Comments: Oh, Canada

Have you seen this? I hope it works:

Posted by Jay at July 3, 2005 07:41 AM

"although I fail to see how any potential challenge to monogamy can in truth be connected to recognition of gay marriage; the definition of marriage remains, in law, as being between two people."


What is there to stop polygamist marriage? What is there to stop adult-child marriage? How about man-dog marriage?

The rules have been thrown out. Any objection that applies to polygamist marriage or adult-child marriage or man-dog marriage is identical to the objections to gay marriage; in the eyes of the Supreme court or the government they would be just as invalid.

Yes, property rights are important. However, societies have functioned without property rights (for example, there are no property rights in Canada). Can you really say that a society can function once it descends into depravity?

Posted by Ed Minchau at July 3, 2005 12:13 PM

Man-child will have to come first. Man-dog marriage would have two problems to deal with - inter-species and age (unless one finds a dog over 18).

But, give them time.

Posted by Jay at July 3, 2005 01:07 PM

I get what that what you're saying, Ed, in that the floodgates may have been opened, yet I just don't see the logical connection between gay marriage, which is restricted as being between two persons, and the other possible consequences you mention.

Polygamy is permitted in many Muslim countries, yet gay marriage is not. The basis for any challenge to our definition of marriage as a monogamous union won't be dependent on the legality of gay unions, but more likely on cultural grounds but economics will probably factor in refusing to allow it.

Child marriage is tricky because the age of consent is so low (I think too low) and, although I am not a lawyer, I suspect a challenge there is more likely to be based on the age of consent than on enshrined gay marriage.

Marriage to a child (i.e, someone under the age of consent) would be pedophilia which is most definitely not the same as homosexuality. As a side note, more girls are sexually assaulted than boys, yet we seem to be more outraged when boys are assaulted.

Jay, the age of consent up here goes as low as 14! Besides, attempting to legalize inter-specifies marriage will likely face stiff opposition from PETA, and we really don't want to contemplate the advertising campaign they'd launch to fight it. And yes, I saw the Souter link you mentioned above but wasn't sure it if was a joke (it would fit nicely on the Onion or Scrappleface websites) or for real.

To reiterate: the one prospect I find insupportable is that of allowing gays to marry yet a future Conservative Party government suddenly declaring those marriages null and void. That would be so very wrong.

Posted by Debbye at July 3, 2005 04:41 PM

Debbye, marriage used to be restricted to two persons of opposite sex. Now that the "opposite sex" restriction has been removed, what possible argument can there be to removing the "two persons" restriction? As far as I can see, there is no argument against removing the "two persons" restriction that was not already used (and declared invalid by the Supreme Court and the government) against the "opposite sex" restriction.

Similarly, the age of consent restriction no longer holds water; to uphold this restriction is to deny pedophiles equality under the law.

Even marriage with animals cannot be prohibited anymore; that would deny bestialists equality under the law.


Is marriage a right?

If it is, then divorce cannot be a right, as the two are mutually exclusive.

If marriage is a right, and I ask a woman to marry me and she says "no", is she violating my rights?

My central point here Debbye is that this has not been thought through at all. Marriage is not a right. The arguments used to enshrine it as a right are disingenuous at best, and at the worst, plain evil. Calling gay marriage a "right" cheapens not only the term "marriage" but also "rights".

People may shrug their shoulders that the term "marriage" has been rendered meaningless by the inclusion of its opposite. What will they do when they realize that the word "right" also has been rendered meaningless?

Posted by Ed Minchau at July 3, 2005 06:16 PM

BTW, that Souter link is for real; someone is using eminent domain to have his house torn down to make way for a hotel.

Posted by Ed Minchau at July 3, 2005 06:18 PM

Debbye, I don't mean to slam you. I don't feel that I am either; I just think that this is completely wrong. And I am not limiting this to you either, I have posted this same set of questions in several blogs. If anyone responds with a single valid argument (valid meaning "not invalidated by the Supreme Court and government of Canada as an argument against same-sex marriage"), then I will spread that argument to each blog on which I have posed the question.


Government cannot grant rights. Rights are immutable. If you accept that government can grant rights, then you must accept that government can take them away - in which case, what you are talking about are not "rights" but "privileges".

Posted by Ed Minchau at July 3, 2005 07:12 PM

Ed, my crack about being cyber-slammed was due to my invoking the "move on" phrase which has a different connotation for Americans, but I certainly was not referring to you!

Obviously I believe my rights are inherent, and agree with you that marriage is not a right but a freely entered social contract with or without religious blessing.

But the laws of this country pay benefits to married people in the event of death or disability. The one argument against gay marriage could be that it produces no progeny, aka future tax payers, but so many hetero couples are consciously chosing not to have children so penalizing gay couples would be inequal application of the law.

Actually, I was reading some of the comments over at N=1's blog and it struck me that any challenge to monogamous marriage would most likely be based on the basis of religous freedoms.

Pedophilia is not the same as homosexuality, and despite the failure of the courts to protect children from the predators I think any government which removed legislation which criminalizes and prosecutes pedophiles would be voted from office. It is a no go zone, probably more so today than even a year ago.

By the way, reform of the manner in which judges are selected is another excellent focus for the CPC.

One thing about which I suspect we both agree is that the federal government has no business getting involved in marriage because it is a provincial concern. That's the issue behind this one: increased centralisation.

I could wholeheartedly support the CPC formulating a platform to reduce federal rule in provincial matters!

Posted by Debbye at July 3, 2005 07:33 PM

No need to worry about the *floodgates being opened*, as to a variety of unions under the term *Marriage*.

Marriage is a term used to depict the public recognition of two people who make vows of loyalty to each other and where having children is a possibility.

Just because a misguided government passes a bill to change the meaning of the term *Marriage*, does not mean that the term is actually changed.

Bill C-38 merely allows that the term marriage can be applied to the *Civil Bond* paperwork, but the agreement remains a civil bond.

The true meaning of the term marriage remains unchanged in the collective public mind. No number of incorrectly labeled documents will mean anything other than *civil bond*.

As that scrappy old Quebec scammer would say, *a truth is a truth, and when you know it is a truth, then it is da truth.*
73s TG

Posted by TonyGuitar at July 3, 2005 07:55 PM

Unfortunately Tony, under the law the term has been changed. My concern is with the laws as they stand today. As Debbye said, any government that legalized pedophilia would be voted from office... but as we have seen, it is not necessary for a government to actually enact such a law. It is sufficient for the Supreme Court to rewrite the charter of rights, reading in rights where none exist.

Posted by Ed Minchau at July 3, 2005 10:52 PM

"Pedophilia is not the same as homosexuality"

Debbye, "it is not the same" is not a valid argument. That argument was already used by the defenders of traditional marriage (ie "same-sex relationships are not the same as traditional marriages"). Thus this argument has already been declared invalid by the Supreme Court and the government.

I have already posed this same question at Angry in the Great White North, Small Dead Animals, and Tory Blue. So far, nobody has come up with a single valid reason why polygamy, pedophilia, and bestiality should not also be included in the definition of marriage ("valid" meaning "not already considered and ruled invalid by the Supreme Court and government of Canada"). Most of the responses have been either "right on Ed" or "you're a bigot", neither of which answers my question. (I find the "you're a bigot" response particularly entertaining, considering that I am arguing for the *inclusion* or these other forms of relationship in the definition of marriage.)

Posted by Ed Minchau at July 4, 2005 03:18 PM

Over at AitGWN J. Bielecki brought up the only valid argument I have seen so far against pedophilia and bestiality: that at least one of the participants is incapable of legally giving consent.

So far, there have been no valid arguments against including polygamy as a legal form of marriage.

J. Bielecki brought up a further possibility: that the restriction against "intrafamily" relations is now also invalid.

I will be posting something on my blog soon to cover this issue. Thanks to all who have participated in the discussion.

Posted by Ed Minchau at July 5, 2005 12:06 AM

Ed, sorry about not responding. I'm not quitting the field but there was this birthday party which occupied my attention as well as this uncontrollable urge to sing "Yankee Doodle" at inopportune moments.

As to your points, the principle of "consent" will probably continue to hold sway (at least for now) but I retreat to my belief that the CPC needs to expand from what looks like a one-plank party and formulate proposals that will address unexamined judicial appointments and the unelected Senate (which is the worse kind of throwback to pre-Revolutionary War political abuse) and start acting as though they are prepared to offer Canadians thoughtful, political leadership.

But then I am an American, and one of my core beliefs is that the government should fear us.

I realize that Canadians have put up with things that would have had me and my fellow countrymen standing on the lawn of Parliament Hill in less than happy moods. You may well be right and bestiality and pedophilia will be decriminalized but it won't be because gay marriage received legislative approval but because the distance between government and the will of the people has become so vast that a revolution or national dissolution is the only remedy.

Lastly, and I have no facts to back this up, I firmly believe that most gays would also oppose decriminalizing bestiality and pedophia.

Posted by Debbye at July 5, 2005 12:08 AM


Happy 4th of July, God bless America etc.

Of course, the issue of polygamy still exists, and J. Bielecki brought up "intrafamilial" relationships as well. (the questionable-content filter has rejected the more common term)

Now, while it may be that gays (and indeed the vast majority of people) would oppose bestiality and pedophilia, such opposition has been proven irrelevant. After all, homosexuality itself has progressed from "illegal", to "mental disorder", to "if you don't accept it you're a bigot", to "equal to heterosexual marriage" in less than 4 decades.

Posted by Ed Minchau at July 5, 2005 01:41 AM

Ed, I don't believe that homosexuality is a disorder and regard it as being as relevant to a person's character as eye colour.

I guess I see the problem boiling down to the CPC focusing on tactics rather than strategy. Their "us too" responses regarding health care and federal spending doesn't offer the electorate clear policy positions but the threat to nullify gay marriages ex post facto sets off alarms because it is patently unfair.

We'll continue to disagree on this, I suspect! (I hope this time the comment gets posted ...)

Posted by Debbye at July 5, 2005 04:34 PM

I have nothing to say, except, it's always fun to follow a good debate. 73's Ooops, who said that? TG

Posted by TonyGuitar at July 7, 2005 10:57 PM