For anyone who values the current definition of natural marriage, but is waffling regarding the marriage amendment because you think you will be free to hold your beliefs and express them regardless of the outcome of the amendment referendum, I highly recommend you read the following, true story from Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, which he delivered to St. Thomas Law School on Oct. 8.
“You are summoned to a tribunal where you cannot have a defense lawyer and you cannot record the proceedings nor have a witness present. The people judging and prosecuting you have no legal qualifications. The accusation is ambiguous, having to do with ideas the state does not like. The penalties could include fines equal to several thousands of dollars, public recanting, and rehabilitation classes. You are a bishop. This is not China. This is Canada. The offense: explaining why homosexual relations are a sin.”
Make no mistake, if the marriage amendment does not pass, the definition of marriage will be challenged within the year, because there are already challenges to the current legal definition of marriage that have been filed and are pending a court date. If the definition of marriage is overturned, as it has been by activist judges in several other states, Canada’s repressive political environment will become our own in time. If this serious threat to your ability to express age old religious principles concerns you even a bit, vote “Yes” on the marriage amendment.
Contrary to what opponents say, passage of this amendment will not close the debate, but it will keep the final decision on the issue where it belongs, with the people, rather than with a few judicial activists.