Conservative Harper Determines to Reverse Same-Sex Marriage Bill in Canada

The incoming Canadian Prime Minister pledged to reopen the debate on the prevalent same-sex marriage legislation.
( [email protected] ) Feb 01, 2006 02:35 PM EST

The incoming Canadian Prime Minister pledged to reopen the debate on the prevalent same-sex marriage legislation in an attempt to restore the heterosexual definition of matrimony.

During a news conference last Thursday at Ottawa, the Conservative leader Stephen Harper unveiled his plan to put a free-vote motion before Parliament on whether marriage should be legally redefined as the sole domain of one man, one woman, according to Canadian Press (CP).

"I would prefer to do it sooner rather than later - but not immediately," Harper said last week, CP reported.

However, many have speculated that there is "a good chance" Harper’s proposal will be rejected for the Conservatives' winning margin is too narrow to rule with a majority in the House of Commons. Currently, there are 124 Tory MPs compared to 103 Liberals, 51 Bloc Quebecois, 29 New Democrats and one Independent. Any motion could be very difficult to be pushed forth in the sharply divided government.

The concern has been echoed by most Chinese Christian leaders, according to previous reports. The Toronto-based Chinese Christian charity Jubilee Center for Christian Social Action (JCCSA), which has collaborated with churches to organize educational campaigns for Chinese Christian voters, described the minority Conservative government remains "unstable."

Chinese Christian Mission U.S.A (CCMUSA) chairman Rev. Paul Chan also emphasized, "This is a minority win. There is still a long way to go for the Conservative Party to change the politics and culture of Canada."

In conclusion, Chinese Christian leaders urged churches to pray for the new leader in post-election period that he can firmly uphold justice in decision-making in face of opposite voices.

On the other hand, another evangelical Christian group Focus on the Family appears to be more forceful in pushing the new government to mobilize a change.

"If he [Harper] fails to deliver on this issue, he'll have to deliver on some significant other issue," said Derek Rogusky, Focus on the Family Canada's vice-president of family policy, Reuters reported. One example would be raising the age of consent to 16 from 14.

The traditional definition of matrimony was rejected by the outgoing Liberal Party, which has approved the controversial same-sex marriage Bill C-38 in July 2005 after two years of intense debate. As the Bill defines civil marriage as "the lawful union of two persons to the exclusion of all others," same-sex marriage is legally recognized under the Bill.

Conservative Harper’s success in the federal election on Jan. 23 has provided a golden opportunity to overturn the liberal move that has outraged many pro-family groups and conservative evangelical Christians in Canada. They hold that homosexuality contradicts the teaching of the Bible on God’s law of creation.

Other critics focused on perceived threats to the institution of heterosexual marriage itself as a stabilizing force in society, to the family unit, and to the religious and expressive freedom of those opposed to same-sex marriage.

So far, more than 3,000 same-sex couples had already wed. But Harper promised to ensure their legal partnerships would not be annulled even if the heterosexual definition of matrimony is restored, Reuters reported.

Harper will be sworn-in as Canada's 22nd Prime Minister on Feb. 6 after his Conservative Party defeated the Liberal government of Prime Minister Martin.