Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Same-Sex Marriage: The MPs' Roundup, Part Seven

Stephen Harper's determination to bring down the budget has spilled over into the SSM debate, with many Tory MPs putting themselves into the record mainly as a stalling tactic. Although Mr. Harper's determination to have a confidence vote may kill Bill C-38, I still intend to put down MPs' comments on the record, so that in case this comes up again people know where they stood before.

As usual, I'm omitting the comments of MPs who have already spoken on the topic unless they've changed their minds (which is highly unlikely given the debate's late stage), and I'm linking to their parliamentary web page so that people can e-mail their sentiments directly to them.


Mr. David Tilson (Dufferin—Caledon, CPC): Con. He regards the bill as a social policy question, not one of rights. He points out the lower court rulings on SSM dealt with common law, not recent legislation, which means discussing use of the notwithstanding claus is irrelevant. He gives several examples of legislation which reversed Supreme Court rulings without resorting to the notwithstanding clause.

Mr. Peter Goldring (Edmonton East, CPC): Con. He agrees with the views of the bishop in his diocese on the traditional institution of marriage. He considers traditional marriage to be essential for the well-being of Canadian society and deplores the current climate of moral relativism which makes Canada seem comical in the eyes of the world.

Hon. Don Boudria (Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, Lib.): Pro. He points out that civil same-sex unions are already taking place in Ontario. He also corrects the assumption of previous MPs that there is such a thing as a right to appeal to the Supreme Court; such an appeal is extral-legal in application. He takes the Tories to task for filibustering this bill so that it doesn't go to committee.

Mr. Charlie Penson (Peace River, CPC): Con. 96 percent of the letters and calls he's gotten from constituents are in opposition to this bill. They don't have a problem with extending rights and benefits to same-sex couples, but they oppose changing the definition of marriage. He feels he doesn't need to defend what's been socially accepted for hundreds of years.

Mr. Tom Wappel (Scarborough Southwest, Lib.): Con. He believes the bill perpetuates a legal and political fraud on Canadians and parliamentarians, because the religious protections clause is outside the jurisdiction of the federal government according to the Supreme Court. He considers that section to be bunk.

Mr. Rob Moore (Fundy Royal, CPC): Con. He accuses the Liberals of not keeping their word of a few years ago to preserve traditional marriage in Canada. He points out there have already been attacks on freedom of religion (i.e. the complaint against Bishop Fred Henry before the Alberta Human Rights Commission) because of the issue. He considers the proposed Conservative amendment to be a reasonable compromise.

Mr. Peter MacKay (Central Nova, CPC): Con. He appreciates the decorum that has been in this debate so far. He considers that if Parliament were to legislate the traditional definition of marriage, the Supreme Court would not be willing to declare it unconstitutional due to the principle of Parliamentary supremacy in law.

Mr. Jeremy Harrison (Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, CPC): Con. He supports the traditional definition of marriage. Although SSM was the subject of his thesis in law school, he pretty much repeats the Conservative talking points that Mr. Tilson made earlier.


The score today: Pro 1, Con 7.
So far: Con 66, Pro 31.