OTTAWA, April 4, 2005 ( – The debates in the House on Bill C-38 make for revealing reading. Support for same sex marriage seems to go hand in hand with support for, the shattering of families by Canada’s runaway divorce rate, and thinly disguised hatred for traditional religion and nearly total historical illiteracy.

One of the more bizarre statements came from Mark Holland the Liberal MP for Ajax-Pickering, who claimed that marriage could be whatever anyone wants it to be because ‘cultures change over time.’ He said that religions have nothing legitimate to say on the subject because “the religious definition of marriage, the idea of marriage being a religious ceremony, did not come into being until the 16th century.” Though Mr. Holland did not specify which culture’s history he was revising, he asserted that, “It was in the 14th century that the clergy began to get involved in religious ceremonies performed by the state because the clergy was literate, so we undertook a change then.”

Mr. Holland then went on to imply that all traditional and religious marriage was a means of reducing women to the state of chattel. After comparing the traditional meaning of marriage with slavery and racism, he said, “At one point marriage was really an exchange of a woman into the ownership of a man, because a woman was not a person. She was transferred from ownership by the parent to the husband.” He lauded the change in the marriage laws which have resulted in nearly 50% of Canadian families being shattered by divorce. “So too have we changed our views on divorce and other matters as we have moved forward as a society and as we have made decisions.”

The Hon. Gurbax Malhi, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, said that the opposition to same-sex marriage has nothing to do with discrimination. “Canadians support the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others. This definition merely reflects the reality of what has existed in society for 6,000 years.”

John Cannis, Liberal Member for Scarborough Centre, said that the statistics his office had compiled showed that the interest in changing the definition of marriage was mostly with a vocal minority. In September, 2003, he said, “94.3% were against redefining the traditional term of marriage and 5.7% were in favour. When we do surveys or polls, it is said that 500 is a substantial number, 600 is very good but 800 is even better. Well, this was 1,050 responses and that does not include the hundreds of e-mails, telephone calls, letters.”


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