Excerpt from a speech by Senator Anne Cools (Liberal-Ontario) to the Senate on June 13 on the second reading of her Bill S-9, An Act Respecting Marriage:

Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, I rise to speak to the second reading of my bill, Bill S-9, to remove certain doubts regarding the meaning of marriage. Bill S-9 will create a statute called An Act Respecting Marriage. Its short title will be The Marriage Act.

Bill S-9 is a consequence of the Modernization of Benefits and Obligations Act enacted in June 2000. That omnibus act amended numerous statutes in respect of same-sex benefits and pensions. Its section 1.1 set out the meaning of marriage as an interpretation tool for the purposes of that particular act and distinguished marriage as unique to man and woman. Section 1.1 stated: “For greater certainty, the amendments made by this Act do not affect the meaning of the word ‘marriage’, that is, the lawful union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.”

Those words “one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others” are from the 1866 judgement in the case of Hyde v. Hyde in the United Kingdom’s Courts of Probate and Divorce. Believing that it would be consistent and appropriate that very same meaning of marriage should be set out in an act specific to marriage, I have developed Bill S-9 and have placed it before the Senate. Bill S-9 will create a specific Marriage Act that is also based on Hyde v. Hyde’s definition of marriage as the lawful union of one man and one woman. I shall provide the Senate with a historical and legal analysis of marriage as a societal phenomenon that is foundational to society itself.

Honourable senators, I shall begin with one example of a church marriage service, being the 1549 Anglican Church’s Book of Common Prayer, which calls it “The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony.” This service begins: “Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this Congregation, to join together this man and this woman in holy Matrimony, which is an honourable estate, instituted of God…” These are familiar and ancient words repeated by and to generations. The Book of Common Prayer service tells the purpose of marriage, saying: “Matrimony was ordained for the hallowing of the union betwixt man and woman, for the procreation of children to be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord…”

All the major religions of the world that form the basis of our Canadian heritage have similarly upheld marriage as between man and woman. Marriage is a solemn act with a profound social purpose. Marriage was also a sacrament that hallowed the unique ability of the sexual union of man and woman to bring forth issue, to procreate, that is, reproduction. The public interest in marriage is reproduction, the continuation of the species, the offspring. There is no public interest in sex or the gratification of sexual impulses for their own sake.The law’s interest is the public interest in the continuation of the species and the children.

Honourable senators, a word now about reproduction and conjugal sex. In the Senate, I have maintained that the term “conjugal” is a term of matrimonial law and that conjugal sex is unique to the male and female sexual union. I had opposed the statutory use of this matrimonial law term “conjugal” to describe homosexual sexual relationships in the Modernization of Benefits and Obligations Act. I believe that such drafting was intended to create conditions for court challenges and judgements and that such drafting is intended to defeat marriage as between a man and a woman.

I had said that conjugation means genetic mixing. In biology, The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines “conjugation” as the union of two cells for reproduction. In biology, conjugation is the act of genetic recombination; that is, the recombination of genetic materials. A consequence of this genetic mixing is the production of offspring called children in the human species. Being of the same species, human offspring are similar to both parents, but though of the same species, on an individual basis, each offspring is a unique organism and a unique person.

Honourable senators, the prerequisite condition, the condition absolutely necessary for genetic recombination in humans – that is, for procreation – is the existence of two different mating types. For procreation or reproduction to occur, there must be two mating types of the same species, but yet two different mating types. They must be different from each other biologically, different in both mating capacity and different in mating function. This difference means a male and a female. The two necessary mating types are a genetic donor, typically described as male, a man; and a genetic recipient, typically described as female, a woman. This fusion of genetic materials is the process of genetic recombination. It is a recombination of genetic materials from both a man and a woman. It follows then, that biological conjugation, genetic recombination, simply is not possible where two organisms are of the same mating type – a condition described as homosexuality. Homosexual sexual activities cannot be conjugal for the purposes of mating because two homosexuals are of the same mating type. Consequently, homosexual sexual activities and relationships cannot be conjugal relationships because they cannot conjugate…

Historically and legally, marriage had been a sacrament of the Church and the sole sexual union supported by the law or by the Church. The lust for sex, the sexual impulse, or sexual drives are supported nowhere else in law. In fact, the law has always eschewed lust and sought to constrain and limit lust. The law understands that sexual impulses have no limits and that left to their own will and devices can become inordinate. The lust for sex, for sexual gratification, unbounded and unbridled by social and legal boundaries, is antisocial. Such unbridled lusts can be socially disastrous because of the very nature of lust itself.

Human lust is actuated by strong primitive instinctual cravings, impulses and urges. These urges are powerful and profound and can become ungovernable. It was to the governance of one sexual urge, the man and woman sexual union and its procreation factor, that marriage was developed. Marriage was developed for the protection of the function of procreation, for the continuation of the species, and the securing of property therein.

Marriage is about the governance of that powerful organic force between men and women, that force of nature which is driven by nature’s sexual instinct to bring forth offspring, to reproduce. It is a powerful instinct and not totally understood. Marriage purports to be the healthy condition for the proper exercise of those sexual functions to which the reproduction of the species has been entrusted. Marriage attempts to limit the negative, even contrary effects of the abuse of those sexual functions to which reproduction has been entrusted. …

Life and the handing on of life are two vital societal interests. Primitive morality with its primitive taboos and customs eventually developed over millenniums into the mature body of law called the law of marriage. The law on marriage was assembled for good reason and is constitutionally protected by Parliament and Her Majesty the Queen. Human life is so vital and the man-woman sexual act in procreation is so pivotal that the body of law called the law of marriage buttressed this sexual act. It did so because the law understood that lust, like all human passions, is not to be trusted. Lust and sex on their own have no public character and contain no public interest or public good. Marriage is about man and woman in a peculiar act of bringing forth offspring.