Well, well, explain this one Prime Minister
Being preoccupied with an approaching major religious holy day, I had just about determined to be quiet for a while on the same-sex marriage issue, until I read my morning's Globe & Mail. There on page 5 was an article called, "Prairie officials compelled to perform gay marriages."
What is this, I thought? Hasn't Prime Minister Martin and Justice Minister Irwin Cotler been going on at some length that people with religious objections to same-sex marriages will not have to perform them. According to the Globe, Premier Doer:
... told reporters that despite Mr. Cotler's assertion, marriage commissioners in Manitoba will still be required to perform same sex-marriages. Mr. Doer says they are provincial officials and must not discriminate against gay couples. Two marriage commissioners have quit over that rule, ... and have filed human rights complaints. Saskatchewan has adopted the same policy, and officials have given no indication that policy will change.
You see there is spin and there is reality. It is most unfortunate for Mr. Martin and Mr. Cotler that their spin is unspinning so rapidly. Luckily for them the Globe put the story on page 5 and the public is distracted with spiritual preparations for the birthday of the Christ child .... as represented by mass pilgrimages to the shrines of Blessed Walmart and Saint Hudson Bay. But there you have it, a major political promise broken before the legislation is even tabled in the House of Commons. Tsk. Tsk.
Of course, one has to wonder how the federal Liberals could be so brazen as to promise what they have. They well know that the Supreme Court of Canada ruled the other day that, while parliament had exclusive jurisdiction over implementing the court's brand new "living tree" definition of marriage, the Supremes also ruled that only the provinces have jurisdiction over the solemnization of marriage, e.g., marriage licences, who can perform civil marriages, and under what conditions, etc. In addition, the Liberal prime minister and justice minister knew that:
The court made no mention of civic officials - marriage commissioners, court clerks or justices of the peace, depending on the province - who perform civil marriages but might object to officiating at a ceremony for same-sex couples.The Globe noted that twelve civic officials have resigned in British Columbia, so far. This is no doubt considered a small price to pay to ensure rigid compliance with the new zeitgeist.
Now what about those Liberal cabinet ministers who oppose same sex marriage. Mr. Martin, having wrestled with his own concience and lost, has said they must vote for the legislation regardless of their beliefs. What will be be for you folks ... your conscience, or your limousine? This is a testing time and you are being measured.
[Okay already, spelling errors corrected.]