EDMONTON, Alberta (BP)–There were plenty of traditionally minded politicians in Canada disappointed with the legalization of “gay marriage” July 20. None, though, were more disheartened than Alberta Premier Ralph Klein, who had fought for years against the redefinition of marriage.
“It’s a sad day for the majority of Albertans who believe in the traditional definition of marriage,” Klein told Canadian Press. “We have to obey the law of the land, and it’s unfortunate that such a law would be passed.”
Heading into July 20, Alberta was the lone provincial holdout in legalizing “gay marriage.” Of the 10 provinces, eight had been forced to legalize it by courts, and a ninth was set to legalize it within weeks.
But Klein and conservative Alberta had refused to follow the other provinces’ lead, hoping for a solution. In the end, Alberta officials decided that a fight with the federal government would be futile.
Klein, a member of the Conservative Party, says he believes his viewpoint is the majority one nationwide.
“We always believed that gay people should be protected relative to discrimination in terms of housing, jobs and so on,” he told Canadian Press. “But when it comes to marriage, we draw the line.”
Canada is the fourth nation to legalize “gay marriage,” joining Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain.
Klein and the Alberta government hope to pass a provincial law protecting civil officials who are morally opposed to being forced to “marry” homosexuals.
Canada’s governing Liberal Party — led by Prime Minister Paul Martin — pushed for “gay marriage” legalization. The bill passed the Senate July 19 and the House of Commons June 28.
Nationwide, Conservatives still hope to see the law reversed if they come to power during the next federal election, which could take place within a year.
“I’ve said it will be an issue in the election and our government will have our own vote in the Parliament and it will be a free vote,” Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper said, according to Canadian Press.
A free vote would allow all members of Parliament to vote their conscience, instead of them being forced to vote a certain way. While most Liberals were given a free vote, Martin’s cabinet members — who also are members of Parliament — were required to support the “gay marriage” bill. Harper would become the next prime minister if the Conservatives won the election.
VATICAN SPEAKS OUT — The Vatican newspaper July 20 criticized Canada for legalizing “gay marriage.”
“The distortion of God’s plan for the family continues,” L’Osservatore Romano wrote, according to the Associated Press. “In Canada, homosexual unions have become equal to marriage.”
CIVIL UNIONS BILL DIES — As expected, Republicans in the Oregon House of Representatives have killed a same-sex civil unions bill that had passed the Senate, The Oregonian newspaper reported. A House committee gutted the bill July 21, and in its place voted to add “reciprocal benefits” language that would give limited benefits to any two people who cannot get married — for example, same-sex couples, two sisters and two brothers, etc.
It had passed the Senate by a vote of 19-10, giving homosexual activists in the state reason for optimism in the wake of a marriage amendment passed last November. Republicans control the House, Democrats the Senate.
For more information about the national debate over “gay marriage,” visit http://www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage