Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 10, 2003
Interfaith group against same-sex marriage
By ART BABYCH
Canadian Catholic News
Equality for gays and lesbians can be achieved through legal institutions other than marriage, an interfaith coalition has told the Ontario Court of Appeal.
The Interfaith Coalition on Marriage and Family, which includes Catholics, added in a "factum" (legal arguments) that it's up to Parliament - not the court - to define marriage.
The group, which also includes evangelical Protestant Christians, Muslims and Sikhs, stated that "across all religions and cultures in Canada and worldwide, marriage is understood as being between a man and a woman."
The coalition's intervention in the appeal of a ruling last year by the Ontario Divisional Court was announced Jan. 30. The divisional court said last July that the definition of marriage as "the lawful and voluntary union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others" goes against the Constitution and is invalid. It gave Parliament two years to legislate on the issue.
The interfaith coalition also said in its submission that marriage has deep religious significance and that "The Ontario Divisional Court erred by not properly considering the conflict between freedom of religion and the rights to equality of gays and lesbians."
Marriage is not a "legal construct," said the group. "It is a pre-existing societal and, primarily, religious institution which has existed for millennia and has been recognized by legislation only recently."
The Catholic Church believes that marriage can only be between a man and a woman and that "God himself is the author of marriage."