A grassroots network opposed to euthanasia has been created in Quebec. Vivre dans la Dignite (Living with Dignity) will respond to the travelling provincial commission that is holding summer and fall hearings on euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. Linda Couture, the group’s director, said “We cannot allow killing to be confused with health care in Quebec” … C-389, the private member’s bill of Bill Siksay (NDP, Burnaby-Douglas), passed second reading. If approved C-389 would add “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the identifiable groups protected under Canada’s hate laws. Lawyer Gwen Landolt, vice president of REAL Women, said that neither term is defined and their vagueness could encroach on religious freedom: “it’s an open avenue for difficulties with the Catholic Church and other faiths” … The University of Calgary’s Campus Pro-Life Club has regained club standing. The Students’ Union Club Committee sought to deny it status over the club’s display comparing aborted children to Holocaust victims. Alanna Campbell, the club president, said “We’re planning to continue as normally as we have in the past couple of years with various activities, and we’ll put the Genocide Awareness Project in the Fall” … Toronto city councilor Giorgio Mammoliti introduced a motion to have Pride give back over $123,807 in grant money and in-kind city services including policing, garbage collection and transportation costs, because of its decision to let Queers Against Israeli Apartheid march in the parade … Scott Robertson and Richard Anthony have filed a complaint with the Northwest Territories Human Rights Commission against landlord William Goertzen who refused to lease them an apartment after he learned they were a homosexual couple … The Victoria Right to Life Society billboard that said “Love them both. Choose Life” was vandalized to read, “Love them both. the right to choose.” … The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada issued “Zoned Out: Religious Freedom in the Municipality,” a guide to understanding how zoning laws can impinge on the freedoms of faith groups … About the British Columbia Information and Privacy Commissioner’s decision not to release abortion numbers, the Kelowna Courier said: “By keeping the numbers out of the hands of the public, the government only serves to help cloak abortion in secrecy and shame, attitudes that run directly counter to the pro-choice view that it is a medical procedure that should be free of any stigma” … Campaign Life Coalition B.C. president John Hof reports that 3000 British Columbians have signed postcards demanding that “information regarding abortion in B.C. is no longer hidden from public scrutiny” … Quebec will provide up to three free cycles of infertility treatment according to a new plan announced by Health Minister Yves Bolduc who said the estimated annual cost of $63 million is “good for Quebec because it will increase the birth rate.” Critics say it will cost more because the province will attract infertile couples looking to conceive artificially.
Icelandic Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir has married her female partner after Iceland legalized same-sex marriage in June. She is the first national leader in the world to have a same-sex spouse … Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, issued an alert on July 4 in support of funding abortions at U.S. military hospitals. Judie Brown, president of American Life League, responded: “On the very day we celebrate the American dream of promoting and protecting liberty and human rights for all…Cecile Richards, the abortion industry’s current matriarch, has a better idea: enshrining child killing on our military bases” … A Spanish law passed in February liberalizing abortion restrictions is under review in the Constitutional Court after the conservative Popular Party challenged the legislation as unconstitutional. The law allows abortion up to 14 weeks and permits 16 and 17-year-olds to get abortions without parental consent … Epidemiologists Alan Whiteside and Justin Parkhurst have called on African leaders to head a month-long campaign to promote sexual abstinence in order to substantially cut down the number of new AIDS infections. They say it could reduce new AIDS cases by as much as 45 per cent … Argentina became the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide after a 33-27 vote in the senate. The law gives gay couples the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexual couples, including adoption. The bill was approved by the lower house in May and had the support of President Cristina Fernandez. Grassroots opposition was strong among both the Roman Catholic Church and evangelical groups, which organized a pro-traditional marriage rally that drew 60,000 people … Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition noted press reports that South Korea had legalized euthanasia were false. He said medical guidelines about withdrawing and withholding treatment were promulgated which are in fact “more cautious than most national end-of-life guidelines in the western world,” concluding that despite some problems (such as the definition of ‘terminally ill’) “these guidelines do not appear to be designed to open the floodgate.”