While the Quebec courts consider the recognition of same-sex marriage, the provincial government has tabled legislation which would allow homosexual civil unions.
On Nov. 8., Michael Hendricks and Rene Le Boeuf, supported by intervenors including Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere, challenged in Quebec Superior Court, the definition of marriage as exclusively between a man and woman as a violation of Section 15 of the Charter, which guarantees equality rights.
But the Quebec government is pushing ahead by promising public consultations will take place in the spring on implementing legal recognition of same-sex civil unions.
If the bill is passed, Quebec would become the second province, after Nova Scotia, to allow legal registration of homosexual unions. The Canadian Press reports that homosexual couples “would receive almost all the benefits of married couples, including health and insurance benefits, a new tax status, and the right to benefits after divorce or death.”
Denis Bourget, Eastern Canada and Quebec representative for Focus on the Family and assistant to the president, told The Interim that the government’s support for expanding same-sex rights is but the latest symptom of the province’s extreme secularization. “They are rejecting any standards of right and wrong,” Bourget said. “Anything goes.”
Campaigne Quebec Vie president Gilles Grondin said the proposed legislation is dangerous, considering the cultural suicide the province has experienced with its general embrace of the culture of death.
He said considering “the purpose of the benefits accorded married partners are to protect the partners and the children that will issue from that union,” entertaining a move that will exacerbate the province’s “demographic disappearance” through the promotion of a “sterile lifestyle” is ludicrous.
The legislation does not mention adoption, but Quebec already allows homosexuals to adopt children singly, though not jointly.
Bourget also said the province is broaching an issue it has no right on which to make law. Justice Minister Paul Begin almost admits as much. Begin, who presented the legislation, said if Quebec ever separated from Canada, it would legalize homosexual marriage, which it is currently restricted from doing since marriage falls under federal jurisdiction. “We would be proposing marriage,” Begin said. Nonetheless, Begin described the proposed legislation as among the world’s most homosexual-friendly laws in the world.Bourget raises another concern; namely, the independence of churches. He said churches are aware that the legislation “could be a source of potential conflict if churches refuse to recognize a same-sex relationship,” when a homosexual demands the church preside over his union.