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Writing to Pierre

I wrote to Pierre Poilievre, MP for Nepean-Carleton today on the topic of same sex marriage.  Here is the email I sent him.

Pierre, I am writing today to let you know my opinion on the same sex marriage issue.  I believe that this is one of the most important tests of the Charter to date.  Although the issue doesn’t affect me personally, I believe it affects every Canadian.  It’s both a moral, and a legal issue.

Gay marriage points to the very heart of what kind of a society we want to live in.  Is our culture diverse, or homogenous? Are the institutions of our society inclusive, or exclusive?  Are those institutions strengthened when they are broadened, or weakened?  Are rights guaranteed to every member of society, or only available to a select few?

One of the most important duties of government is to defend minorities. It would be highly immoral for the government to propose legislation which might exclude some members of society from the institution of marriage.  A vote to defeat legislation designed to give citizens equality rights would be equally immoral.   

From a legal perspective, the use of the notwithstanding clause to deny rights to a minority, amounts, in my opinion, to an invalidation of the Charter itself.  The notwithstanding clause is a powerful, but very blunt, instrument.  Its use in this circumstance would be neither welcomed, nor appropriate.

Pierre, when you were campaigning for the nomination in our riding, you stood on my doorstep and told me that you thought a free vote in Parliament was the best course forward on the same sex marriage issue.  You got my vote.  Now you have been granted your wish, and I urge you to cast your vote in favour of the government’s proposed legislation in the New Year. A

P.S.  If you wish to know more about my opinions on this subject, I’ve written fairly extensively about it on my weblog.  Recently it was voted one of Canada’s Top Blogs by Blogs Canada.

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