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Category Archives: Canada

Warning from Canada: Do Not Redefine Marriage

Many same-sex marriage advocates continue to falsely present the redefinition of marriage as simply providing respect and recognition to loving same-sex couples, with no consequences for anyone else. But as we have seen with the frequent attacks against supporters of traditional marriage - bakers, florists, and others - this has already been proven to be false. To get a fuller exposition of the consequences of redefining marriage, we only have to look at what has happened with our northern neighbor.

Mid adult couple holding their childrenThe article from Dawn Stefanowicz is not the first such warning we’ve had. In 2012, the backers of the proposed marriage amendment in Minnesota held a day-long seminal featuring many speakers from Canada, including a prominent Archbishop, who detailed the 300 plus cases of supporters of marriage being punished, and the constant pressure of the government to push this radical understanding of marriage on children. Dawn Stefanowicz uses Canada’s decline due to legalizing same-sex marriage as an all too apt example of what kind of fire the United States is playing with today:

We have great compassion for people who struggle with their sexuality and gender identity—not animosity. And we love our parents. Yet, when we go public with our stories, we often face ostracism, silencing, and threats.

I want to warn America to expect severe erosion of First Amendment freedoms if the US Supreme Court mandates same-sex marriage. The consequences have played out in Canada for ten years now, and they are truly Orwellian in nature and scope.

. . .

In Canada, freedoms of speech, press, religion, and association have suffered greatly due to government pressure. The debate over same-sex marriage that is taking place in the United States could not legally exist in Canada today. Because of legal restrictions on speech, if you say or write anything considered “homophobic” (including, by definition, anything questioning same-sex marriage), you could face discipline, termination of employment, or prosecution by the government.

She continues to warn Americans that a federal redefinition of marriage will authorize the “State as Ultimate Arbiter of parenthood”:

Over and over, we are told that “permitting same-sex couples access to the designation of marriage will not deprive anyone of any rights.” That is a lie.

When same-sex marriage was legalized in Canada in 2005, parenting was immediately redefined. Canada’s gay marriage law, Bill C-38, included a provision to erase the term “natural parent” and replace it across the board with gender-neutral “legal parent” in federal law. Now all children only have “legal parents,” as defined by the state. By legally erasing biological parenthood in this way, the state ignores children’s foremost right: their immutable, intrinsic yearning to know and be raised by their own biological parents.

. . .

In effect, same-sex marriage not only deprives children of their own rights to natural parentage, it gives the state the power to override the autonomy of biological parents, which means parental rights are usurped by the government.

In addition, the rights and freedom that made our nation a land of liberty will too be disregarded if same-sex marriage is legalized:

In Canada, it is considered discriminatory to say that marriage is between a man and a woman or that every child should know and be raised by his or her biological married parents. It is not just politically incorrect in Canada to say so; you can be saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees, fined, and forced to take sensitivity training.

Anyone who is offended by something you have said or written can make a complaint to the Human Rights Commissions and Tribunals. In Canada, these organizations police speech, penalizing citizens for any expression deemed in opposition to particular sexual behaviors or protected groups identified under “sexual orientation.” It takes only one complaint against a person to be brought before the tribunal, costing the defendant tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees. The commissions have the power to enter private residences and remove all items pertinent to their investigations, checking for hate speech.

. . .

It means that no matter what you believe, the government will be free to regulate your speech, your writing, your associations, and whether or not you may express your conscience. Americans also need to understand that the endgame for some in the LGBT rights movement involves centralized state power—and the end of First Amendment freedoms.

Many more issues will occur if the Supreme Court decides to redefine marriage. We recognize the flagrant lies that are told, the false “tolerance” that is being promulgated, the egregious attacks on our liberties. Our neighbor Canada knows these first-hand as well, even to a more frightening degree. We must never give up the fight for marriage, because if marriage is redefined, we know that first amendments rights will also be “redefined.”

Read the full article at The Public Discourse.

"As Close to an Ideal Test as We've Seen"

Over at Public Discourse, Professor Mark Regnerus reports on the important new study from Canada which we told you about yesterday.

