Thaddeus Baklinski

Canadian Foreign Affairs minister highlights promoting homosexual rights abroad as priority

Thaddeus Baklinski
Thaddeus Baklinski
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MONTREAL, September 18, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird told a gathering in Montreal on Friday that Canada will continue to promote homosexual rights as a key component of foreign policy.

The minister, speaking at a luncheon held by the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations, said he is “aggressively” pursuing what he called Canada’s “principled, values-based” foreign policy.

As part of that effort, Baird said that he is working with western countries to promote homosexual rights in countries around the world where “violent mobs … seek to criminalize homosexuality,” and to make Canada a welcoming haven for homosexual refugees.

“We’re working with allies like the EU and the United States on encouraging the decriminalization of homosexuality,” Baird said.

“We’re working with all political parties in the House of Commons to fight those who restrict the basic human rights, from Kampala to St. Petersburg.

In his address Baird mentioned the brutal murder of Uganadan homosexual activist David Kato as an example of the dangers faced by open homosexuals in some countries. Kato died after being bludgeoned to death by a homosexual prostitute in a dispute over payment.

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Baird also highlighted the efforts of his colleague, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney, who he said “has been working to make Canada a safe haven for Iran’s persecuted gay community.”

Kenney said that Canada has welcomed more than 100 homosexual refugees from Iran since 2009, in an interview with Postmedia News.

Noting that “Turkey is tolerant towards homosexuality,” and is thus a close destination for homosexuals leaving Iran, Kenney said, “One of the things I did was to increase our resettlement target for refugees out of Turkey in general, partly to respond to the particularly acute resettlement needs of gay Iranian refugees but also other Iranian refugees like dissidents, journalists, Christians and Baha’is, all of whom face persecution.”

He added that he is prepared to “fast-track” Iranian homosexuals applying for refugee status and subsidize their resettlement costs.

Baird also addressed women’s rights in his address to the Montreal group, saying that “women’s rights have become such an important part of Canada’s foreign policy, and ... it has become a personal priority of mine.” In particular he focused on “the struggle to end the practice of early-enforced marriage.”

“Canada has committed nearly $3 billion over five years to help women and children lead longer, healthier lives. That’s in addition to the almost $14 million in support we have provided toward ending sexual violence and encouraging the full participation of women in emerging democracies,” he said.

Part of the federal government’s commitment to women’s rights includes re-funding the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the world’s largest abortion provider, under the “Maternal, Newborns and Child Health commitment.”

Recently the abortion organization has come under fire from pro-life and pro-woman advocates for saying that while it “opposes sex-selection abortion,” it is nevertheless willing to perform them. Several recent Live Action undercover videos have shown Planned Parenthood and NAF counselors coaching women on how to get a sex-selective abortion and evade the law.

Opponents of the practice of sex selection abortion have warned that it is creating a massive gender imbalance in many countries that leads to kidnapping of girls who are sold as child brides or forced into prostitution. Mara Hvistendahl, in her book Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men, links sex-selective abortion with bride-buying and abduction of young girls that culminates in the forced marriages that Baird is intent on eradicating.

Baird added in his speech that Canada cannot impose its values onto other countries.

“We cannot impose our form of government or our institutions on others,” he said. “Change must come from within. When it happens, Canada is prepared to support those seeking to build a free and prosperous society.”

The full text of John Baird’s speech to the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations is available here.

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Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten

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Judges order Arizona and Indiana to recognize gay ‘marriages’ on death certificates

Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten
By Kirsten Anderson

Two federal judges have ordered Arizona and Indiana to recognize same-sex “marriages” on death certificates, although both states have laws defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

In Arizona, Judge John Sedwick ordered the state to issue a death certificate for George Martinez listing his marital status as “married” and his spouse as Fred McQuire.  The two were “married” in California in July, and Martinez died in September.  They had previously sued Arizona to recognize their out-of-state “marriage” as legal – a case that is still ongoing.

