Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of September 1, 2003
Thousands rally against same-sex marriages
By ART BABYCH
Canadian Catholic News
Thousands of supporters of traditional marriage, including religious leaders, turned out for the National Marriage Day rally in Ottawa Aug. 22 as a handful of people favouring same-sex marriage looked on.
"We have one message here today and that is 'Don't mess with the definition of marriage,'" said organizer Tim Dooling, prompting the crowd - estimated by senior police officers at between 8,000-10,000 people - to cheer loudly.
More than a dozen speakers from religious, political and family-values organizations encouraged the members of the crowd to continue the fight against the legalization of same-sex marriage in Canada.
Several Catholic dioceses across Canada lent moral support to the event.
Derek Rogusky, senior researcher for the Vancouver-based Focus on the Family (Canada) said several countries are looking at ways to strengthen, promote and encourage traditional marriages.
They are doing it because it is good for their country, their economy, their communities, and their society while in Canada "we're abandoning marriage," he said.
Rogusky said research shows that when men and women are in committed, opposite sex marriages, "It's not just the husbands and wives that thrive and survive; it's not just their children; it's our entire society."
The slow walk to Parliament Hill started after about an hour of silent prayer in front of the Supreme Court of Canada.