Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of January 31, 2005
Sound a rally cry for marriage
Over 800 faithful pray for Canada
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
Defying the bitter morning cold, more than 800 people gathered on the steps of the legislature Jan. 22 to pray for traditional marriage and the family.
It was a worship service with no signs or placards, just people singing hymns of praise and praying psalms.
Organizers asked participants to be respectful of the place they were and urged the crowd to sign petitions against same-sex marriage away from the legislature steps.
Leaders from the coalition of Christian churches that organized the vigil, Archbishop Thomas Collins and Ukrainian Bishop Lawrence Huculak included, took turns to lead the crowd in prayers.
While some leaders stuck to the Scriptures in their prayers, others were more upfront, asking the Lord to help preserve the traditional definition of marriage as the union between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others.
Organizers tried to keep the event from becoming a political protest, but many in the crowd said they attended the rally to make a political statement against government attempts to change the traditional definition of marriage.
Soon after Parliament reconvenes Jan. 31, the government is expected to introduce legislation to redefine marriage as a lawful union of two persons to the exclusion of all others, thus paving the way for same-sex marriage. Prime Minister Paul Martin has promised a free vote for Liberal MPs, except for the members of his cabinet.
Vanessa Sabo attended the prayer rally with her daughters Abry, 1, and Hope, 3, to make a public statement that she doesn't support the redefinition of marriage. "We are here to support heterosexual marriage," she said matter-of-factly.
"Heterosexual marriage is the foundation of humanity and when you shake the foundation, things fall. Preserving traditional marriage is more important to me now than ever now that I have children."
Marriage is God's institution and should be left alone, said Tamar Harajdic, who attended the rally with her three children. "People have their free will but marriage is God's, so leave it to God and don't try to take what he has instituted and change it to fit your purposes," she said. "(Gay) people do have rights and God loves them but they are crossing the line. If they choose to reject his word that's their free choice but don't try to take what he has done and pervert it."
Kelly Petkau, 35, attended the rally with his wife and three of his five children to support what he termed "God's definition of marriage. God is clear in his word and he has defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. If we stray from that it'll be to our detriment because marriage is a critical institution to our society."
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