In his decision, Sedwick said that the majority of federal appeals courts have found that “marriage laws which discriminate between heterosexual couples and homosexual couples infringe a fundamental right.”  He said he thought it was likely that Arizona’s marriage protection law will soon be overturned. 

Sedwick’s decision applies exclusively to Martinez and McQuire.   The judge explained that given the likelihood of same-sex “marriage” becoming legal in Arizona, he didn’t want McQuire’s “marriage” to be excluded from recognition just because his “husband” died before the law could be overturned.  He said he hoped the decision would prevent “the loss of dignity and status coming in the midst of an elderly man’s personal grief.”

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Meanwhile, in Indiana, Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen presided over an agreement between the state and a lesbian couple, Veronica Romero and Mayra Yvette Rivera, who “married” in Illinois in March. The state agreed to recognize the couple’s “marriage” because Rivera is dying of ovarian cancer, and said they will issue a death certificate bearing Romero’s name as “spouse” when Rivera passes away. 

Indiana opted to concede the case mostly due to its striking similarities to an earlier case the state lost, in which Judge Richard L. Young ordered Indiana to recognize the “marriage” of Niki Quasney and Amy Sandler, who “wed” in Massachusetts in 2013.  Quasney also has terminal ovarian cancer, and the couple had argued that Sandler and her two children would suffer irreparable financial harm if the state does not recognize their “marriage” so that Sandler can collect death benefits when Quasney passes away. 

Both Indiana decisions apply only to the couples named specifically by the court; however, last week, a federal appeals court upheld an earlier ruling by Judge Young declaring the state’s marriage protection law unconstitutional. 

The state of Indiana has appealed that ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

Second National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children draws activists, clergy, and media

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By Dustin Siggins

In August, Pope Francis visited South Korea's Cemetery for Aborted Children. This past Saturday, American Catholics and other pro-life advocates did the same for the nation's approximately 56 million aborted babies.

Last year, more than 2,300 pro-life Americans gathered to pray for the deceased unborn at more than 100 sites across the country. This year, led once again by Citizens for a Pro-life Society, Priests for Life, and the Pro-Life Action League, "thousands of pro-lifers gathered at 132 locations," Pro-Life Action League Executive Director Eric Scheidler told LifeSiteNews.

"Over 28,000 aborted babies have been given a proper burial" in 41 graves, he said. Guest speakers at the memorial services "included pro-life activists who had rescued abortion victim’s bodies from garbage dumpsters and pathology labs, women and men who regret choosing abortion, and ten Roman Catholic bishops."

One of those Catholic bishops was Cardinal Francis George, the archbishop of Chicago, who spoke at Queen of Heaven Cemetery. In front of a grave site where 2,033 aborted babies were buried 26 years ago, George said, "When one person dies, or is killed, or is brutally murdered we all suffer, we’re all lost.”

"Justifying abortion as the foundation of women’s equality or as a solution to societal or personal problems does a great disservice to women and to our society,” the cardinal added.

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Another member of the clergy was Detroit-area Bishop Michael Byrnes. "The whole pro-life movement is a challenge to fathers. ... Fatherhood is a holy act. Fathers must claim their children!” he said, according to Live Action News.

Scheidler said that healing was a primary focus of the National Day of Remembrance. “After our memorial service a woman came up to me in tears," he said. "She had just learned that her daughter had had an abortion earlier that week. She was heartbroken, but so grateful for this opportunity to mourn for her lost grandchild.”

The woman's relief is not just her own. The now-annual event saw an activist in Alabama say that women who have had abortions "feel like they're condemned or judge[d], and our Bible studies offer free, secure places for them to come and be ministered [to] by women who've done the same thing."

Official attendance numbers have not been released for the nationwide services. This article will be updated when that information is released.

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Tony Perry

I was powerless to stop her from aborting the baby we both created

Tony Perry
By Tony Perry

Editor’s note: Some names have been changed to protect anonymity.