Regnerus shares his opinions on the research by Douglas Allen published in the Review of the Economics of the Household last week:

FamilyEvery study has its limitations, and this one does too.... [but] its limitations are modest in comparison to its remarkable and unique strengths—a rigorous and thorough analysis of a massive, nationally-representative dataset from a country whose government has long affirmed same-sex couples and parenting. It is as close to an ideal test as we’ve seen yet.

The study’s publication continues the emergence of new, population-based research in this domain, much of which has undermined scholarly and popular claims about equivalence between same-sex and opposite-sex households echoed by activists and reflected in recent legal proceedings about same-sex marriage.

Read Professor Regnerus' full piece here.

Coming to a Canadian Law School Near You: Gay Marriage

Bradley Miller discusses on the Public Discourse blog how same-sex marriage (in Canada), “…has become, for many, a cherished symbol of tolerance, inclusion and acceptance. So much so that many have a difficult time seeing any reason to tolerate continued dissent.” He points out that this line of thinking has created a systematic purging of “dissent” to same-sex marriage that now threatens even private religious institutions of higher learning:

The most recent case in point is a small liberal arts university located just outside Trinity_Western_Univof Vancouver. Trinity Western University is one of Canada’s few private universities, and it proposes to house Canada’s first and only private law school. TWU, like many other religious educational institutions, fosters a distinctively religious community by requiring its students to abide by a “community covenant agreement.” The agreement covers many different behaviors and proscribes, for example, the use of alcohol and pornography on campus.

But what has alarmed the Canadian legal education establishment is the requirement that students agree to abstain “from sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.” The Canadian Council of Law Deans, comprised of all the deans of Canada’s law schools, has spearheaded a public campaign against TWU through a letter to the Federation of Canadian Law Societies, the body that makes accreditation decisions.

The deans’ inability to see that the value of religious communities exceeds the value of homogeneity of views on same-sex marriage should be Exhibit A in the case for fostering some genuine diversity in Canadian legal education. And the Canadian experience as a whole should alert Americans to the danger of allowing the endorsement of same-sex marriage to become a prerequisite to participation in public life.

You can read more here.

Same-Sex Couple Married in Canada Files Lawsuit Against State of Kentucky

The Courier Journal reports on a same-sex couple that has filed a lawsuit in Kentucky to have the state recognize their out-of-state union:

Scott Utterback/The Courier-Journal

Scott Utterback/The Courier-Journal

Two Louisville men who were married in Canada in 2004 filed a federal lawsuit Friday challenging the constitutionality of Kentucky laws that don’t recognize same-sex marriages from outside the state.

The lawsuit — filed against Gov. Steve Beshear, Attorney General Jack Conway and Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw — does not seek to legalize gay marriages within Kentucky but seeks a permanent injunction requiring that same-sex marriages performed outside the state be recognized here.

“It’s sad to see these people keep pushing this agenda because the state has spoken on this issue,” said [Rep. Stan Lee, R-Lexington] ... “If we live in a Christian nation, then we need to stand by the moral absolutes,” including, he said, that marriage is determined by God to be between one man and one woman.

Bourke made news after he was ousted as a Boy Scout leader in 2012 after announcing that he was gay. The Boy Scouts do not allow gay scout leaders but recently changed its policies to allow openly gay boys to participate.

Canadian Court Making a Case for Polygamy

We recently reported Slate author Jillian Keenan's opinion that "the fight doesn’t end with same-sex marriage. We need to legalize polygamy, too."

Well, just in case anyone should think this is idle speculation and thought experiment, consider news coming out of Canada today:

A Canadian court is assembling an unprecedented set of testimonies and legal briefs about the pros and cons of polygamy. The goal is to answer the question of whether Canada’s anti-polygamy law is constitutional.

But, as the story reveals, there is still cause for hope. The case to legalize polygamous unions faces an uphill battle, against some formidable forces -- for example, the scholarship of Professor Joseph Henrich from the University of British Columbia.

Henrich has written of monogamy that it is "one of the foundations of Western civilization, and may explain why democratic ideals and notions of human rights first emerged as a Western phenomenon."

This much, at least, is not news to us. Let's hope that the Court recognizes this fact enshrined in the tradition of marriage, too.

