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pat o’brien

Terrified by yesterday’s departure of Pat O’Brien from the Liberal fold, Paul Martin has agreed to amend bill C-38 on same-sex marriage before passing it, to appease some members of his party:

They include:

  • Stronger guarantees that Charter rights will not override religious freedoms
  • Justices of the Peace who do not want to perform civil marriages of same-sex couples will not have to do so
  • Churches are not required to rent out their halls for same-sex weddings
  • Religious educational institutions will still be allowed to preach that homosexuality is against God’s law, without being subject to hate crime laws

Except for the second point about justices of the peace not being required to carry out the law, these amendments seem reasonable and designed to simply guarantee religious freedom.

Still, you have to wonder whether Martin would have done this if his fragile grip on power hadn’t been threatened yesterday. I’m wondering if he’s even capable of taking a stand and stating clearly that bill C-38 will pass because it’s the right thing to do.

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Federal MP Pat O’Brien quit the Liberals and has decided to sit as an independent because he’s opposed to the Liberal bill to allow same-sex marriage.

With that view, Mr. O’Brien, why not just leap all the way to the Conservatives, where you can spend lots of time and energy opposing the rights of the gay minority in Canada to your heart’s content? After all, the Tories lost Belinda Stronach to the Libs, it could be considered a fair exchange.