Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 14, 2003
No to gay, lesbian marriages, says CWL
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
Marriage is a Christian sacrament between a man and a woman and should not be extended to homosexuals, leaders of Canada's largest women's group told a federal committee.
Marie Cameron, national president of the 102,000-member Catholic Women's League, and Agnes Bedard, the CWL's national president-elect, urged MPs to reject calls to allow marriages between gays or lesbians.
"The Catholic Women's League of Canada believes that the role of marriage is to become a starting point of the family, the stable environment for the procreation of children and the development of a secure society," the women told a federal committee at Hotel MacDonald April 2.
"The league stands firm in its commitment to the bond of matrimony between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others."
Cameron and Bedard were speaking to the committee on justice and human rights at a hearing in Edmonton. The committee is travelling across Canada to get views on allowing same-sex marriage.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops presented its brief to the committee Feb. 13, saying that allowing same-sex partners to marry would change the definition of marriage so that it would no longer be marriage "because by definition marriage is a union between a man and a woman."
While the CWL opposes same-sex marriages, it nevertheless supports entrenching the rights of same-sex couples and other common law relationships.
At the hearing, Cameron and Bedard suggested the federal government establishes a legal process for recognizing same-sex unions that outlines their entitlements, benefits and responsibilities.
"Contracts can be made, unions can be formed, but the term, ceremony and tradition of marriage should never be extended beyond that of being a commitment between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others," the women told the federal committee.
"We strongly urge you to maintain that distinction of marriage."