grade on LGBT issues: 3% on equal marriage; 3% on hate propaganda.  Based on the percentage of times MPs voted in favour of legislation furthering equality for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, versus those that voted against. Absences are not included. The Conservative caucus ranked last of the four parties with elected MPs. 100% is a perfect score.[61]


In concluding this Left, Centre and Right political analysis, the testimony of the Honorable Ms. Rona Ambrose (Edmonton—Spruce Grove, CPC) will be used to encapsulate the policies of the Right regarding same-sex marriage. 


She said before the House in 2005:


Marriage cases ruling in favour of same sex marriage began in 2002. In 2002, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled that defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman represented a charter infringement. La Cour supérieure du Québec also ruled that the characterization of marriage as a heterosexual institution represented a violation of charter equality rights.   In 2003, the British Columbia Court of Appeal reversed a lower court judgment that upheld the common law bar to same sex marriage.  On September 16, 2003, an opposition motion expressing Parliament's support for the traditional definition of marriage was defeated in the House of Commons by a vote of 137 to 132. It was only four years earlier, in June 1999, however, that the exact same motion passed, with large support from many Liberals for the traditional definition of marriage.  In January 2004 the government referred an additional question to the Supreme Court. Question 4 asked the following: Is the opposite-sex requirement for marriage for civil purposes, as established by the common law and set out for Quebec in section 5 of the Federal Law-Civil Law Harmonization Act, No. 1, consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?


The fourth question was an important question. The Prime Minister had hoped that the Supreme Court would return with the imperative that Parliament must pass a law sanctioning marriage for homosexual couples. However, the Supreme Court did not do that and mandated Parliament to examine, debate and potentially legislate on this issue.   In its decision released on December 9, 2004, the Supreme Court said that the federal government has the jurisdiction to redefine marriage to include same sex couples.  It also said that churches are protected under the Charter of Rights in maintaining the traditional definition of marriage, but that legislation that would specifically protect religious organizations is beyond the constitutional power of the federal government.  What this means is that the federal government determines the definition of marriage but the provinces determine how a couple can marry.


The court did not answer the question of whether the traditional definition of marriage in the common law violates the Charter of Rights. Instead of declaring the traditional definition of marriage unconstitutional, the court has made it clear that it is Parliament that must define the word marriage. Importantly, the majority of people who oppose this legislation favour the insurance and the protection of equal rights for homosexual couples and they favour formal state recognition of committed homosexual relationships.


So at some point we have to ask ourselves why the government is not following the lead of most Canadians and searching for a middle ground that will protect the rights of all Canadians equally, recognize homosexual unions and respect tradition at the same point. The government, after all, likes to talk about Canada's ability to broker resolutions. It likes to talk about Canadians as being the sort of people who search for compromise and search for the middle position.  Canadians have done that. The Leader of the Opposition has done that. The government, on the other hand, has labelled these Canadians intolerant and bigoted. This language is unhelpful, and the government is fighting the national consensus on this issue.  The government has refused to look beyond its own vision on this issue. It has refused to seek the middle ground, and in doing so, it has refused to take seriously the considerations and views of Canadians.


The Leader of the Opposition is the only leader in the House who has discussed the matter with Canadians and has searched for a compromise in order to give all Canadians a voice.  In December, the Leader of the Opposition announced three proposals for effectively considering the marriage question. These are as follows. The first proposal would retain the traditional definition of marriage. The second proposal would ensure that same sex couples are afforded equal spousal benefits. The third proposal would include substantive provisions in the legislation to protect not only religious organizations but also to protect public officials who have objections due to reasons of religion or conscience.   With regard to the first proposal, I am proud to be voting the wishes of my constituents, one of which is to support and maintain the traditional definition of marriage. I am also proud to be able to vote in favour of providing equal rights to gay and lesbian couples, something my constituents have also been clear in their support for.


My constituents reflect the majority of Canadians who believe in a balanced approach: legislation which accords equal benefits and status to same sex couples in a recognized union, with an understanding that to do this we do not need to change the definition of marriage.  There is no need or imperative to reject the middle ground put forward by the Leader of the Opposition. I support the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Supreme Court has not said that we must change the definition of marriage. The Supreme Court has not said that the traditional definition of marriage is in violation of the charter. The Supreme Court has not said that recognition of same sex marriage as a union is in violation of the charter. The Supreme Court has said none of this despite the arguments put forward by the government.


