Response to Editoral, December 15, 2004 (v12 I 48)

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Response to Editoral, December 15, 2004 (v12 I 48)

Dear Ms Editor,

Although I don’t hold the same level of animosity for gay marriage as I would say Stephen Harper and his crew do. I have to admit that in a referendum I would vote against gay marriage if the word “marriage” was used to define it. “Oh my God you’re Homophobic!” The constant rebuttal of any gay activist or supporter which in turn is really due to their inability to form any meaningful argument on the subject. My response is simple: my wife and I have been married for 5 years and we have one daughter (3 years old) and one on the way (due in Apr.) As far as I am concerned and last time I checked two men or two women cannot produce the same type of relationship as my wife and I can. Our marriage is unique and our children are a creation of the two of us.

That being said, I don’t feel threatened by gay marriage enough to tell my MP not to vote in support of it in the House of Commons. Like the Editor I believe there are many more important things we could be talking about. As the Editor states in her letter to Alberta MP Mr. Obhrai: “With all of the other very important concerns affecting Canadians today (prohibitively high post-secondary tuition; rampant poverty and homelessness; the frequency of child and animal abuse; high taxes [Note: Taxes are not too high in my opinion for some they’re not high enough!]; environmental concerns; air quality and food quality concerns… the list goes on), you chose to focus instead on this one moral issue, and make it the forefront of your campaign?”

Homosexuality has been around long before I came onto this planet and in the brief estimated 80 years that I will be on it I highly doubt that it will stop before I exit. So within my own walls if two men were to say they were married I would simply respond, “Thats nice…” Marriage isn’t something between you and the government it’s between you and your wife and your children. Government appointed marriage really means nothing to me. To get up in front of some guy I don’t know and ask if he will marry me and if he will okay it is pointless part of the ceremony. I was already married in my mind and “the type” of wedding I had solidified this!

I don’t feel threatened by gay marriage because I know they cannot have what my wife and I have. I believe in “civil unions” and I believe they should receive spousal benefits. But, I don’t believe they can have what my wife and I have. So, it cannot be marriage. That’s why I would vote against it. Their right to marry in my opinion is not a Human Rights issue. The inability to be recognized as a couple and receive spousal benefits is a Human Rights issue. However like the Editor, I’m more interested in asking my local MP why after being our Liberal MP for some 12 years our local Health Unit says that 1 in 5 children live below the poverty line in Peterborough.

Arthur Setka
Peterborough, ON

Thanks for the very detailed response, Arthur. It’s interesting that by your definition I may not be married because my husband and I have chosen to not create children. The assertion that marriage is between “you and your wife and your children” leaves a large percentage of heterosexual married couples out. Is your definition one of marriage, or of family? After all, your children would continue to be your children if the marriage dissolved and children are often born outside of marriage. Also, this begs the question: what about couples who are infertile or who adopt children? What about step-parents, who are raising children that were not “created” with their spouse? And what about gay couples who adopt, or who are raising the genetic offspring of one of the partners? If children are a factor in the definition of marriage, then perhaps only couples with children — gay or straight — should be permitted to marry, while those without children should be relegated to civil unions.

I absolutely agree, though, that legal marriage probably has little meaning for any couple. I disagree with Ralph Kleins’ recent statement that because legal marriage is no longer a necessity, there is no need to open it up to gays. My objection is based on simple logic: if legal marriage is no longer a necessity, then it should be a discontinued service for all people. His argument simply does not support retaining the man/woman definition of marriage, and it betrays his bias (and lack of thought).

Regarding the 1 in 5 children who live in poverty in your local area (I suspect the numbers are similar across Canada) – I’d love to hear the government answer that question as well, and explain why our country is more interested in the starving children in third world countries than the ones in our own back yard.!