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Posted by eleanor

Who'll blink?

Whither legal gay nuptials? Canadians for Equal Marriage "research indicates that 158 MPs would vote against re-opening, 137 would vote for it, and 12 are undecided or will abstain."

The complete text of the press release is in the comments section (click on this post's headline).


# re: Who'll blink?
May 17, 2006 11:48 AM



Opponents of Equal Marriage call for Vote Delay

(OTTAWA - May 16, 2006) Tomorrow is the National Day Against Homophobia (see and today Canadians for Equal Marriage (CEM) announces that a majority of MPs oppose re-opening the divisive equal marriage debate and will vote against Stephen Harper's planned motion asking Parliament to introduce legislation to exclude same-sex couples from civil marriage. CEM's research indicates that 158 MPs would vote against re-opening, 137 would vote for it, and 12 are undecided or will abstain.

"Re-opening this issue is divisive politics that will foster social division," said Kaj Hasselriis, National Spokesperson for Canadians for Equal Marriage. "Most MPs understand that, but Mr. Harper insists on having a vote, despite the fact that 2/3 of Canadians consider this matter settled and are against re-opening this divisive debate."

Opponents of equal marriage have recently suggested that the vote should be delayed. The Defend Marriage Coalition, a coming together of 12 groups dedicated to taking away equal marriage, says "the delay in calling for this vote in Parliament provides us with a 'window of opportunity'" to pressure MPs "on a motion to re-open the issue". See for details.

"Those who want to roll back the clock on equality know they would lose if a vote were held in this Parliament," said Laurie Arron, National Coordinator of Canadians for Equal Marriage. Their only option is to have Mr. Harper delay the vote."

"There's no reason Parliament can't deal with this matter swiftly, so that we can remove the cloud that hangs over our heads," added Mr. Arron. "Since it's a motion, it doesn't take much of Parliament's time to deal with. Almost all MPs have made up their minds on how they'll vote and the Conservative government has already moved beyond its top five priorities. In fact, 2/3 of the 12 bills they've introduced are not part of their top five."

The 8 bills not dealing with the top five include such matters as bridges and tunnels, granting power to the Armed Forces to investigate aviation accidents, the military justice system, transportation regulation, emergency management and immigration.

"It's unfair for Mr. Harper to threaten us like this and then delay the vote because it's become apparent that his scheme won't work," added Mr. Hasselriis. "Delay hurts us all. It hurts lesbian, gay, bi and trans people who must endure the continued threat that we will become second-class citizens. It hurts all Canadians to allow this social division to not only continue but to escalate. It's unfortunate that tomorrow is the National Day Against Homophobia and here we are talking about rolling back the clock on equality." (See

Two recent Environics polls, from November 29, 2005 and January 24, 2006, found that two-thirds of Canadians are against re-opening the equal marriage debate. As well, a recent survey of Canada's top executives revealed a strong consensus against re-opening the issue.