By Hilary White

  REGINA, February 1, 2007 ( – A Saskatchewan marriage commissioner has told the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal that because his faith “takes first place” in his life, he cannot in conscience perform the ceremony for two homosexual men. In response to a complaint filed against him under the Charter of Rights, Orville Nichols said “I couldn’t sleep or live with myself if I were to perform same sex marriages.”

  The National Post reports today that Mr. Nichols was cited by two homosexual men in Regina in a formal complaint that his refusal to “marry” them amounts to illegal discrimination.

  Mr. Nichols is using a plainly religious argument, saying his faith guides his daily life, that he prays and reads the Bible every day.

  When the two men contacted him, Mr. Nichols told them that he could not perform a same-sex ceremony because it conflicted with his religious beliefs and referred them to another commissioner who performed the ceremony on the same date they requested of Mr. Nichols.

  The Saskatchewan Justice ministry has said it will remove all marriage commissioners from office who will not perform the civil ceremony for homosexual partners and is awaiting the outcome of this Human Rights Tribunal case to decide whether to remove Mr. Nichols from the list.

  Mr. Nichols has been a marriage commissioner since 1983 and his belief in the seriousness of marriage has led him to refuse some couples seeking natural marriage who, he said, did not take it seriously enough. The Post reports that he has argued those commissioners appointed before same-sex “marriage” became legal should be exempted from performing such ceremonies.

  In Canada’s Human Rights Commission system, the person filing the complaint has his entire legal expense covered by the government. The system, says critics, is outside the normal and universally accepted requirements for due process and is increasingly being used by homosexual activists to persecute opponents.