Friday, October 20, 2006

Reply from Tom Brodbeck

A few threads ago, we had an interesting little discussion about Tom Brodbecks' piece in the Winnipeg Sun concerning Kevin Kisilowsky, a Manitoba marriage commissioner who had his licence pulled for refusing to perform same-sex weddings for religious reasons. Kevin is now taking his fight to Manitoba's Court of Queen's Bench, to argue for the same religious rights currently granted only to clergy who are allowed to abstain from performing same-sex marriages.

During the course of the discussion, the question came up as to whether it is indeed true that Manitoba marriage commissioners have no obligation to perform any weddings except for gay marriages.

So I went back to the source, and checked with Mr. Brodbeck:

I have a little discussion going on in my blog about your article in yesterday's paper about the challenge to the same-sex marriage legislation over religious rights:

Would you happen to know if a Manitoba marriage commissioner can refuse to perform an interfaith wedding for example?


His reply was as follows (with his kind permission):

There is nothing in law or in Vital Statistics policy that prevents marriage commissioners from refusing to perform any wedding for any reason, except when it comes to same-sex marriages. It is provincial government policy that if a marriage commissioner refuses to perform same-sex marriage, they will have their licence terminated. There is no policy that would apply those same rules to interfaith weddings or any other types of weddings.


Now, I don't know what will happen with the legal challenge. It does make for great debate though. This is obviously going to be an interesting test case if it gets very far in the process.

Red Tory and others can call me "obtuse" and anything else they like, but this is happening.

Perhaps Manitoba should consider making it mandatory for marriage commissioners to perform every wedding they are asked to do without exception. What do you think?

Anyway, thanks Tom!


hunter said...

It will be interesting to see what happens, with this case. I know Priests that will not marry you if you are living together, it's their rules, and if you want to get married, in the Church, you have to abide by them. They should be able to set the rules, not the politicians or human rights tribunals.

Red Tory said...

Instead of consulting Mr. Brodbeck, why not put your question to officials of the Manitoba government, or better yet, look into the governing legislation yourself.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Red, don't you know Johanne prefers fantasy to the truth...

Mac said...

RT, was there any particular problem with or reason to avoid directing a question to Brodbecks or are you just being a pissant?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mac - Exactly. By making a comment like that he seems to be suggesting that Mr. Brodbeck's research is inadequate and/or incorrect.

I think I will defer to the man who makes his living writing rather than the one who sits back trying to poke sticks into imaginary holes.

Red Tory said...

I'm suggesting Mr. Brodbeck has a vested interest in defending his opinion and that it might therefore be worthwhile checking with another source for verification.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I'm suggesting Mr. Brodbeck has a vested interest in defending his opinion

Because he's planning to become a marriage commissioner?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

BTW, Red, you could always write a letter to the editor if you're wanting to take Mr. Brodbeck to task.

Red Tory said...

It’s your issue and something that you got exercised about. I certainly see no reason to get involved in it. It seems to me that this outreach minister is being a bit of a jackass, but that’s his prerogative I guess. In any event, his case will eventually be resolved in court.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

It’s your issue and something that you got exercised about

I only wish that it could work off some calories! *Sigh*

Yes, it should be an interesting case.

Kevin K. said...

Hi Joanne,

I was reading this particular article with great interest since I am the commissioner (now former) in question.

I was perusing some articles regarding my case thru google search and came across your blog.

I don't know how to convince you this is me except to challenge you to look up my name in a phone directory and call me to confirm.

Anyways, I would be happy to provide you with many of the answers you are looking for. This will be a precedent setting case and will eventually involve a Charter challenge.

It is good to see this topic is generating discussion. It should as religious civil liberties are at stake here.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Hey Kevin,

Awesome! Please email me at the addy on my profile. Thanks.

Kevin K. said...

I have e-mailed you my contact info Joanne. Hoped you recieved it. Please let me know.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

thanks Kevin!