NORTH BAY, August 21, 2003 ( – Speaking at his Liberal caucus meeting, Prime Minister Jean Chretien rejected the idea posited by some within the Party of having a national referendum on the issue of homosexual ‘marriage’.  While many social conservatives would agree with the Prime Minister that referenda can never be employed to decide on minority rights, past evidence of his acceptance of referenda trumping minority rights suggests that his current move is little more than political expediency.  Knowing that a national referendum on the homosexual ‘marriage’ issue would likely result in opposition to the government’s proposal, Chretien argued against referenda in deciding minority rights.  “To have a referendum to decide on the fate of the minority, it’s a problem. It’s why we have constitutions – to protect the rights of the minority. It’s why we have the Charter of Rights. So if it is always the majority vote by referendum, who will defend the minorities?,” said Chretien.  “What a hypocrite!” said Campaign Life Coalition National President Jim Hughes, responding to Chretien’s remarks.  Hughes recalled that the Prime Minister happily accepted a referendum in Newfoundland which stripped Catholics of their constitutionally guaranteed right to Catholic schooling. At the time, Catholics in the province expressed outrage that a referendum in which practicing Catholics were in the minority could be used to strip them of the constitutional rights.  See the CBC coverage of Chretien’s remarks:   See the LifeSite coverage of the Newfoundland Catholic school scandal:  BRIAN TOBIN QUITS POLITICS – NO LOSS FOR PRO-LIFE, PRO-FAMILY CANADIANS