Saturday, March 26, 2005

Same Sex Marriage in Alberta A Go

Tick Tock, Tick Tock, The Clock Struck One
and the Alberta Marriage Act is Toast

WHEREAS marriage is an institution the maintenance of which in
its purity the public is deeply interested in;
WHEREAS marriage is the foundation of family and society,
without which there would be neither civilization nor progress;
WHEREAS marriage between a man and a woman has from time
immemorial been firmly grounded in our legal tradition, one that is
itself a reflection of long standing philosophical and religious
traditions; and
WHEREAS these principles are fundamental in considering the
solemnization of marriage;
THEREFORE HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and
consent of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, enacts as follows:
Override of Charter and Alberta Bill of Rights
2 This Act operates notwithstanding
(a) the provisions of sections 2 and 7 to 15 of the Canadian
Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and
(b) the Alberta Bill of Rights.
2000 c3 s5

"But unless Alberta MLAs receive an unprecedented awakening from their constituents in the next few days, March 22 marks the date Alberta's notwithstanding clause provision, protecting the definition of marriage as one man one woman, will pass into oblivion. Klein Tories who claim to support traditional marriage have decided to quietly let this sunset clause -- in the Alberta Defence of Marriage Act -- set. "
Janet L. Jackson
(Calgary Sun columnist)
Mon Mar 21 2005

Me thinks they protest too much, all the bluff and bluster, Sturm and Drang for what, the whole Same Sex outrage of the Provincial Tories turned out to the mewlings of weak kittens, rather than the roaring of indignent lions.

Yep when push came to shove those terrible tory tabbies, licked their wounds and cried "Uncle". While proclaiming their opportunistic opposition to Same Sex Marriage they, by inaction, allowed the Alberta Marriage Act which banned same sex marriage in Alberta (a completely useless endeavour since the provincial government has no say in this Federal jurisdiction) to die without renewal.

Yep the time ticked by and Mickies Big hand and little hand passed each other and the Alberta Marriage Act was dissolved as of Wednesday March 23, 2005.

"During question period in the legislature yesterday, Finance Minister Shirley McClellan said the government is developing options for renewing Alberta's Marriage Amendment Act, which expires tomorrow, to reaffirm the traditional definition of marriage. Government Services Minister Ty Lund will bring those options back before the legislature, but not by tomorrow's deadline, said spokesman Ryan Cromb."

Alberta gays wait to tie knot
Edmonton Sun, Tue, March 22, 2005

As the Februry 2005 Federal Judicial Review of Bill C-38 The Civil Marriage Act, ( this is the act to recognize same sex marriage in Canada) says about Alberta having to accept this legislation it is based upon the fact that: "Every jurisdiction in Canada prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in the provision of services, accommodation and employment. Alberta is the only jurisdiction in which this ban was effected by the courts rather than legislation: Vriend v. Alberta, [1998] 1 S.C.R. 493."

Yep Vriend cost taxpayers millions and forced Alberta to accept what every other province had, Gay Rights are Human Rights, Notwithstanding pig headed opportunist politicians and neaderthal fundamendalists.

Way back in December of 2004 Alberta Tories knew they were toast when it came to banning same sex marriage in Alberta, all Kleins outbursts aside, as Paul Stanway wrote in the Edmonton Sun at the time;

"The Supreme Court yesterday refused to call the traditional definition of marriage unconstitutional, but it took the legs out from under the only province interested in upholding that definition.Alberta's brand-new justice minister, Ron Stevens, admitted as much. "The reality is that our ability to defend the (Alberta) Marriage Act has been restricted by this ruling," he confessed.Although not mentioned specifically by name, much of this Supreme Court ruling was clearly aimed at the only Canadian jurisdiction that might have hit the Constitution's emergency escape lever - the notwithstanding clause - to avoid the gay marriage juggernaut. "What this (ruling) means now is that the federal government has the full ability to make uniform law through Parliament allowing for same-sex unions." said Stevens. "Alberta does not have the ability to invoke the notwithstanding clause in relation to federal legislation."

But Klein insisted on challenging the unchallengable, to play to his Southern Alberta Red Neck supporters. As Stanway reported a few days later in one of his columns:

"We won't go to hell," Premier Ralph Klein assured reporters yesterday after his cabinet had discussed the burning issue of the day. But the premier insists that Alberta will continue to "fight the good fight" in defence of traditional marriage, even if "the legal options are few and far between." "Marriage has been that way forever, and it should stay that way," he vowed. "I'm against (same-sex marriage) because I feel it's morally wrong. I believe in the traditional form of marriage." Nevertheless, Klein's cabinet yesterday voted unanimously "to pursue all legal and political avenues to oppose same-sex marriage," which is quite remarkable when it knows the legal avenues are virtually nonexistent and the political ones are full of potholes big enough to swallow the unwary.

The result of this decision has meant that since December the Alberta Government has spent over $110G to fight same-sex marriage law.
"The Alberta government rang up about $110,000 in legal fees to fight Ottawa's proposed same-sex marriage law in front of the Supreme Court of Canada. Alberta Justice spokesman Mark Cooper said yesterday that in-house lawyers have also offered opinions on the decision, but could not say how much was spent on that. Alberta was the only province that participated in the high court reference last year in opposition to what was being proposed by the federal government."

See they hadn't learned anything from the Vriend case, and shilling for the social conservatives they wasted money and embarassed Albertans, being the only province to oppose the bill.

Not another red cent on a losing battle - Pannu
NDP Opposition calls for an end to Alberta's "make-work project for lawyers"

Edmonton – NDP Opposition justice critic Raj Pannu called on the Alberta government put a halt to spending taxpayers’ money on the same-sex marriage legal fight today. “This government is prepared to fight losing legal battles with taxpayers’ money, and it is a shameful waste,” says Pannu.

“This government is not committed to human rights, they’re committed to a make-work project for lawyers. Taxpayers are forced to foot the bill,” continues Pannu. “This isn’t only symbolic – it will inevitably lead to more costly legal battles.”

Pannu was responding to the Conservative caucus’ decision yesterday to charge ahead with use of the notwithstanding clause, even though every shred of legal advice – and even their own Justice Minister – has indicated that deciding who may marry is outside provincial jurisdiction.

“If the Tories want to appease social conservatives in their ranks, or conduct a recruitment drive among Alliance supporters, Alberta families should not foot the bill. The Conservative party should pick up the tab for any more legal battles,” says Pannu.

Pannu was echoed by Edmonton City Councillor Michael Phair, who said that the caucus decision is “extremely unsupportive to Alberta’s gays and lesbians and calls Alberta’s commitment to equality into serious question.”

“The fact is that the gay and lesbian community are forced to pay twice for these inappropriate and fruitless legal battles – once as taxpayers, and a second time as supporters of gay and lesbian legal defence funds. Equality rights should not be this expensive, especially since the battle has already been won,” added Phair.

The Alberta Marriage Act died this week, with nary a whimper and so did the Tories campaign against Same Sex Marriage. And by the by Ralphie boy, you are still going to hell.


Asher said...

Finally got around to returning the favour and linking to this site from mine. Sorry it took so long, and cheers for the link.

dearkitty said...

Also thanks for linking my site. I'll link this one.

Anonymous said...

Ad hominem does not an argument make.

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