CommunityPam's House Blend

An update on marriage legislation in Canada

House Blender (and Canadian) Cat has been passing along information about the Parliamentary shenanigans by Stephen Harper yesterday and today. The conservative was trying to thwart consideration of federal same-sex marriage legislation. I’m excerpting her update here.

Well, Stephen Harper’s amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman has been defeated 164 to 132. So far so good. There are still hurdles, however. Bill C-38 nows goes to committee where it will again be discussed and voted on. Then back to Parliament where it will probably be debated and then put to a free vote, i.e. MP’s are free to vote as they wish, without having to toe party lines. This is where it gets tricky. Today, 34 Liberals voted in favour of Harper’s amendment, against their own party.

In public, too. In the Canadian Parliament, MP’s stand to vote in public. There’s no hiding how you voted. So the fact 34 Liberal MP’s were willing to vote in public against their own party shows just how fractured support for Bill C-38 is. If the Bill survives this free vote, it will then go to the Senate. Unlike the US Senate, Canada’s Senate is appointed, not voted in. In fact, several attempts have been made to switch Canada’s Senate from an appointed body to an elected body, just like the US. Such efforts are always ongoing.

For the purposes of Bill C-38, it’s enough to know that the vast majority of senators appointed to the Senate are Liberal appointees, so it’s very likely Bill C-38 will be approved by the Senate and passed into law very quickly. That is, if Bill C-38 makes it to the Senate. Remember, as I said yesterday, the Liberal Government is in a minority position. It can’t pass legislation by itself. It needs the help of MP’s from other parties. At any time, MP’s from any other party can come together, announce they are making an vote of non-confidence in the government. Then the Liberal government will fall, there will be an election, and it becomes very likely that Bill C-38 will die and never be passed. Especially if the Conservatives come to power. They are the ones who want marriage in Canada to be defined as between a man and a woman. The Liberals are currently embroiled in a vicious scandal which, in all honesty, the deserve to be. They also deserve to be behind in the polls, too. Problem is, the only real alternative are the Conservatives, and there’s no way I want them in power.

…I will try and keep you apprised as to what is happening in Canada where Bill C-38 is concerned. The battle is not over, there’s still plenty of things people in both the US and Canada can do to support this legislation. It would be extremely interesting to me, and perhaps helpful, if the MSM in the US picked up on this on going struggle. Sure, Right Wing organizations such as Focus On Family are working against it. But most Americans probably don’t have a clue this happening, and couldn’t care less. Fair enough since it doesn’t affect them directly. But how they would react to finding out about Bill C-38, what they would say about could be very interesting, and even helpful. Thanks to Bush, anti-American sentiment is at high point in Canada. If enough Americans speak out against the Bill, it just might change some Canadian minds towards it. Sad, but true.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding