By | August 18, 2007
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I got many more quotations that I could use in a letter. I think I probably already used too many. Here’s my list:

I’m a Catholic and I’m praying. But I am the prime minister of Canada and…I’m acting as a person responsible for the nation. The problem of my religion — I deal with it in other circumstances.

— Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, August 13 2003

If people want to do something and it doesn’t hurt other people, doesn’t reduce other people’s rights, we should let them do it. Why not?

— Canadian Defense Minister John McCallum, August 13, 2003

My responsibility as Prime Minister, my duty to Canada and to Canadians, is to defend the Charter in its entirety. Not to pick and choose the rights that our laws shall protect and those that are to be ignored. Not to decree those who shall be equal and those who shall not.

– Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, February 1, 2005

[S]ome have counseled the government to extend to Gays and Lesbians the right to civil union. This would give same-sex couples many of the rights of a wedded couple, but their relationships would not legally be considered marriage. In other words, they would be equal, but not quite as equal as the rest of Canadians. …[S]eparate but equal is not equal.

– Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, February 1, 2005

Less than equal is less than adequate. To create another institution [such as civil unions] just contributes to the fact that we would tell those members of the gay and lesbian community that they are not entirely part of our society. Why wouldn’t they be part of marriage?

— Canadian Justice Minister Martin Cauchon August 13, 2003

If a prime minister and a national government are willing to take away the rights of one group, what is to say they will stop at that? How can we as a nation of minorities ever hope, ever believe, ever trust that [the constitution] will be there to protect us tomorrow?

– Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, February 1, 2005

We won’t be appealing the recent decision on the definition of marriage. Rather, we’ll be proposing legislation that will protect the right of churches and religious organizations to sanctify marriage as they define it. At the same time, we will ensure that our legislation includes and legally recognizes the union of same-sex couples.”

– Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, June 16, 2003

We embrace freedom and equality in theory, Mr. Speaker. We must also embrace them in fact.

– Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, February 1, 2005

Many Canadians will want to accept both of these principles: protect the traditional definition of marriage and protect the rights of minorities. The essence of my message today is that we cannot do both. We cannot have it both ways. We must make a choice between traditional marriage and the protection of minority rights.

— Canadian Minister of National Revenue John McCallum, March 21, 2005

It is the responsibility of Parliament to ensure that minority rights are uniform across the country. The government cannot, and should not, pick and choose which rights they will defend and which rights they will ignore.

– Irwin Cotler, Canadian Justice Minister

In civil law, marriage is a contractual arrangement. We support the government’s desire and, we believe, obligation to maintain the equality of all people before the law. Property rights, inheritance issues, access to care and personal support, are a matter of justice, and must be available in a fair and equitable manner to all.

— Bishop Colin Johnson, Anglican Diocese of Toronto, Canada, December 9, 2004

It is incumbent upon us, as a minority, to stand up in solidarity with Canada’s gays and lesbians despite the fact that many in our community believe our religion does not condone homosexuality.”

— Rizwana Jafri, president, Muslim Canadian Congress, February 8, 2005

You have to look at history as an evolution of society.

– Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, June 18, 2003

Same-sex marriages are now a reality in Canada and I don’t think there will be any turning back. Frankly, I would have been quite shocked if someone had tried to tell me [25 years ago] that this is where the logic of the equality provision [of the Charter of Rights] would lead. But lead here it did.

– Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, April 30, 2005

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