Ontario Well on Way to Declaring More Than Two Legal Parents For Children
By Hilary White
TORONTO, August 31, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Once again the needs of children in Canada are being placed a distant second to the personal wants of Canadian gay activists. In response, the Alliance for Marriage and Family, a coalition of groups fighting the legislative and judicial attacks on the traditional family, has filed a brief in Ontario’s Court of Appeals in what is being called the ‘three parents case.’
The case involves two women in a lesbian relationship and a man who donated his sperm to create a child for them on the condition that he could have a part of the child’s life. The man in the case is married to another women and has other children. After the child was born, his mother’s lesbian partner demanded to be listed legally as his “second” mother in addition to his biological parents.
The case was rejected by a lower court that ruled Ontario’s family law recognized only two possible parents for each child, whether biologically or by adoption and so the court had no authority to make the declaration.
The woman appealed, claiming a special situation because she was in a same-sex relationship and such couples require assisted human reproduction.
The Alliance for Marriage and Family – composed of Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC), the Catholic Civil Rights League, Christian Legal Fellowship, Focus on the Family and REAL Women of Canada – has filed a submission to the court arguing that the child’s interests are best served by having only two parents.
The lesbian’s case has been argued without reference to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, without which, should the case go to a higher court, a constitutional rights challenge would be impossible. Martha McCarthy the Toronto Lawyer who argued the case in Ontario’s Appeals court for same-sex “marriage” that ended with a change of the federal definition of marriage, is representing two other lesbians who want to have themselves both declared mothers to a child conceived by IVF.
Should the case go to a higher court, the joining of the McCarthy case will supply the needed impetus to make the matter one of constitutional rights at the Supreme Court should a lower court decision be challenged.
The decision to allow the joining of the Charter case to the family law case, was made by Chief Justice Roy McMurtry. A previous activist judgement by McMurtry in 2003, set a huge legal precedent that effectively ended the traditional definition of marriage in Canada. Justice McMurtry has close ties to the homosexual activist movement and was on a special guest list of dignitaries at a celebration during the 2003 Gay Pride week.
Gwen Landoldt, vice president of REAL Women of Canada, told LifeSiteNews.com that there is little hope of stopping the process now that it is being treated as a Charter matter. “There’s no hope really, because these justices don’t follow the law but their own ideologies and present that as law.”
Landoldt said the intervention was necessary though because the voice of the majority of Canadians who support traditional marriage and family, and who hold the needs of the child to be more urgent than the desires of adults, need to be represented.
The dangers of such a case passing into law are serious for children. “Any third party could be declared a parent regardless of the nature of the actual relationship,” said Landoldt.
“People outside the circles of the family relationship could be declared a parent, someone who may or may not have anything to do with the child. That person would then have all the same rights as parents over education, health care, religion.”
The problem, says Landoldt, is that courts in Canada are unaccountable. “Judges are only lawyers with political connections and here they are making all these decisions about marriage and children,” she said.
The EFC writes, “If the third parent is to be legally recognized to accommodate their alternative family situation, it will open the doors to a wide variety of adults wanting to have their family situations recognized. Children could be subjected to numerous applications from various adults wanting to have their ‘parenthood’ recognized.”
The appeal is scheduled for September 25-26, 2006 at the Ontario Court of Appeal in Toronto.
Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Judge Who Gave Canada Homosexual “Marriage” Had Conflict of Interest Says Women’s Rights Group