Toronto, August 27, 2003 ( – A Defence of Marriage Town Hall Meeting in the Toronto region revealed a strong consensus of views among the wide assortment of religious and political leaders who discussed the issue for almost three hours last night. The consensus, which has been developing over the past several months in response to government and court action to redefine marriage, appears to be laying the foundation for effective future political action by the pro-marriage movement.  The event was organized by Christian Coalition International and took place in the massive Toronto Christian Fellowship building in West Toronto. Featured speakers represented the Evangelical and Catholic Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths, different political parties and pro-family groups.  Attendance was lower than expected but the approximately 700 participants were nevertheless impressed by the especially high calibre of constructive discussion that took place during the evening.  Catholic priest Fr. Nino Cavoto, who attended the evening, told LifeSite that he was impressed at “how united people from different perspectives are on the issue” and that the meeting revealed that “People are really annoyed and ready to do something”.  Regarding Svend Robinson’s soon to be voted on Bill C-250, Senator Anne Cools warned the assembly, “I see Bill C-250 as a long range plan to limit debate on any of these questions that have to do with human morality”.

Liberal MP Paul Szabo emphasized that were serious problems with the Ontario Court decision mandating same-sex “marriage”. For one, he stated, “the Ontario court decision said that there was no definition (of marriage) in statutory law and that was incorrect and another basis for appeal”.  Ontario Family Coalition leader Giuseppe Gori summed up the strategy consensus of the meeting. He told LifeSite, “What was stated was that first we need to defeat this legislation (redefining marriage) but that is not enough, we need to go then into some kind of constitutional protection or at least invoke the notwithstanding clause at the provincial and federal government levels and so ultimately, while attempting these steps, it is back to the people. It is up to the people to elect politicians who will be leaders and take these types of measures.”  Pastor Dominic Tse, representating the Chinese Christian Community, commented on the sudden about face on same-sex ‘marriage’ by Ontario Premier Ernie Eves. He told LifeSite’s reporter that “Ernie Eves is playing up his traditional card now. He has no right to do so. He could have done something and he didn’t.” Tse said that the Chinese Christian Community’s “bottom line is to make sure that heterosexual marriage retains the supremacy that it should have in all of society. This is the bottom line on which we will not compromise.”  Other speakers at the Rally were Liberal MPs Paul Szabo,Tom Wappel and Gurbax Malhi (who also spoke at the recent Marriage Day Rally on Parliament Hill), Canadian Alliance MP Jay Hill, Dr. David Novak (Chair of Jewish studies, University of Toronto), Dr. Mubarak Ali (Muslim community of Toronto), Christian evangelist Rev. Peter Carl Youngren, Gwen Landolt of REAL Women, Phil Horgan of the Catholic Civil Rights League and Andrew VanDooderwaared, President of Christian Coalition International.  Audio and videotapes of the Rally discussions are available from the TACF Resource Centre by calling 416-674-8463.