Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 9, 2005
Same-sex marriage bill contonues
Pro-family groups prepare for federal election
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
Canadian Catholic News
Same-sex marriage legislation passed another hurdle to becoming law May 3, when the Conservatives were unable to muster any more speakers and second reading debate "collapsed."
That meant a vote Wednesday evening May 4, approving Bill C-38 "in principle." That vote, taking place after press time, was expected to pass, and would send the bill to a special legislative committee.
Catholic Civil Rights League President Phil Horgan says he hopes the prime minister will not renege on promises that the committee will hear from a wide range of Canadians.
"This will remain an issue of national importance," Horgan said. "Incumbents and other candidates are going to be held accountable for this file."
Ontario MP John McKay, one of the over 30 Liberal MPs who have voted against the bill, told CCN, "the preferred position of the government is to get it behind them."
But McKay predicts even if the bill does pass, same-sex marriage will still be an election issue. "It affects people in profound and deep ways."
Campaign Life Coalition President Jim Hughes has been taking part in daily conference calls linking pro-marriage and pro-family groups across the country in working out a political strategy.
"This is the first time so many groups have set aside differences to work together," Hughes said in a telephone interview.
CLC has been organizing to get pro-life and pro-family Tory candidates nominated.
Hughes says that as soon as Liberal nominations open up, CLC will do the same thing in those ridings. He pointed out that the pro-family Liberals have stood up against their caucus colleagues. "We can't abandon those people."
However, he noted voters have to consider whether the party leader will let pro-family voters vote their conscience. NDP Leader Jack Layton is forcing MPs to support same-sex marriage. Prime Minister Paul Martin is forcing cabinet ministers to support the bill, but allowing the rest of the caucus to vote freely.
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