Religions Join to Oppose Homosexual "Marriage"

Canadian Coalition Plans Court Battle

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TORONTO, JAN. 26, 2001 (
Sikhs, Muslims, Catholics and evangelicals have teamed up in Canada to fight efforts that would allow same-sex couples to marry, the Ottawa Citizen reported today.

The Interfaith Coalition on Marriage and Family will go to court to block the legal recognition of what a Toronto church billed as «the world´s first legal same-sex marriages.» It will also try to block other attempts to redefine marriage in the courts of the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec, the newspaper said.

Bruce Clemenger, of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, said marriage has been defined for thousands of years as the union of one man and one woman. «Marriage has always been unique and should remain unique in Canadian law and public policy,» the newspaper quoted him as saying.

Phil Horgan, vice president of the Catholic Civil Rights League, said 94% of marriages in Ontario are performed by clergy, and if the definition of marriage is blurred, «we will begin to lose the respect that goes with the institution.»

The Law Commission of Canada has already published a discussion paper suggesting that one way to resolve the growing difficulties of framing legislation regarding pensions and other benefits for same-sex and opposite-sex relationships, marriages, and non-sexual partnerships is to dispense altogether with the legal concept of marriage.

Horgan said the Interfaith Coalition will intervene in the province of British Columbia´s challenge of federal laws preventing same-sex marriage, a homosexual couple´s challenge to Quebec´s prohibition of same-sex marriages, and a challenge to the law by 10 different couples who are members of Toronto´s Metropolitan Community Church.

On Jan. 14, the Reverend Brent Hawkes exploited what he hoped was a loophole in Ontario´s marriage laws, allowing «any person» to be married in a church which followed the Christian tradition of publishing banns, or notice of the upcoming union, for three Sundays preceding the ceremony. After calling the banns, Hawkes «married» two same-sex couples.

Other members of the Interfaith Coalition include the British Columbia Council of Sikhs, the British Columbia Muslim Association, the Islamic Society of North America, the Ontario Council of Sikhs, and the Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver.

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