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CANADA: Edict on Gay Marriages: Do Them or Quit. Clergy Fear They Are Next

Edict on Gay Marriages: Do Them or Quit
Clergy Fear They Are Next

Family Action Coalition release

Clergy from across the nation are deeply concerned that their religious
freedom will be violated with the same "Edict" imposed upon the Marriage Commissioners of B.C. On behalf of Clergy nationwide Dr. Charles McVety, President of Canada Christian College and Canada Family Action Coalition calls for Prime Minister Paul Martin to fulfill his promise to protect the religious rights of those who perform marriages in Canada.

Dr. McVety has heard from Clergy across the country on this issue. "I
have had numerous calls and visits from Pastors who are afraid they are next in line as the government invades the religious territory of
marriage". The Director of the Evangelical Association seems to concur.
Dr. Thomas stated "It is only a matter of time until the government
decrees that others who perform marriages must Do them or quit".

Several Marriage Commissioners have expressed their dismay at the
heavy-handed action of the B.C. Government. A private Marriage
Commissioner who received this "Edict" states "I REFUSE to solemnize a relationship that counters my faith. I will have to resign because I can
not afford to fight any battle."

Those who object have been stripped of their freedom of conscience and have lost their livelihood. Each Commissioner is paid $75 per marriage plus $.44 per km for travel expense. As of March 31st they will be forced to resign or in other words "fired" for their religious beliefs.

Dr. McVety believes that "the Government is sending the message to all
those who perform marriages. If you do not abandon your religious
convictions then you will not be permitted to solemnize marriages and in turn lose your position and livelihood".

For months Dr. McVety has been cautioning Clergy that the day will come when they will be forced to marry same sex couples or have their license to perform marriages seized. Dr. McVety calls on Prime Minister Paul Martin to be true to his word. In December Martin stated "I would look at it (the notwithstanding clause) if it was a question of affirming a
(religious) right,".

The Catholic Civil Rights League Vice President, lawyer Phil Horgan says "For those who have been engaged in the debate over the role of the state and the exercise of religious and conscience rights, the demand of the B.C. Government is merely another step in a concerted effort to remove religious voices from public administration. The Canadian Government's duty to accommodate religious rights get steam rolled in this brave new world."

Now the nation waits to see if the Prime Minister will act or vacillate
until he obtains a majority government and then absolve responsibility.


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