Wednesday, September 17, 2003
“The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state.”
OTTAWA –Garry Breitkreuz, Member of Parliament for Yorkton-Melville, expressed great disappointment as the Canadian Alliance motion to preserve the traditional definition of marriage as a union of one man and one woman was narrowly defeated last evening in the House of Commons by a vote of 137-132. In 1999, a nearly identical motion was passed with Liberal Cabinet and backbench support by a vote of 216-55 and was a commitment by the government to preserve traditional marriage.
“This vote is a flip-flop by the Liberals, but it is also a broken election promise and a violation of an international agreement they signed. The United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights that Canada signed onto clearly states: 'The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state.' Why has the Liberal government suddenly decided the traditional family no longer needs state protection?" asked Breitkreuz.
The outcome of the vote confirms that the Chrétien-Martin Liberals never had any intention of defending the traditional definition of marriage. The Liberals ran the 2000 election on their commitment to Canadians. Their failure to appeal lower court decisions, bring forth legislation defending the traditional definition of marriage, and yesterday’s vote all demonstrate that the Chrétien-Martin Liberals have not been honest with the Canadian public.
The Canadian Alliance firmly believes that Members of Parliament should have a free vote to clearly reflect the views of their constituents on fundamental social issues such as same-sex marriage; but not all parties agreed. "The New Democratic Party (NDP) did not allow this to be a free vote. Consequently, a number of NDP Members of Parliament voted contrary to the wishes of their own constituents on one of the most important issues affecting Canadian society. Why should voters support a party that doesn't even allow their own MPs to vote freely and in accordance with their constituents’ firmly held beliefs?" demanded Breitkreuz.
“While the Liberals and NDP have chosen to hide behind the courts, the Canadian Alliance will continue to honour its commitment to Canadians to defend the traditional definition of marriage by ensuring that this law is written where laws are meant to be written – in Parliament – and not the courts!” concluded Breitkreuz.