OTTAWA (BP)–The head-counting is still taking place, but a bill that would legalize same-sex “marriage” in Canada may already have the votes for passage.
The bill needs 154 votes to pass in the House of Commons, and a website that has been tracking the issue says 164 MPs (members of Parliament) are on board. The website, www.marriagevote.ca, tracks public statements by MPs on the issue. According to the website — which supports “gay marriage” — 134 MPs are against the bill and nine haven’t made their position known.
Same-sex “marriage” already is legal in seven provinces and one territory. The bill would legalize it nationwide — that is, in the remaining three provinces and two territories.
Thus far, all of the victories for homosexual activists in Canada have come through the court system. But with the Liberal Party in charge of the government, a significant political victory appears to be within reach. Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, a Liberal, favors “gay marriage.” Even though some Liberal MPs are opposed, most of them support the legislation.
Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, a Liberal, has said he hopes to see the bill pass by the end of June. First, though, the bill will have to make it through a 13-person committee, where it almost certainly will pass. Six of the committee members are Liberals who support “gay marriage.” Three other committee members — two from the Bloc Quebecois party and one from the New Democrat party — also support same-sex “marriage.” Apparently only four committee members, all from the Conservative party, oppose the bill.
“The odds are about as stacked as they could be,” Liberal MP Pat O’Brien, who opposes the bill, said, according to Canadian News. “The committee might have benefited by hearing from at least one Liberal who disagrees. That might have added something to the debate.”
DOMESTIC BENEFITS LAW OVERTURNED — A New York court March 16 struck down a New York City law that required companies doing business with the city to extend benefits to same-sex domestic partners if the companies also gave benefits to married spouses. A state appeals court ruled unanimously in a 5-0 decision that the city law “expressly excludes a class of potential bidders for a reason unrelated to the quality or price of the goods or services they offer.” The law applied to contracts of more than $100,000.
The lawsuit pits New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who opposes the law, against the city council, which passed the law over Bloomberg’s veto. Bloomberg supports most homosexual causes — including “gay marriage” — but says the bill would lead to increased taxes, according to The New York Times. The city council is appealing the decision.
STATES UPDATE — Constitutional amendments banning same-sex “marriage” advanced in three states the week of March 13.
Tennessee’s House passed a marriage amendment by a vote of 86-7, sending it to citizens for a November 2006 vote. It already had passed the Senate.
Iowa’s House passed a marriage amendment 54-44, although it appears headed for certain defeat in the Senate, where Democrats and Republicans are split evenly, 25-25.
In Indiana, a state House committee approved a marriage amendment on a 9-3 vote, sending it to the full House. The Senate already has passed it. It must pass the legislature again during the next session and won’t appear on the ballot until 2008 at the earliest.
For more information about the national debate over same-sex “marriage,” visit http://www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage