Don Martin has an editorial in the Post, Tory Strides Hurt by a Misstep. Martin's argument seems to be that this whole rumour about the government allegedly considering legislation to beef up religious rights is a waste of time, since the rights are supposedly already there.
"...the federal bill was amended by the Liberals to make crystal clear it wasn't just ministers, priests or imams who were inoculated against human rights consequences for passing on a gay or lesbian marriage ceremony.
"No benefit will be denied or sanction imposed under any federal law solely because a person or organization (emphasis mine) exercises freedom of conscience and religion guaranteed by the Charter in respect of same-sex marriage, or expresses their belief in respect of heterosexual marriage based on that freedom," the approved amendment stated.
There endeth the wiggle room on punishing anyone acting or speaking out against same-sex marriages based on religion...."
O.K. I've heard this argument many times already, but on the other side of the fence, I've heard that it is actually up to each province to concur on this framework or else it won't stand up in court. (And even then it is questionable.)
So that is an area where we need some expert input.
Martin goes on:
"But what about gay newlyweds banned from celebrating their happy union in a hall owned by an anti-same-sex church, one official wondered. Good grief. Has it really come to this sort of extreme theoretical? Besides, what happy homosexual pair would want to hold their reception in a deeply religious congregation's hall where, aside from being a sinful coupling in the landlord's eyes, there probably isn't any booze allowed either?"
He's really out to lunch on this one, because it already happened in B.C. when a lesbian couple took the Knights of Columbus to court over their refusal to rent the hall to them for a wedding reception.
Frankly, I'm shocked that this got to press, without someone correctly this outrageous error.
* * * *
Update: Now to prove that the Conservative tent has lots of room, here's a Blogging Tory with a different point of view.
Another excellent post at Phantom Observer. Warning! - We may need a legal expert again.
And thanks to Molarmauler for this tip - Predictable Smears by Paul Stanway.
Also please check out The Good Fight: Don Martin needs to do his homework. That's for sure!!!