OTTAWA, December 7, 2006 ( – Canada’s Conservative government’s motion to re-open the debate on same-sex marriage was defeated in the House of Commons today by a vote of 175 to 123.

  The margin of defeat was wider than expected with fewer pro-family Liberals voting in favour of the motion.  The wording of the motion added to its rejection as it included acceptance of same-sex “marriages” that have already taken place under the current law.

  It is widely acknowledged that the measure was not a serious attempt to reopen debate.  CanWest News reporter Janice Tibbetts captured that message in two lines of her coverage.  Tibbetts wrote: “Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the man who promised to bring the contentious same-sex marriage issue back to the Commons, was absent from the chamber and had no plans to defend traditional marriage as debate opened Wednesday on whether to revoke Canada’s same-sex marriage law. The Commons was virtually empty, with about 20 of 308 members showing up.”