Ottawa Citizen

Same- sex marriage rivals duel as free vote by MPs nears

- BY NORMA GREENAWAY

Revisiting the federal law legalizing same- sex marriage would be either a “ moral outrage” and a waste of Parliament’s time or a way of stopping the law from being used as a “ hammer” to impose homosexual teachings on Canada’s schools.

Those were a couple of the competing pitches made yesterday as proponents and opponents of same- sex marriage held back- to- back news conference­s on Parliament Hill to press their respective positions on homosexual marriage and the law approved in 2005.

On one side were representa­tives of the anti- gay- marriage Defend Marriage Coalition. On the other side was a group of gay- marriage supporters.

The two teams, both of which were dominated by religious leaders, sought to play their best cards as the clock runs out on Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s promise to hold a free vote on the subject this fall.

Opponents quoted a French government study as saying gay marriage is not good for children. Proponents quoted the Canadian Associatio­n of Social Workers and the Canadian Psychologi­cal Associatio­n as saying children of a same- sex partnershi­p are better off if the couple is married.

Opponents said they are not prepared to accept the convention­al wisdom that MPs would defeat a motion to reopen the issue if it is put to the minority Parliament this fall. Proponents said they are confident a majority of MPs either oppose reopening the issue, or oppose the idea of plunging the country back into such a divisive debate.

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