It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Originally posted by intrepid
If your boss tells you that company policy is changing to adopt something that you do not agree with, thats life. You either go along with it or look for another job. Why should it be any different for civil servants?
Originally posted by Thinker
Can i also marrie my pet goat?
Marriage has been widely debated in recent years. Perhaps no single issue touches more people. Everyone — those who are married, those who have chosen not to marry or remarry and those who have not had the opportunity to choose — has an opinion. Their opinions are based on their own experiences and on the experiences of their parents, their children and families, friends and neighbours, as well as on their values and beliefs.
Public debate on marriage began long before the recent legal challenges to the constitutionality of requiring marriage to be between “one man and one woman”. Not just in Canada but around the world, individuals and their governments have debated whether marriage has a continuing value to society, and if so whether and how the state should recognize married relationships in law. The Canadian public, like those in many other countries, are divided on this question. Some feel strongly that governments should continue to support marriage as an opposite-sex institution, since married couples and their children are the principal social unit on which our society is based. Others believe that, for reasons of equality, governments should treat all conjugal relationships — opposite-sex and same-sex — identically. Still others believe that in a modern society, governments should cease to recognize any one form of relationship over another and that marriage should be removed from the law and left to individuals and their religious institutions.
As part of this debate, recent Charter challenges to the legal requirement that marriage be between “one man and one woman” are now before the courts in three provinces —British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, with conflicting results at the trial level. These three decisions are now under appeal. The government hopes to benefit from the guidance of the appeal courts on the legal issues.
But marriage is not just about law. Challenges to the opposite-sex meaning of marriage bring a new focus to the continuing debate about the future of marriage in Canada. The court challenges show that marriage has a continuing value to both those seeking to maintain the opposite-sex requirement and those in the gay and lesbian community who are seeking to marry. People in Canada and their representatives must now decide whether marriage should remain an opposite-sex institution, perhaps along with the creation of a new registry for civil unions that would be deemed equivalent to marriage for the purposes of federal law and programs, or be changed to include same-sex couples or cease to be reflected in law at all.
The Government of Canada believes that Parliament is the best place to debate how we as a society should address this question. Some of those who disagree with the trial court decisions in Ontario and Quebec have expressed concern that the courts, rather than elected members of Parliament, are making decisions to change fundamental social institutions. In my view, the roles of Parliament and the courts do not conflict, but complement each other. When the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was added to our Constitution in 1982, Parliament and the legislatures decided to make explicit the right of Canadians to go to court and challenge laws. At the same time, our Constitution makes it clear that Parliament has an essential role to play in deciding important social questions. Recent court decisions acknowledged the importance of this role, and we intend to responsibly play our part.
The question we are discussing is complex. Every viewpoint on how best to reconcile the traditional meaning of marriage and the recognition of committed gay and lesbian relationships within our constitutional framework and equality guarantees deserves to be heard. I know that people living in Canada will find a way to resolve this issue that is consistent with our values as a society and that respects the Constitution and the roles of Parliament and the courts. The Parliamentary Committee will open this discussion. I look forward to hearing the views of Canadians and the recommendations of the Committee.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Can i also marrie my pet goat?