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MARRIAGE DIGEST: Canada taking up ‘gay marriage’ bill in Feb.; Ill. passes ‘sexual orientation’ bill; Lesbians win case in Israel

OTTAWA (BP)–Canada’s Parliament will debate a bill legalizing same-sex “marriage” in early February and likely will pass it by early summer, Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler said Jan. 10.

While the announcement was not unexpected, it nonetheless was another sign that America’s neighbor to the north is close to becoming the third nation to legalize “gay marriage.”

“It will be introduced and there will be the customary debate,” Cotler told the Canadian Press. “I’d like to think that it would pass … before the House [adjourns] in June.”

Canada would join Belgium and the Netherlands as the only countries to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. However, Spain’s Socialist government also is expected to legalize same-sex “marriage” this year.

Already, seven of Canada’s 10 provinces and one of its three territories have legalized same-sex “marriage.” But the movement has run into considerable opposition in other parts of the country — particularly the province of Alberta, which is more conservative than the rest of Canada.

Thus far, all of the progress by homosexual activists has been made in the court system, although that could change if the bill passes Parliament, as most expect it will.

Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper said in December he would add amendments to the bill to protect the traditional definition of marriage, although he did not give specifics.

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin supports same-sex “marriage.” Cotler and Martin both are members of the Liberal Party, which as the governing party decides what legislation to push.

“My view is that this is an issue of minority rights and equality rights,” Cotler said.

The push for same-sex “marriage” legalization in Canada has moved at a rapid pace. Just over five years ago, in 1999, Parliament passed by a vote of 216-55 a non-binding resolution affirming the traditional definition of marriage. Former Prime Minister Jean Chretien supported that resolution but eventually flipped on the issue to support same-sex “marriage.” He simply said society had “evolved.”

ILL. PASSES HOMOSEXUAL RIGHTS BILL — The Illinois House passed a bill Jan. 11 adding “sexual orientation” to a list of protected classes. It now goes to the desk of Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who supports it and said he would sign it.

Blagojevich called it a “landmark day in Illinois,” the Associated Press reported. The bill passed the House 65-51 and the Senate 30-27.

According to AP, the bill protects homosexuals from discrimination in such areas as jobs and housing. But pro-family leaders criticized the bill and said it could lay the groundwork for the eventual legalization of same-sex “marriage.” The bill will lead to infringements on religious freedom, they said.

“SB 3186 opens a Pandora’s Box for the homosexual, bisexual and transsexual agendas in Illinois,” Peter LaBarbera, executive director of the Illinois Family Institute, said in a statement. “Under the guise of ‘equality,’ legislators have passed a bill that undermines the rights of anyone opposed to homosexual behavior to live out their beliefs.”

LaBarbera said the bill would create legal protections for cross-dressers and “transsexuals” because its definition of sexual orientation includes “gender-related identity.” The bill also could be used to support teachers who want to promote the teaching of homosexuality within schools, he said.

Fourteen other states ban discrimination based on “sexual orientation,” the AP reported.

LESBIANS WIN IN ISRAEL COURT — The homosexual agenda has found its way to Israel, where the nation’s supreme court ruled Jan. 10 that two lesbians who live together may adopt each other’s children. The vote was 7-2 and overturned the rulings of two lower courts.

The women have lived together for 15 years and had their children with the help of a sperm bank, Haaretz.com reported. Haaretz.com called it a “landmark decision.”

The couple’s lawyer, Ira Hadar, said the country eventually must deal with the issue of same-sex “marriage.”

“Our struggle is not over yet,” Hadar told The Jerusalem Post. “We still have a long way to go. We have yet to deal with the subject of marriage and full recognition of our rights.”

Eli Yishai, chairman of the Shas Party, criticized the ruling, calling it “a disgrace, and a black mark in the history of the Jewish people,” according to Haaretz.com.

“[T]he court’s ruling tramples on the Jewish family unit and rips away the distinction between the Jewish people and the rest of the world,” he said.
For more information about the national debate over same-sex “marriage,” visit http://www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage

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  • Michael Foust