Thursday, June 30, 2005

It's Over, Shut Up: Martin

Recent travels have kept me from commenting about the passage of the same-sex "marriage" bill in the House of Commons. Other bloggers have canvassed the matter quite thoroughly and I don't think I can add much more to their commentary.

But I would like to point out that the Liberal government is now attempting to claim that passage of the bill itself in the House of Commons is sufficient to end all public discussion of the issue.

Canadians want to put the rancorous debate on same-sex marriage behind them, despite Stephen Harper's pledge to make it an election issue, Prime Minister Paul Martin says.

Fresh off a House of Commons final vote on the matter, Mr. Martin also warned yesterday that anybody who tries to exploit the issue will be seen as an individual wanting to take away others' rights.

"This is an issue that Canadians I think want to put behind them," he said in an end-of-sitting news conference. "The Parliament has dealt with it."

Martin cannot command the public to cease debate on the issue, especially now that the effects of legalized homosexual "marriage" will now move from the theoretical to the actual.

He is attempting to claim that Canadians have, or want, "social peace" on the issue--the same "social peace" that has been used to forestall all political debate on abortion, an issue that remains no less contentious a generation after its legalization.

Marriage is one of the cornerstones of civilized society throughout the whole world. Changes to the institution affect us all, therefore we cannot simply be indifferent to a change in its civil definition. The blithe statement that "it doesn't affect me or my marriage" is fallacious, because it treats marriage as simply a private contract with no public effects.

Equally fallacious is the claim made by supporters that "we've had it for a couple of years and society hasn't fallen apart." No one has claimed that society would immediately descend into orgiastic debauchery and murderous mayhem once the bill passed. But we can reasonably predict that certain effects will result based on similar effects to changes in other laws related to marriage, divorce, and sexuality. Whether the trains still run on time has nothing to do with whether homosexual marriage is beneficial or detrimental to society.

Parliament can change the law, but it cannot tell Canadians to accept it as a good law, nor can it tell us not to discuss the subject any further. It also cannot decree in advance that the effects thereof will only be beneficial.

The debate hasn't ended. It's only just begun.

Source: The Globe and Mail

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