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!