OTTAWA, ON, August 25, 2003 ( – The National Marriage Day rally on Ottawa’s Parliament Hill last Saturday attracted an enthusiastic crowd of approximately 8,000 participants and exceeded the expectations of organizer Tim Dooling of Canadians Against Same-Sex Marriage”.  Although the official police estimate was 6,000 participants, LifeSite bases its larger estimate of the crowd size on the fact that the approximately 3,000 Chinese Christian Canadians in bright red t-shirts were visibly about one-third of the protesters.  The well-organized event featured dynamic church and political leaders who spoke passionately about the value of marriage to the nation and the crucial need to protect traditional marriage. They also bluntly warned that Canadian democracy and religious freedom have already been seriously eroded by activist judges and a Liberal government that have both by-passed parliament in their quest to radicalize Canadian society.  Reverend William Oosterman of Ottawa’s Westboro Baptist Church and a Director of the Canadian Christian Coalition received a loud cheer from the crowd in response to his suggestion to make “the next election a referendum on marriage and on democracy.” Oosterman warned that “democracy in Canada is dying.” He said that “as of now even our Prime Minister is a nobody as he hides behind the skirts of the judges in Ontario and Canada.” Regarding the infamous Charter of Rights, the Rev. stated “you are not protected as a people of faith.” He listed a series of recent court decisions against Canadian Christians that were based on Charter arguments and emphasized “The Charter of Rights will not protect you. It will be used as a witness against you.”  Derek Rogusky of Focus on the Family Canada urged everyone to tell their MPs again where they stand on the issue and to encourage their neighbors and friends and church members to do the same. He also encouraged letter writing to local papers and calling into talk radio shows and stated “It is only through our determination, our perseverance that they are going to finally get the message that people care about marriage in this country.”  Canadian Alliance MP Cheryl Gallant warned “my message to you today is be prepared. The Liberal Party has been prepared to make this a nasty fight.”“Be prepared for the Liberal hate campaign,” she said, “they will use every means possible to divert attention away from the real issues…to push their own agenda. Their anti-family agenda is to divide our society…”  Gallant also warned “Our critics in the Liberal Party and elsewhere are trying their best to confuse what is a simple, fundamental understanding that has existed for thousands of years.”“We need to keep this debate simple”, she said. “It is about protecting the institution of marriage.” In response to a request at the podium from rally organizer Tim Dooling, Gallant promised to push for parliament to declare Aug. 22 National Marriage Day in Canada.  Approximately 3000 members under the banner of “Chinese Christian Canadians” came to the rally by bus from Toronto. They all wore bright red t-shirts with the slogan “Marriage = One Man + One Woman and carried large banners saying “Say NO to redefining marriage.”  Media coverage of the event was relatively sparse. As usual, much of the media gave a ridiculous amount of attention to a couple of lesbians and several other gay activists who were present but hardly noticed by the large crowd. LifeSite saw media cameramen immediately go rushing after a couple of activists who thought they would cause trouble by placing themselves at the front of the crowd listening to the speakers. The cameras followed them out as police removed them while the speeches continued.

The only photo with an Ottawa Citizen article was of the two lesbians and the only coverage by the pro-gay Toronto Star (and Canada’s largest circulation daily by far) was a large photo of the two lesbians.  See the full list of speakers and the many officially participating organizations at