Sadly, there will be consequences.
By Giuseppe Gori. 25/2/05
Status: Married to a woman.
Ontario same-sex marriage bill (Bill 171) passed yesterday. The Ontario Liberal Government dropped the "same-sex partner" definition introduced by the Progressive Conservatives in 1999, and re-defined "spouse" as any two persons living together in a conjugal relationship, whether married or not.
In addition, the new legislation "protects" religious officials from being required to solemnize a marriage, if to do so would be contrary to the religious official's religious beliefs.
In essence the legislation prepares the way for the federal government to introduce same-sex "marriage" with Bill C-38. There was an evident collusion between the two levels of government to introduce this drastic social change in spite of the opposition from the majority of Canadians.
Apparently the issue was not important enough for the Ontario government to go through the formality of First reading, Committee hearings, Second and Third Reading at appropriate times and dates, which normally requires several months. Instead, 73 laws were changed in three brief sessions culminating in a simple voice vote.
The government is defining a new concept, using an old word. "Spouse" now means a person with which you have a "conjugal relationship" or you are "conjoint" in a relationship of "some permanence".
For each Act that was changed yesterday, the government had to come up with a specific definition of "spouse" that fits the Act, in terms of type of relationship, years of cohabitation and whether the couple are "parents" of a child. They call these "variations" of the term "spouse".
The legislation however, does not specify the meaning of "conjugal relationship".
Since the intent of the legislation is to open the definition of marriage to same-sex couples, then the meaning of "conjugal relationship" must be interpreted to change from "a man and his wife united for life, for the purposes of establishing a family" to "any two people copulating".
This legislation will have serious consequences. Marriage is now in Ontario a word devoid of true meaning. If you wanted to destroy marriage, you could not have done a better job. As I write this, it feels like I am writing fiction, like Orwell's 1984, but sadly it is Ontario 2005.
Under the new definition, a person can easily have a "conjugal relationship" with multiple people. In fact, people who perform homosexual acts are experts at this (group sex), and the legislation was introduced specifically to support their lifestyle.
If you live in a conjugal relationship with person A, according to the new definition you are a "spouse" of A. In the same way, you can be a spouse of persons B and C as well. Possibly within the same roof.
It will be up to the interpretation of the courts whether yesterday's legislation introduced legal polygamy in Ontario. Logic says yes. Soon a judge will probably confirm it, or "read it in".
In the new Pensions and Benefits Act, for example, judges will have to discriminate between multiple "spouses" to decide which "spouse" is the "legal" one who will receive marriage benefits and survival benefits. Can you already imagine a sketch of Judge Judy with three people all claiming to be the "legal spouse" of their common spouse? Alternatively, all three might want to receive benefits. Can then a person receive multiple benefits being a spouse of multiple households? Can we, as taxpayers, afford to give benefits to any number of people living the group sex lifestyle?
Sadly, there will be more consequences.
The word "parent" is now unclear. If any two persons can be "parents" to children who neither has procreated, you do not need to stretch your imagination to understand the need for government to satisfy the "right" of "married parents" to "have" children. Politicians and Judges will imagine and invent the details. It is too sad to even explore the ramifications of embryos or children treated as goods to be assigned to one or another set of "parents" according to government rules.
Sadly, there will be more consequences.
Legislation has an impact on education. With the government and the Ontario Elementary Teachers officially supporting the teaching that new marriages are to be promoted, we will be teaching our children that to be a "spouse" all you need to do is to be in bed with someone, of any sex and preference. Promiscuity and adultery are now "legal" and, in the minds of children, have society's stamp of approval.
Sadly, there will be more consequences.
As it was experimented in Russia in the 1920s' and as it is now in Scandinavian countries, the family as we know it will disintegrate. More children will be born or raised in these new "marriages" without a father or a mother, without both or with many "transient parents". The inherent instability of the new "marriages" will mean (statistics from Europe show) more children from broken marriages left orphans to be taken care of by the state.
Sadly, there will be more consequences.
Since couples are considered "married" simply because they cohabitated or "are parents to children", then divorce also loses its meaning. If living together for a year makes you a "spouse", then living apart for a year makes you single again. Can you imagine how one (or both) fathers may stop supporting the children they are "parenting"?
More money will be spent in litigation and more money will be needed for government to take care of the "leftover" children from those whose "marriage" fell apart. So much money for daycare and education, that even the Stalinist regime had to backtrack from similar family reform.
Whether religious officials will be protected from solemnizing these marriages, frankly, is the least of our problems.
The strategy that many Churches and family organizations have followed for years in defense of marriage did not pay off. We could not defend an institution passed down to us from generation to generation for thousands of years. We have to admit defeat, in Ontario.
We do not lose the hope of returning to a common sense definition, but it will take some time. It will take a transformation of society, from individuals, to Church leaders, to media, to judges and political leaders.
I am ashamed to live in a Province that elected a government that diminished the institution of marriage (a sacred institution blessed by God and the Church) to a bilateral arrangement between any two people to obtain government support for copulating.