As Minister of The First
Unitarian Church of Hamilton, I want to correct the
impression created by those opposed to equal marriage
that the “churches” are on their side. I and hundreds of
my colleagues in congregations of many Faiths across the
country stand in support of equal marriage. We are tired
of seeing the “religious” view appropriated by a few
strident voices that stand in opposition to everything
we believe religion is about.
Every argument used against
equal marriage stands on shaky ground. Those who want to
defend “traditional” marriage are ignoring the fact that
for much of human history, (and still in many places
around the world), marriage traditions have had to do
with money, lands, alliances, power and the oppression
of women. Love, choice and equality between partners are
very recent additions to the “tradition” of marriage.
Those who want to use the
“biblical” definition of marriage are conveniently
forgetting kings and prophets with many wives and
stories of eunuchs, concubines, incest and adultery that
also describe “biblical” marriages and relationships.
They are also happy to ignore many ancient laws about
food, clothing, cleanliness, building temples and
hundreds of other specific biblical injunctions. Exactly
how many cubits long is Stephen Harper’s church
Finally, those who would point to “nature” for their
argument against same sex marriage or to discriminate
against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people
need to do their homework. It’s a very diverse world out
there. Most plants and many animals cannot even be
classified accurately as definitively male and female.
As Stanford Biologist Joan Roughgarden points out in her
book Evolution’s Rainbow, “The most common body
plan among multicellular organisms, including plants, is
for a single individual to make both male and female
gametes at some time during their life.” In addition,
over 300 higher-order vertebrates (and humanity since
the beginning of time) exhibit same-sex behaviours on a
regular basis. The argument from “nature” would be for
far greater gender diversity and acceptance of
Similarly, those who would
deny equal marriage out of “concern for the children”
need to read further. Many studies have shown that love,
stability and commitment have a far greater impact on
children’s health and well-being than parental gender.
For generations, children have been raised in all kinds
of families – some with fathers and mothers, others with
grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, neighbours or
friends – in various combinations of women, men or both.
Love is what makes a family a good place to raise
No, it is not tradition nor
the bible nor nature nor concern for the children that
wants to prevent equal marriage from becoming law in
this country. It is fear, and fear is the enemy of Love.
The sad and ironic part is that fear, discrimination and
prejudice spiritually diminish the bearer even more than
the recipient. My heterosexual marriage has nothing to
fear from two women or two men who love each other
wanting make a lifetime commitment. In fact, my life is
enriched and my spirit deepened every time I affirm the
greatest gift offered to all of us – the gift of Love.
I believe with all my heart
that this is a fundamentally decent country, that its
people are kind and caring and want justice and equity
for everyone. Our society as a whole is strengthened by
our commitment to equal treatment under the law for
every one of our citizens. That’s what the Charter of
Rights and Freedoms is about. I believe that the silent
majority of Canadians (religious as well as secular)
affirm Love wherever it is found, hold Justice and
Equity for all to be fundamental Canadian values and
want the government out of the bedrooms of the nation.
time for us to be much less silent.