Following the recent UK release of Obvious Child, a rom-com film about abortion, on Thursday Daily Mail columnist Bel Mooney shared her personal experience with abortion and declared that her decision to terminate her unborn child was "no big deal."

However, for many, abortion is a big deal that can leave regrets long after that choice is made. It is also a choice that has an impact on men as well as women, even though the media rarely presents the experience of abortion from a male point of view. Perhaps the general assumption is that abortion doesn't really affect men. Perhaps I would have shared that assumption had I not lived through it myself.

Several years ago, I met a woman just a few months after I returned to London following a stint in America, my home country, for work. I fell for Jenny from the start - her cherubic smile and her silky hair warmed my heart. Above all, we shared a love for life and a determination to leave the world a better place than we found it. I felt as though Jenny understood me in a way that few others did.

I wanted the baby and I hoped I could change her mind. 

We spoke on the phone each night after work and spent the weekends together, exploring London and enjoying each other's company. Even so, I found it hard to see where things stood with us. Jenny artfully straddled a line between friendship and a relationship. She would show and tell me how much she enjoyed our time together, but then she'd tell me that I "deserved better" than her. We would make love one night and then part ways the next morning for work with nothing more than a quick goodbye kiss; she would coolly approach her train platform without a single glance back.

Like most sexually active couples, we did talk about what might happen if she fell pregnant and we both said we would want to keep the baby. Little did I know how timely that conversation would prove to be.

A couple of weeks later, Jenny rang me to say she had a dizzy spell and felt nauseous. When she added that she had nausea for a couple of days, I broke into a sweat and my pulse raced. I suggested that she take a pregnancy test. She was on the pill, but I knew there were no guarantees.

Jenny rang me as soon as she had a chance to take the test. "I think I'm pregnant," she said. Those words hit me like a sledgehammer. Her next words left me trembling: "I've decided to have an abortion."

I offered to come over so that we could talk things through. "There's nothing more to say," she said icily. I tried to reply but she cut me off. "I don't want this baby and it's my choice to make. Do you understand me?"

I, on the other hand, wanted the baby and I hoped I could change her mind. As long as we could talk, I believed, there was hope. We agreed to talk and there were moments when I felt I might be persuading her to reconsider, such as when she asked how we might make things work to raise a baby. I knew she didn't want to get married or even move in together. I assured her that I would be there for her and that we could find a way to give our child a meaningful life.

I became hopeful, until she said: "I would keep the baby if I were swept off my feet in love, but I'm not. The feeling is either there or it isn't, and it's not. I'm sorry."

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I couldn't help but question myself, wondering what I could have done or said that could have made her feel differently. But I knew there was nothing I could do to stop her from going through with an abortion; it was her legal right.

Becoming a parent is supposed to be one of the most exciting - and of course scary - moments in the journey of life and losing a child is said to be one of the worst. Now, I found myself tasting both sensations at once. I had quickly come to terms with the prospect of parenthood, before fighting in vain to save the life I helped create. Nothing can describe the profound sense of powerlessness that comes with watching someone terminate a life that you helped create. I felt alone in a sea of pain, desperate to keep afloat.

Despite my best efforts, Jenny went through with the abortion. The pregnancy was over and, weeks later, so was our relationship. Six months later, she got in touch and suggested that we meet again. But the pain was too great and we parted ways for good.

Wounds do heal over time - even deep ones - but scars remain. Eight years later, I find myself incredibly blessed with a beautiful, bright and loving wife, a 19-month-old son and a daughter due in January. At times, I can't help but look into my son's deep grey-blue eyes and wonder what his older brother or sister might have been like.

Sadly, my story is not unique; other men have experienced the same anguish. Men and women both have a role to play in creating life and raising children, but today's laws, and the debates around them, don't reflect that. Women alone decide whether to end a pregnancy, even though both parents bear responsibility when women decide to continue a pregnancy. Perhaps one way forward might be to resolve this inconsistency and address abortion, like parenthood, as a family issue. Men should have a chance to be heard.

Reprinted with permission from the September 12, 2014 edition of The Telegraph.

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