With regard to the third proposal, by protecting the rights of religious institutions Parliament can support the rights of churches, mosques, synagogues and temples to recognize, perform and solemnize marriages on their own terms. Parliament can ensure that churches have the right to privately and publicly preach their beliefs related to marriage. Parliament can ensure that justices of the peace and civil marriage commissioners are not forced to solemnize marriages against their own consciences. Parliament can also preserve the charitable and economic benefits that churches enjoy as public institutions and recognize the right of public officials to act in accordance with their own beliefs.


I know that these proposals will not make everybody happy. Some will want a strong endorsement of gay and lesbian marriage. Others will want a vote that recognizes traditional marriages only and with no recognition of gay and lesbian relationships whatsoever. Each of these positions is born of strong convictions, making compromise the only tenable position that we can take.  The need for a compromise stems from the need to reconcile the interests of societal beliefs, law and tradition in a manner that all the majority of Canadians would recognize as just. This should be Parliament's goal.


The position taken by the Leader of the Opposition is the compromise position. It is the moderate position and it accords with the general thoughts and beliefs of the majority of Canadians. While there are Canadians on both sides of this issue, we live in a society that prides itself on the ability to compromise and find solutions, which take the concerns and positions of everyone into account. That is what we are attempting to do by putting forward a compromise position.


Some across the way would charge that if we do not change the definition of marriage we will in fact be denying rights to homosexual Canadians. Several European countries have shown that this is not the case. A quick survey of countries in Europe shows that while the Netherlands and Belgium have adopted same sex marriage legislation, registered domestic partnerships are available in Sweden, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland and parts of Italy. Civil pacts are available in France. Finally, the Czech Republic, Portugal and Switzerland are considering introducing legislation to provide protections, rights and benefits to gay and lesbian individuals in committed relationships…During this debate the Liberals have attempted to hide their politics by invoking the language of rights and accusing our party of not believing in rights. This could not be further from the truth. The Conservative Party has approached this issue as one where a reasonable compromise can be found. We have spoken honestly with Canadians and it is my hope that the House follows our lead.[62]


With the party platforms so well defined, it is incredibly disconcerting to realize that a “senior” evangelical minister finds himself in a quandary over who to vote for in Election 2006 and that he would pass this doubt onto his denomination five days before the election:


I want to assure you of three things.  First of all, I don’t know how I am going to vote and secondly, if I did, it would not be appropriate to share that information…it’s why we have secret ballots.  Thirdly, we don’t tell people how to vote [in our denomination].  It would be impractical, unthinkable and unbiblical to do so. [my underline] 


The results of Election 2006 are history.  A new Conservative government ended 14 years of Liberal rule; however, minority status meant the government could not reverse the same-sex marriage decision.  Some may rest content believing that Canada’s adoption of a homosexist worldview was inevitable in a post-modern secular humanist state.  Some may rest content believing homosexism to be God’s will.  Authentic Christians, on the other hand, need to reflect on the voting criteria adopted in Election 2006.  Given the spiritual and moral issues at play and the fact that some 76 percent of Canadians declare Christianity to be their religion, the failure in 2006 to reverse the redefinition of marriage needs to be recognized as a colossal failure among Christians to take a crucial stand for Christ at a pivotal point in Canadian politics.


Copyright © 2008 StandForGod.Org


[1] Peter Kreeft, Christianity for Modern Pagans (San Francisco, Ignatius Press, 1993), p188.

[2] Ibid., p.227.


[4] Karen Kawawada, “Same-sex debate 'not dead',” Record, December 9, 2005,, 30/03/08.

[5] ”Experts say Harper's strategy won't work,” The Leader-Post (Regina), Dec 17 2005, pg. D11!OpenDocument. The poll is considered accurate to within 2.2 percentage points plus or minus, 19 times in 20.

[6] Stand Up For Canada, Conservative Party of Canada Election Platform, 2006.

[11] Campaign Life Coalition,, 14/12/2007.

[12] Hansard, December 7, 2006.

[13] EGALE, “Election 2006: Grading the Parties and Their Leaders,”, 17/12/2007.

[14] “In its struggle to achieve equality for each and every member, CUPE is committed to fighting injustice in all its forms. The National Pink Triangle Committee is another step toward that goal,”, 18/12/2007.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Rod Dreher, “On Tiptoe Through the Tulips,” In the Issue, National Review, July 29, 2002,, 07/04/08.

[18] HOW HOLLAND DID IT:Discussion And Visibility Is Key In Ending Marriage Discrimination, Netherlands Expert Dr. Kees Waaldijk Shares Insights, 2002,,  07/04/08.

