"He is going to vote with the government and that's the message he will take to the religious leaders," a senior government source said Wednesday."
John Efford, Minister Natural Resources will vote for same-sex marriage when the bill is introduced in February. Efford made his decision this week according to Canadian Press. Efford has not confirmed this personally. It was leaked through a high level government source.
Efford will meet with church leaders in Newfoundland and Labrador next week to discuss his decision. The decision to support the Government's bill was not a choice if Efford wanted to remain as a cabinet minister.
With Efford now onside the chane of a cabinet revolt has been deminished. Cabinet solidarity is a key underpinning of Canada's parliamentary system and any minister who openly defies the government runs the risk of being expelled.
Late Wednesday Efford said as he rushed by reporters, "The story's been taken, twisted around and it's not going to be twisted anymore until I meet with the church leaders," he said. "That will be next Tuesday."
Canada's Supreme Court last week declared that there were no reasons same sex marriages could not be allowed by an act of Parliament. The court also clearly stated that religions could not be compelled to perform same-sex marriages.
Efford's decision to support the bill is a major blow to the those opposed to same-sex weddings. Pressure will be directed at other cabinet ministers to break ranks. That's not likely to happen. Should the Prime Minister get wind of someone about to do so, a cabinet shuffle would occur and the offender tossed.
The law if passed by Parliament next February, will have little effect in Canadian jurisdictions that already have gay marriage. Parliament will not be able to change that.
The current battle is taking place in Newfoundland and Labrador's High Court. See these links: Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland mayors to defy law - City won't officiate at gay marriages
Canada's Conservatives move to prevent Gay Marriage
Supreme Court Upholds Equal Marriage Legislation