Jean Chretien

Liberal Party

Pierre Trudeau

Canadian Alliance

Same-sex "Marriage" Voted a Priority Policy Issue

Date: MAR18-00
Source: National Post
Keywords: same-sex "marriage"
Comment: The future generation of Liberals represent an even greater threat to Canadians who hold to biblical ethics!
Posted: JUL14-00
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Youth accused of hijacking meeting
Luiza Chwialkowska

OTTAWA - The legalization of same-sex marriage was adopted yesterday as a "priority resolution" for debate by the Liberal Party of Canada, after one hundred or so youth delegates flooded into the justice issues workshop at the party's policy convention and voted in favour of the measure.

The workshop was debating a resolution supporting the principles of the government's Bill C-23, which extends to same-sex couples the benefits and obligations of common-law partners.

The youth delegates used their numbers to force an amendment on same-sex marriage into the resolution, a move that sparked fears by some present that the government would be seen to be pushing toward the formal recognition of gay marriage.

Within moments of its passage, Brenda Chamberlain, Liberal MP and chair of the party's Ontario caucus, publicly berated Anne McLellan, the Justice Minister, for allowing youth delegates "to hijack" and "ambush" the vote.

"I can't support it. I really can't," a visibly angry Ms. Chamberlain told Ms. McLellan. "My constituents do not support this.

"We get ambushed every time," she said, referring to the youth delegates' ability to shuffle large numbers of voters in and out of workshops to support their preferred resolutions.

"I wish we could do the preamble," she implored Ms. McLellan, referring to the demand from several backbenchers and Reform MPs to add a preamble to the bill affirming traditional marriage.

"We're looking at it," replied Ms. McLellan, who has staunchly insisted that Bill C-23 does not change the definition of marriage.

Later the minister told reporters that a preamble was unlikely because the law "doesn't affect marriage." But she said, "I'm willing to look at ways of accommodating [the MPs] concerns."

If the resolution is adopted, Ms. McLellan said the preamble would be taken under advisement, but "we have no intention of changing the definition of marriage."

The amendment states, "Be it further resolved that the Liberal Party of Canada urge the federal government to extend the right for same-sex couples to be legally married."

The amended resolution will be voted on by all party delegates this evening. Ms. Chamberlain predicted the resolution could hamper the passage of Bill C-23. "I think this is harmful to Bill C-23. It has gone beyond the bill and is a redefinition of marriage," she said.

Jascha Jabes, a Queen's University student and the Liberal Youth policy representative who proposed the amendment, made no apologies for his group's tactics, which prevented other resolutions, such as those about aboriginal justice and elder abuse, from reaching the voting floor. "It's a matter of principle," he said. "We are going to push this as far as we can."

A similar resolution was passed through the justice workshop by youth delegates two years ago but was defeated when it reached the full assembly of delegates.

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