Paul Martin will not accept anything less than a yes vote from his Cabinet ministers next month when his government introduces same-sex marriage legislation.
Critics of the Government say he should let Ministers vote their conscience on the matter. They cite a decision by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney to allow his cabinet Ministers to vote for or against capital punishment in 1987.
Paul Martin has made it clear, rights issues will not be subject to the "notwithstanding clause" of the Charter of Rights and freedoms. It is his government that is proposing the legislation and as such Ministers will abide by it or quit.I support Paul Martin on this stand.
Critics will say it should be a free vote as it is a personal and moral issue. On the moral issue I agree that is what this is. You don't in a secular society put moral issues to a free vote.
This one issue that Martin has stood firm on since the Supreme Court made its opinion known on December 9, 2004. Quite frankly, 88% of Canada's population already has access to same-sex marriage. A new law, whether it passes or fails will not change that.
The law is intended to make Canadians equal from coast to coast to coast and vote denying people the right to marry in Alberta or anywhere else in our country is unacceptable to Canadians. A failure of the legislation to pass will ensure court challenges in the remaining jurisdictions that currently refuse to provide for same-sex marriage.
This will not only prolong an overt attempt by some to deny rights available else where in our country, but will cost thousands of dollars in court costs to arrive at a court decision that has been made eight time already in our country. The opponents to the legislation have wrapped a coat of many excuses around their bigotry and intolerance.
Same-sex marriage in Canada will hurt absolutely no one. Further, same-sex marriage will end discrimination against a group of people the Charter of Rights and Freedoms has said are protected by the charter.
Conservative MP's hoping to one day to sit on the government side of the house will need to consider weather they will ever have a chance too if they vote against this legislation. Canadians will be asking themselves, if these guys will vote against basic human rights for one group, what would they do if they were ever elected to government.
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