poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Commitment to Charter means no free vote
Gay marriage is not subjected to tyranny of majority
"We have got to ensure that minority rights are protected when challenged by the majority. The only way you can do this is to have a Charter of Rights which is ultimately interpreted by the Supreme Court of Canada."
Paul Martin, Press Conference, Ottawa, June 7, 2004

Less than two weeks ago, as the Canadian federal election campaign got underway, we commented on how same-sex marriage seemed to be on honeymoon for the election: few candidates seemed to be talking about the issue. The honeymoon is over.

Gay marriage is back. It only took a few questions on social issues before the alarms were raised over Stephen Harper's social agenda. His Conservative Party was unmasked as the same alliance of extremists that the rebranded party was meant to conceal.

Marriage equality was pushed to the forefront in the election thanks, in part, to another hot-button issue: abortion. Harper's disregard for rights and protections was high-lighted on June 3 when he said he would allow free parliamentary votes on abortion and same-sex marriage. Harper has said (The Toronto Star, June 20, 2003) he would invoke the notwithstanding clause of the Charter to strip gays and lesbians of full constitutional protections in order to maintain marriage discrimination.


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