Finally, after years of heated debate, we have some closure on the Same Sex Marriage debate in Canada.
Last night, June 28, 2005 MPs in Canadas’ House of Commons passed Bill C-38, the bill legalizing Same Sex Marriage by a vote of 158-133. The debate was vigorous on all sides. The Conservatives, NDP and Liberals all had MPs who voted against the official party line. The Liberals even had one member of Cabinet, Joe Comuzzi the Minister of Northern Ontario, resign his post so that he could vote against the legislation.
I will not expand too much on the implications and reasons behind this vote because I think it has been debated enough.. but suffice it to say that our Members of Parliament in the House of Commons are elected to represent the wishes of the People of Canada.
This was a free vote in the House of Commons, meaning all MPs, save those in the Liberal Cabinet were technically free to vote against their party if they felt compelled to do so. And indeed, dozens of MPs did just that, on both sides of the floor.
In the end the result mirrored the position of Canadians.
It is my hope that as we move on from this and same-sex marriage becomes a reality across our great country, those who are opposed will come to understand that this was not about threatening the institutions that we know and value, but rather extending and strengthening them so that all Canadians can share their benefits.
Canadians should be proud of this accomplishment.