[20] Juliane von Reppert-Bismarck, “Belgium: No waffling on gay marriage,” Dow Jones Newswires, September 6, 2005,, 30/03/08.  See also Barry James, “As Dioxin Fears Grow, Pig Killing Is Banned : EU Orders Destruction Of All Belgian Poultry,” International Herald Tribune, June 3, 1999,, 11/01/2008.

[21] David Paternotte, “Same-sex couples, civil marriage and the socialists in Belgium,” FNRS/Université libre de Bruxelles, undated,, 11/01/2008.

[22] Jennifer Green, “Spain Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage: Prime Minister Makes Unexpected Speech Backing Law Termed 'Unjust' by Church,” The Washington Post, July 1, 2005, p. A14,

[23] ANC Document Number 16, “International Relations,” August 2002,, 05/04/08.

[24] Michael Sachs, “The Seattle Movement in Johannesburg,’  Number 15,

[25] Human Rights Watch, “II. THE SPREAD OF HOMOPHOBIC RHETORIC IN SOUTHERN AFRICA,” 2003,, 06/04/08.

[26] ANC Whip, “Civil Unions Bill,” September 22, 2006, p.2,, 05/04/08.

[27] Newscenter Staff, “Vote Assures South Africa Gay Marriage Bill's Success,” October 9, 2006,, 05/04/08.

[28] IRIN, “SOUTH AFRICA: Same-sex marriage bill divides opinion,” November 16, 2006,, 05/04/08.

[29] Human Rights Watch, “II. THE SPREAD OF HOMOPHOBIC RHETORIC IN SOUTHERN AFRICA,” 2003,, 06/04/08.  See Sachs J, Concurring Opinion, National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality et. al. v Minister of Justice et. al., Constitutional Court of South Africa, Case CCT 11/98, at 134-137.

[30] Larry Kramer, Reports from the holocaust: the story of an AIDS activist (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994), p.xxvii.

[31] David Black, The Plague Years: A Chronicle of AIDS the Epidemic of Our Times ( New York: Simon and Schuster, 1985), p.182.

[32] Peter Hammond, “Protesting Perversion at Parliament,’ Christian Action,, 05/04/08.

[33] Ibid.

[34]  “SA legalizes gay marriage,”  December 1, 2006, 05/04/08.

[35] Sharon LaFraniere, “South African Parliament Approves Same-Sex Marriages,” New York Times, November 15, 2006,, 05/04/08.

[36] Ibid.

[37] Ibid.

[38] Mail & Guardian Online, “Same-sex Bill gets Parliament go-ahead,” November 14, 2006,, 05/04/08.

[39] Ibid.

[40] Ibid.

[41] Ibid.

[42] Ibid.

[44]Joanne Deer, NDP Director of Communications, “NDP Marks 40 Years of Struggle for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Transgender Rights,”,  02/07/08.

[45] Ibid.

[46] Hilary White, “So Much for 10% Gay: New Statistics Show Homosexual Couples Represent only 0.6% of All Couples in Canada,” LifeSite, September 12, 2007,, 18/12/2007.  Note that there have been 12,438 homosexual marriages to October 2006, according to Wikipedia. 

[47] Malcolm Thornberry, “Netherlands' Gay Marriages Level Off,” European Bureau Chief,, March 20, 2006,, 10/01/2008.

[48] David Akin, “Duceppe loses an MP over same-sex marriage,” CTV.CA News, 12 April 2007,, 14/12/2007.

[49] EGALE, “Election 2006: Grading the Parties and Their Leaders,”, 17/12/2007.

[50] EGALE, “Election 2006: Grading the Parties and Their Leaders,”, 17/12/2007.

[52] Ibid.

[54] Hon. Anne McLellan (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada), edited Hansard, Number 20, Tuesday, June 8, 1999,, 26/12/2007.

[55] Department of Justice, “Marriage and Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Unions: A Discussion Paper, November 2002, p.22.

[56] Ibid., p.15.

[57] Ibid. Message From the Minister.

[58] Hansard, Number 074, 1st Session, 38thParliament, Thursday, March 24, 2005,, 28/12/2007.

[59] Hansard, Volume 140, Number 061, 1st Session,  38th Parliament, Monday, February 21, 2005,, 27/12/2007.

[60] CBC News, Ontario MP to Sit as Independent,, 04/07/08.

[61] EGALE, “Election 2006: Grading the Parties and Their Leaders,”, 17/12/2007.

[62] Hansard, Volume 140, Number 061, 1st Session,  38th Parliament, Monday, February 21, 2005,, 27/12/2007.