Canadian Christians Stand Against Gay Marriage Bill

Hundreds of thousands of pro-family and Christian Canadians are expected to join a rally to protest the proposed plan to legalize gay “marriage” in the nation.

"We're printing half a million brochures so we're going to help the various organizations with literature... they will be distributed by various entities that are fighting this and that will (include) churches," said Charles McVety, president of the Canada Family Action Coalition to Reuters.

Tuesday’s same-sex marriage bill, introduced by the Prime Minister Paul Martin, would change the nation’s law from defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman to a union between two “persons”.

According to McVety, the Canada Family Action Coalition is only one of many groups opposing the bill. McVety also leads the Defend Marriage Coalition, which is an organization that is raising money to support several other proponents of traditional marriage such as Concerned Christian Canada. CCC meanwhile has planned a rally in the city of Calgary to protect traditional marriage this Saturday.

The National Post newspaper also revealed statistics on Wednesday, which showed that two thirds of Canadians want a national referendum on the issue, according to the Associated Press.

A similar percentage said they wanted to preserve the definition of marriage, making the Canadian population head-to-head with the American population on the issue.

And although Martin emphasized that the bill will not force clergy to recognize or bless same sex unions, Canada’s 2.5 million evangelicals disagreed.

“With more than 75 percent of marriages in Canada solemnized by clergy, it is clearly a deeply religious institution. It is naïve and impossible to say that you can change civil marriage without it having an impact on religious marriage and religious institutions,” a statement from Canada’s largest evangelical church group, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, read.

“The Prime Minister has said that this is an issue of fundamental rights. He has said that in redefining marriage, he is defending the Charter,” the statement read. “If that is the case, there is no room for those of us who have a different vision of family life in Canada. We are already being pushed to the margins of Canadian life. We are being made to feel unwelcome.”

“This is not tolerance and it is not upholding the Charter.”

According to Tom Reilly, general secretary of the Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops, the church has been talking with other faith group leaders to join forces on the matter.

"The way they're set up is not as hierarchical as we are. So you can be talking to a representative of a group but you don't know if it's the whole group... we'll see what ideas we can exchange and if there are areas where we can cooperate," he told Reuters.

McVety meanwhile said he plans to campaign in and around the Toronto – Canada’s largest city and home to several dozens of Liberal legislators backing the bill.

Said McVety: "The greater Toronto area is where this battle will be won or lost."