Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of September 4, 2006
CWL defends consciences of marriage commissioners
League takes stand to protect religious liberty
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
It (the CWL) pointed out the Marriage for Civil Purposes Act protects the right of religious officials to refuse to participate.
The CWL resolution said the league will urge the federal government to encourage the provinces and territories to provide "legal protection that upholds the rights of religious communities and their officials to act in accordance with their religious beliefs in relation to marriage, and upholds the rights of conscientious objectors who choose not to provide services related to same-sex unions."
The CWL will also encourage its provincial councils to approach their provincial and territorial governments directly.
"Religious groups must be guaranteed the right to maintain their rules, practices, rites, teachings and traditions regarding the solemnization of marriage exclusively for heterosexual couples," the CWL brief attached to the resolution says.
"Clergy, Church personnel, volunteers and volunteer agency personnel, employers and employees of religious organizations and others involved in civil marriage ceremonies must be guaranteed the right to recognize, participate or otherwise be engaged in only those marriages that are consistent with their beliefs and traditions."
The league also said churches and people associated with them should be able to refuse to host or provide access to events related to marriages other than within their own religious rites and understandings.
The CWL also adopted another resolution related to freedom of conscience and religion.
The resolution urged "the federal government to denounce practices that restrict religious freedom in countries where these exist."
The CWL also resolved to seek an increase in Old Age Security by six per cent per year for the next five years "over and above the cost of living increase with no penalty to the Guaranteed Income Supplement." The league points out that the maximum allowable $487.54 per month is not enough to ensure "a life of dignity" for seniors.
In yet another resolution, the CWL resolved to seek a GST exemption for funeral services, arguing that they are an "essential service" since the law requires the proper disposal of human remains.
A CWL delegation will bring its resolutions to Parliament Hill in the fall when it makes its annual visit to meet with parliamentarians.
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