Sunday, December 04, 2005

Questions for the Dear Leaders

Canadians are being invited to submit their own questions to be considered for the leaders debate to question@electiondebate.ca.

I figured I'd submit one, and did so:

This is a question for Mr. Harper in particular, though I invite other leaders to comment on it.

Recently you promised to re-open the debate on same-sex marriage. Given that the supreme courts in 8 provinces and 1 territory have already ruled that it is unconstitutionally discriminatory to refuse gays and lesbians access to marriage, the only way to bring back the opposite-sex only definition of marriage would be to use the constitutional override, the notwithstanding clause; and the courts in the last two provinces and territories would likely agree with the other nine, as would the Supreme Court of Canada if they had to make a decision. That being said, my question is this: if the courts all, including the Supreme Court, agreed that denying gays and lesbians access to marriage was unconstitutional, which once again nine courts already have, would you use the notwithstanding clause to override those decisions - yes or no?

It's a fair question, I feel, and I don't think Stephen Harper has given a straight answer on it, no pun intended. He always just seems to dodge the issue by claiming that the opposite sex only definition is not unconstitutional - which, of course, nine courts have already ruled that that they disagree with him about that. I really would like to know the answer to this.

1 Comments:

At 12/05/2005 5:13 AM, Blogger Koby said...

This is how I would frame the question.

In January 134 Law professors wrote you a letter. In it they noted that there was no way you could avoid using the notwithstanding clause and that you must know this. You dismissed their concerns by saying "Different experts have diferent views." That being said, I ask two things of you. 1) Who are these experts that agree with you? 2)What argument, or arguments do they make?


By the way, the letter can be read here.
http://www.law.utoronto.ca/samesexletter.html

 

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