March 10, 2005
Right on Marriage,
Educate All Canadians to the Threat We Face
Dear Friend of Marriage and the Family,
As a nation and as a society, Canada stands today at a critical crossroads. In the next few months we will be deciding whether to pass the Government’s bill to legalize same sex marriage. What we decide—which road we take--will determine in large measure whether our children, grandchildren and future generations will inherit a stable, prosperous and healthy society.
All Canadians should understand that about a year ago Australia was at this same crossroads where we find ourselves today. They were facing court cases by same-sex Australian couples who have been married abroad (primarily in Canada) who were going to demand that their marriages be recognized as legal in Australia.
The Australian government’s response was totally opposite to the direction our Government is taking and that should give every Canadian pause.
Instead of moving to legalize same-sex marriage, Australia passed legislation to define marriage as only the union of a man and a woman, specifically prohibiting same-sex marriage. This legislation was advanced by the Conservative Government and supported by the opposition Labour Party.
Why would Australia respond so differently than our government? After all, it also is a commonwealth country with similar cultural and legal roots (and one with which Canada increasingly is being compared these days). Australians as a whole are certainly every bit as tolerant and concerned about legitimate minority rights as are Canadians.
The answer is simple, but vitally important for every Canadian to understand and carefully consider. It goes beyond the fact that a majority of Australians, like a majority of Canadians, opposes legalizing same-sex marriage, though in a democratic system that should be a significant consideration.
Rather, as Australian Prime Minister, John Howard said he was pushing to define traditional marriage in law and prohibit same-sex marriage in order to protect “a fundamental bedrock institution of our society which has contributed massively to our stability and to our success.”
The Australian Government and the Opposition both understand what our government does not: how marriage is defined will profoundly affect our future stability and our success because it will directly affect families. They understand that the future of Australia is tied to the strength of her families. Throughout history and across cultures, strong families have always been the essential foundation of strong, resilient and successful societies.
And make no mistake about it. Legalizing same-sex marriage would profoundly and negatively affect the future of the family in Canada or any other country that takes such an action. It would inevitably and irreversibly change the way our children and future generations would look at marriage and its relationship to the family.
Instead of viewing marriage as we generally do today, as the ideal and desirable relationship within which to form a family and raise children, future generations increasingly would view it as little more than an official recognition of any two people’s professed affection for each other. If government devalues marriage and the family, as our Government proposes to do through this legislation, then the citizens will soon do so as well.
We should be particularly concerned because in recent decades social science data increasingly and overwhelmingly is validating the lessons of history. The traditional family, composed of the married biological father and mother of the children, is by far the best setting to rear children. On any measure one chooses, success in school or career, health, safety, avoidance of substance abuse or teen pregnancy, or any other, children in these kinds of families do far better than children raised in any other situation.
I know from discussions with former colleagues in the House of Commons from all parties, that those of us committed to defending marriage and the family in Canada are making progress in forcing the debate on this issue to focus on what is really at stake.
We still have an uphill fight but in just the past couple of months we
have made great progress.
Thank you for whatever help you can provide in this important effort!
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