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Same-Sex Marriage: A Good Thing. Honourable Carolyn Bennett M.D.,M.P. What makes a stronger society ?. Love and Commitment ‘til death do us part’ OR Romantic view of word/ceremony. Eric Joyce MP, for Falkirk blog on the vote today in UK.

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same sex marriage a good thing

Same-Sex Marriage: A Good Thing

Honourable Carolyn Bennett M.D.,M.P.

what makes a stronger society
What makes a stronger society ?

Love and Commitment

‘til death do us part’


Romantic view of word/ceremony

eric joyce mp for falkirk blog on the vote today in uk
Eric Joyce MP, for Falkirkblog on the vote today in UK
  • “People get freedom of religious observation, right?”
  • “But you have to take a view in the end. And, actually, mine is just based on love and democracy. That’s all.”
  • “Love sits at the heart of it, actually. “
  • In Falkirk, everyone should be allowed to love and to express that in the same way; f*** however they like, bring up kids well, get married. They might not like the way I say it, but I think Falkirk folk would agree if put properly to the test.
  • Marriage for all, regardless of sexuality, it is.
  • Confessions of a florist’s daughter
  • I went to Havergal
  • Family physician
    • ‘next of kin’
    • AIDS epidemic taught me a great deal
    • Leaving an abusive spouse to raise a child with a same-sex partner
  • Civil Ceremony City Hall 1980
    • “Our country will only be as strong as its individual family units”


love marriage
Love & Marriage
  • It’s about the choice to formalize and loving and committed relationship
  • Imperative to redefine what it takes to make a modern society – celebrate the evolution, institution by institution.
  • Need to implode the argument that has been made that the state should have nothing to do with marriage, because it is a tradition that precedes the state.
marriage religion
Marriage & Religion
  • Marriage has traditionally been a religious institution – evolving
  • 2011 Ipsos Reid poll: 30% of Canadians do not believe in God
  • Same sex couples may also be devoutly religious
  • State should not be telling Reverends & Rabbi’s they cannot perform marriages
  • Civil marriage and civil union quickly becoming the same thing – matter of choice
evolution begins
Evolution - begins
  • U.S. : Whites not allowed to marry blacks
  • Canada: Whites not allowed to marry Chinese
    • So Chinese men married First Nations women
    • Senator Lillian Dyck’s story Café Daughter

That’s a good thing ….

evolution the toothpaste is out of the tube
Evolution –“The toothpaste is out of the tube”
  • 1995 –C-167, Ontario’s attempt to

extend family benefits to employees in same-sex relationships /adoption

  • SCC: Rosenberg Decision, 1998 - not appealed
  • 2000 – Omnibus Bill C-23, gave same-sex couples same benefits and obligations as common-law couples
  • 2003 Chrétien: announces SSM legislation allowing churches etc “to sanctify marriage as they see it “ "There is an evolution in society“
  • 2005 – Bill C-38, Law on Civil Marriage
evolution swift shift generational
Evolution – swift shift, generational
  • Canada fourth country in world to legalize same-sex marriage
    • Now 11 countries: Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Denmark
    • UK and France : Bills before Parliament
  • 1999: In US, same-sex marriage not legal in any state
    • Less than 15 years later: legal in 9 states and Washington D.C.
  • In Canada, the 2011 Census counted 64,575 same-sex couple families, up 42.4% from 2006
    • Room-mates no more !
sanctity of marriage
“Sanctity” of Marriage
  • Sanctity of marriage – nonsense
  • Refusal to deal with the misogyny of many traditional marriages
  • Power differential of heterosexual marriage
    • fistulae in Africa
  • How do sham marriages, abusive or unfaithful marriages between a man and woman increase the sanctity of marriage, rather than render that term meaningless?
  • Hypocrisy –
    • those arguing ‘sanctity’ not exactly exemplary ….
  • Why do they think that affording ‘marriage’ to other ‘lessens’ their relationship ?
  • Right to loving parents and a stable home
  • People are happier and healthier in stable relationships
    • And live longer !
  • Family violence – children are better off in single parent families than in a violent household
  • Children from high conflict families have an increased likelihood of poor outcomes: dropping out of school, poor grades, smoking, binge drinking, marijuana use, early sex, non-marital fertility, and union dissolution
same sex parenting
Same-Sex Parenting
  • Children of same-sex couples are as likely to make normal progress through school as the children of most other family structures
  • Beliefs that lesbian and gay adults are not fit parents have no empirical foundation
  • Monoparentalunits & same-sex parents recognize need to have ‘other sex’ role-models for their children
    • Grandparents, aunts, uncles, open adoption, relationships with surrogates
  • Surrogates often with egg donor from different woman
the future of same sex marriage
The Future of Same-Sex Marriage
  • Discussion not quite over – evolution always two steps forward, one step back.
  • In 2006, – Conservative motion to reopen the same-sex marriage debate – defeated 175-123 including 12 CON MP’s incl 5 Ministers
  • Government has recently spent public money fighting the recognition of gay relationships in Canada - intervened to oppose recognizing aU.K. civil partnership in Canadawhen two men filed for divorce here.
  • California :June 2008 SCC allowed SSM, ended Nov. Proposition 8, 2010 declared unconstitutional, appealed 2012…. Awaiting decision in June 2013
same sex marriage are we there yet
Same-Sex Marriage Are we there yet ?
  • Romantic view of marriage vs.

love, commitment & democracy

  • Progress, but still an evolution.
  • Uganda …. Death penalty for being gay…
  • Question of building stronger communities
  • “But you have to take a view in the end.

And, actually, mine is just based on

love and democracy. That’s all.” Eric Joyce MP

  • Are Both Parents Always Better Than One? Parental Conflict and Young Adult Well-Being by Kelly Musickand Ann Meier
  • Portrait of Families and Living Arrangements in Canada Statistics Canada
  • Nontraditional Families and Childhood Progress Through School by Michael J. Rosenfeld
  • Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile Statistics Canada
  • Defining Marriage: Defense of Marriage Acts and Same-Sex Marriage Laws National Conference of State Legislatures
references 2
References 2
  • Rosenberg Speech 1998 by Dr. Carolyn Bennett
  • Gay Marriage is Settled, Right?by Robert Leckey
  • Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment on Gay Marriage by Keith Olbermann
  • UK MP Eric Joyce blog