Thursday, December 09, 2004

A Decision Rendered

To no one's surprise the Supreme Court of Canada has rendered a unanimous decision on the federal Liberal government's referral of four questions respecting legality of same sex marriage.

I haven't obtained a copy of the ruling yet, but media reports indicate the following:

CTV News Staff at

First question: Does Parliament have the exclusive legislative authority to change the legal definition of marriage?

Supreme Court's answer: Yes

Second question: Is extending the capacity to marry persons of the same sex consistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

Supreme Court's answer: Yes

Third question: Are religious leaders protected under the Charter of Rights from having to marry same-sex couples?

Supreme Court's answer: Yes

After taking over from the Chretien government, Prime Minister Paul Martin added a fourth question:

Fourth question: Is the traditional definition of marriage between a man and a woman constitutional?

Supreme Court's answer: The Court exercises its discretion not to answer this question.

Yesterday, on the very eve of the court's rulings, Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler launched a pre-emptive political strike by announcing the Liberal's government's intention of introducing legislation favouring civil same sex marriage regardless of the ruling by the Supremes.

The Globe and Mail, which supports same sex marriage, relegated this important bit of news to a tiny bottom left hand corner of its front page. It seems that progressive thinkers from the executive, legislative and judicial branches, as well as the main line media, are quite determined that nothing touching on this matter must be allowed to stir up the troglodyte masses.

CTV News Staff then quoted these statements from what it said was the court ruling.
"Several centuries ago, it would have been understood that marriage be available only to opposite-sex couples."

"The recognition of same-sex marriage in several Canadian jurisdictions as well as two European countries belies the assertion that the same is true today.''
Several centuries ago it would have been understood? A handful of Canadian provinces and two European counties belies the assertion?

Surely, CTV staff wrote this mush right after a corporate Winter Interlude party which got out of hand. I expect tomorrow we'll see an apology to the Supreme Court crafted by hung over CTV executives, demonstrating how contrite they are that their internal celebratory satire unintentially got out into the public. Such things happen, and the Honourable Supreme Court Justices ought not to take such frivolities as a measure of how CTV really views their astuteness as jurists.

Besides, any accidental harm from the satire has to be mitigated by the simple fact that anyone with a modicum of common sense would realize that such clear silliness could not possibly form the basis of a judgement of the Supreme Court of Canada.


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