Parliament has spoken. It has clearly and loudly proclaimed that same sex couples are equal in value and equal in law.
The vote was not expected until later in the week, since it was only reported back from the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee on Monday evening. In the end, the debate concluded of its own accord, without the need for closure.
This is a proud and exciting time to be a Canadian. Today, we made history. Today, we affirmed once again our world-wide reputation as a country that is open, inclusive and welcoming.
You have taken a stand in favour of equality and for that we are truly grateful. We thank you for your help—writing and visiting MPs, attending public events, volunteering, donating money to help us make our case. Without the active engagement of tens of thousands of Canadians, from coast to coast to coast, this legislation would not have seen the light of day. It’s not often you can say “I helped change our country for the better.” But, working together, we can certainly say with pride that we were all part of making history happen.
In a generation, Canadians will look back on a time when lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-identified people were denied full citizenship, just as we look back on the days when women or Aboriginal people could not vote or times when Canadian citizens were interned because of ethnic origin. We will talk about these days and this battle. We will be proud, as Canadians, that we rejected rejection, that we ended exclusion, that we said to LGBT people: there are no second-class Canadians, you are full members of the community, without caveat or exceptions.
Egale to carry on CEM’s work
As you may know, Canadians for Equal Marriage (CEM) was created in September, 2003 as an outgrowth of Egale Canada’s equal marriage work. CEM was set up as a campaign whose sole purpose was to work for passage of federal equal marriage legislation. Now that we have reached our goal, the work of CEM is complete. However, Egale Canada will continue—as it has for two decades—to fight for social justice, human rights and fairness. See egale.ca for more info.
Sadly, there is still much work to do. There are still those who want to turn back the clock on human rights and those who wish to impose their own views on our pluralistic society. Your future support of Egale Canada and its work will help ensure that your voice will be heard in these debates.
We still need your help!
In an urgent e-mail alert recently, the Defend Marriage coalition advised its supporters to “Remember also that, in the political world, nothing is permanent. Where there is political life, there is political hope and we need to bring life back to marriage in the next federal election.” Opponents of equality have clearly not given up!
Equality opponents are massively well-funded and well-organized. They will continue their fight in the next election. That’s why your financial contribution is absolutely essential in order for us to match their efforts. Please help us—go to www.equal-marriage.ca/donate.php to donate. All funds will go to Egale. Your support of Egale Canada and its work will help ensure that our voices will be heard in these debates.