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By Terry Vanderheyden

TORONTO, January 12, 2006 ( – Ontario Progressive Conservative party head John Tory told federal Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper to leave the same-sex “marriage” issue alone if he is elected as Canada’s Prime Minister in the upcoming January 23 election.

“I think they would be unwise to reopen that issue,” Tory said, according to a Toronto Sun report. “I think that the parliament has dealt with it, the courts have dealt with it, the decisions of the courts stand on the books, and that there are many other more important issues that people would prefer to see parliamentarians of any party address themselves to in the new parliament.” Repeating the oft-used argument by Liberals who successfully campaigned to legalize same-sex “marriage” for Canada, Tory added, “It is a matter of human rights.”

Harper, in a speech defending traditional marriage before parliament last year, emphasized that “Same sex marriage is not a human right.” He noted that no national or international court in the world had ever declared same sex marriage a human right. Harper has said he will revisit the marriage issue if elected.

“I want to address an even more fundamental question,” Harper began in his speech February 17 (See: “That is the question of the issue of human rights as it pertains to same sex marriage and the use and the abuse of the term ‘human rights’ in this debate which has been almost without precedent.”

“Fundamental human rights are not a magician’s hat from which new rabbits can constantly be pulled out,” Harper continued. “The basic human rights we hold dear: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, and equality before the law, the kind of rights that are routinely violated by the Prime Minister’s good friends in states such as Libya and China, are well understood and recognized around the world. These rights do not depend on Liberal bromides or media spinners for their defence.”

Liberal MP Tom Wappel, breaking with his party to defend traditional marriage before the House last year (see, also maintained that same-sex “marriage” does not constitute a human right. “In my view this bill is discriminatory,” he said. “It has been argued that same sex marriage is somehow a right. This is not legally accurate. The Supreme Court, in the reference decision, did not declare that permitting same sex couples to marry was a right. Absolutely no country in the entire world has declared it to be a human right, including the two countries which presently allow same sex marriages. No one has done that.”

Tory, before becoming Ontario’s leader of the opposition PCs, gained notoriety for approving a series of commercials in the 2000 federal election that emphasized Liberal leader Jean Chrétien’s facial disfigurement. His ill-timed advice for Harper on an issue that may well favour the CPC in the election reveals either ambivalence to his own party’s national counterpart – or political ineptitude.

See related coverage:
  Canadian Parliament Gay ‘Marriage’ Debate Begins –“Same-Sex Marriage is Not a Human Right”
  Winnipeg’s Museum For Human Rights: Canada’s $300 Million Temple of Ideology