LifeSiteNews Chief Promotes NOM's Latest MarriageADA Video

Patrick Craine, Canadian Bureau Chief of LifeSiteNews, promotes our latest MarriageADA video on the threat of same-sex marriage infringing on the rights of parents:

Just as Ontario’s new Premier Kathleen Wynne has announced plans to reintroduce an explicit sex-ed program, the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance, and our friend Damian Goddard have released a great video about a striking case where exactly this type of program has been used as a battering ram against parental rights.

... It’s bad enough that this stuff would be taught in the classroom at all – why not let parents judge for themselves when their kids are ready to discuss sex? – but now there’s an increasingly entrenched opposition to even informing parents when it comes up.

The video is an interview with Dr. Steve Tourloukis. Tourloukis asked the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board to be told when his kids would be discussing same-sex “marriage” and other controversial issues in the classroom, but they said to do so would be a violation of “human rights.” So he’s taking them to court to get a declaration that the parent has primary authority over his children’s education.

The school board, amazingly, has the gall to oppose him in court on even such a basic proposition.

This type of abuse by schools is coming to cities across North America and the West, so parents need to be ready. Our children’s hearts and souls depend on it.

You can watch the video right here.

Pro-family Groups Applaud Supreme Court of Canada Ruling in Favor of Marriage

LifeSiteNews:

A Supreme Court of Canada decision that upheld Quebec's laws which provide rights to married couples that do not apply to couples merely living together has been applauded by pro-family organizations as a recognition of the unique and distinctive role that true marriage plays in society.

In what has become known as the Eric and Lola case, pseudonyms designed to protect the couple’s three children, the court ruled that the Quebec law that excludes cohabiting couples from receiving spousal support in the event of relationship breakdown is constitutional and does not discriminate against couples who choose to live together without the benefit of marriage.

In a close 5-4 decision, Chief Justice Beverley McLaughlin wrote, "Those who choose to marry choose the protections, but also the responsibilities, associated with that status. Those who choose not to marry avoid these state-imposed responsibilities and protections."

The Institute of Marriage and Family Canada (IMFC) says that the decision accurately reflects the social science research which shows marriage to be substantively different from living common law.

Canadian Court: Marriage is Different From Cohabitation

Institute of Marriage and Family Canada:

Today the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that Quebec can exclude cohabiting couples from receiving spousal support in the event of relationship breakdown.

The Institute of Marriage and Family Canada applauds this decision because it accurately reflects the fact that social science research shows marriage to be substantively different from living common law.

“There is great consensus from social scientists, no matter their political stripe, that marriage is different from living together,” says IMFC Manager of Research Andrea Mrozek. “Unfortunately, the statistical reality is that people living together break up more readily – even if they do eventually wed. They are more likely to have multiple partners. Their children face more problems – higher rates of school dropout, more drug use and an earlier age of sexual initiation. And single parents – typically mothers – are more likely to be poor. These are some of the harsh statistical realities of living together versus getting married, and it is wise to acknowledge this difference,” says Mrozek.

Marriage protects against poverty and remains the most stable manner in which to raise children. Some researchers have even identified that a new class division is emerging along married versus unmarried lines. This is the message of author Kay Hymowitz’s book, Marriage and Caste in America.

Ontario Judge: Parents Have No Right to Know What Gay Activist Taught Their Children

LifeSiteNews:

Parents and ratepayers in a Hamilton area school board will never know exactly what a homosexual activist told their children during a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) assembly a year ago.

The Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) of Ontario upheld last week the decision of the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) to “deny access to the record” of the speech.

Suresh Dominic of Campaign Life Catholics told LifeSiteNews.com that parents of school children should be “outraged that they have been denied the right to know what is being taught to their children.”

Last November, a certified teacher named Laura Wolfson was invited as a guest speaker at a school-wide GSA held at Parkside High School in Dundas. Wolfson reportedly identified herself to the 400 students as a lesbian “youth worship leader” from a synagogue and held herself out to be an authority on Old Testament Scripture.

Wolfson allegedly sought to discredit Catholic teaching on homosexuality by suggesting that since the eating of fish on Fridays was no longer adhered to, neither should biblical teachings on homosexuality.

