OTTAWA, October 30, 2001 ( – The motion by NDP MP Svend Robinson to legalize homosexual marriage was debated in the House Monday. During the debate various vocal proponents of homosexual marriage rose to speak to the bill, with one MP using the occasion to publicly reveal her homosexuality.

Speaking against the motion were: Alliance MPs James Moore (Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam) and Ken Epp (Elk Island), Conservative MP Norman Doyle (St. John’s East), Liberal MP John Bryden (Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot). Speaking in support of homosexual marriage were: BQ MP Pierre Paquette (Joliette), Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett (St. Paul’s), and NDP Libby Davies (Vancouver East). In her remarks Davies said, “I am now involved in a same sex relationship.” While there are a few other practicing homosexual MPs, Davies joined Robinson and the BQ’s Real Menard in admitting publicly to homosexual relations.

The official response of the government to the motion was delivered by Stephen Owen (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada). Owens’ response indicated that the government was only superficially opposed to the motion and was ready to consider the matter after related court decisions are rendered. He said, “it would be premature to act at this time before we receive guidance from the courts on this point. Once we have received guidance from the courts parliament can decide to act if it is necessary and appropriate at that time.” Owens also noted that he was “proud” that “Canada is in the forefront of the world in ensuring that gay and lesbian couples are treated under the federal law with dignity and respect.”

See the debate in the Hansard at:


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