"Same-Sex Marriage Ten Years On: Lessons from Canada"

Bradley Miller, associated professor of law at the University of Western Ontario, has written an extensive piece in Public Discourse on what same-sex marriage has wrought in Canada -- here's the brief introduction:

"The effects of same-sex civil marriage in Canada—restrictions on free speech rights, parental rights in education, and autonomy rights of religious institutions, along with a weakening of the marriage culture—provide lessons for the United States."

National Post Interviews NOM Spokesman Goddard on Standing for Marriage in Canada and the USA

The National Post interviews NOM's Spokesman Damian Goddard about his continued pro-marriage activism after being fired for his pro-marriage tweet:

Q Why are you, as a Canadian, appearing in American election ads about gay marriage?
A I think it’s important in this day and age, especially for people of faith, to stand up for what they believe in — especially something as organic as marriage being defined as between one man and one woman. I think it’s vitally important in a free society to be able to not only express your deep-held beliefs but to also not be afraid to appear in a commercial or take to Twitter and social media.

Q And how are those ads performing?
A We are grossly being outspent, but from what we get on the ground, there is a major grassroots support for marriage being between a man and a woman. We feel confidently that, as it’s been done in the previous 31 states, that we’ll go four for four.

Q Now you’ve had some backlash in the past week since the ads came out — were you surprised by that?
A Not at all. The hate is still there, but as I’ve tried to calmly state on social media and in emails, there’s nothing that’s going to deter me. Being called names is not going to stop me from partaking in the awesome privilege of expressing myself.

Video: Public Education Advocates for Christian Equity Explains What Happened in Canada After SSM

Via Minnesota For Marriage:

Public Education Advocates for Christian Equity Phil Lees gives Minnesota For Marriage and the Minnesota Catholic Conference (MCC) an exclusive interview detailing the consequences of redefining marriage and the effect that has had on schools, education and children in Canada.

His exclusive interview is a part of an event sponsored by MCC giving Minnesotans an idea of "What the future looks like if marriage in Minnesota is redefined -- A Canadian Perspective."

Video: Canadians Share Their Experiences After Marriage Was Redefined

Via the Minnesota Catholic Conference:

"Panelists included The Most Reverend Terrence Prendergast, Archbishop of Ottawa, Ontario; Damian Goddard, a celebrated former sportscaster from Ontario who was fired for simply tweeting his support for traditional marriage; Phil Lees, founder of Public Education Advocates for Christian Equity; Albertos Polizogopoulos, Lawyer and Advocate, and Dr. Steve Tourloukis, a Christian parent who experienced firsthand the selective erosion of religious freedom and parental rights in the Canadian education system after the struggle to defend traditional marriage was lost."

You can view the full 30 minute video here.

Video: After SSM, What Next? A Look at Canada

Kalley Yanta of the Minnesota Marriage Minute takes a more in-depth look at what has happened in Canada since redefining marriage:

"To start, there have been hundreds of Canadian proceedings in courts, human rights commissions and employment boards, against critics and opponents of same-sex marriage. Religious groups and leaders have been punished. For instance, the Archbishop of Calgary was forced to answer to the Alberta human rights commission for preaching the Church's teaching on marriage."

Canadian Bishop Outlines Consequences of Redefining Marriage for Minnesota Voters

CBS Local:

A religious leader from Canada visited the Twin Cities Monday to speak out against gay marriage.

The Archbishop of Ottawa spoke at the University of St. Thomas, where the Minnesota Catholic Conference is underway.

Archbishop Terrance Prendergast says he’s here because of Minnesota’s upcoming vote on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, and he’s encouraging citizens to vote yes in November.

Canada’s parliament legalized same sex marriage several years ago. Prendergast says since then, the people of Canada’s religious freedoms have been under attack.

Prendergast was among several guests from Canada who talked about what they say are consequences of legalizing gay marriage.

The archbishop says businesses have been fined for turning away same sex couples. He claims Catholic schools that are publicly funded have no choice but to allow students to be a part of gay and lesbian clubs, even though it’s something they don’t believe in.

He points out voters in Canada didn’t get a choice, but voters in Minnesota do.