Loading
Canada passes law that groups fear could silence religious expression

.- A bill that religious groups fear could brand the Bible as hate literature and silence religious expression was passed by the Canadian government last week.

The Canadian Senate passed Bill C-250 April 28 by a vote of 59-11. The passage of the bill added homosexuals to the list of groups protected under Canada’s Criminal code. The bill extends hate-crime protections to homosexuals by including “sexual orientation” among the identifiable groups, which before only included groups that were distinguished by race, color, religion, or ethnic origin.

The bill was passed despite opposition expressed by several religious and family groups, including the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Catholic Civil Rights League, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, Focus on the Family and the Canada Family Action Coalition.

In addition, thousands of Canadians attended a full-day rally on Parliament Hill on April 17 to express their opposition to the bill.

Despite this public display of opposition, the Senate still passed the bill. The Liberal government wanted the bill passed before the next federal election, which parliamentarians expect will be called in May. The bill would have died had it not been passed before the election was called.

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada now fears that the legislation will jeopardize freedom of speech and religious expression.

“Christians have seen their rights to dissent restricted by case after case in the courts,” said Dr. Janet Epp Buckingham of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada in a written statement. “We no longer trust that the guarantee of religious freedom in the Charter is necessarily going to apply to protect religious free speech.”

Dr. Charles McVety, president of the Canada Family Action Coalition, is urging Canadians not to vote for members of Parliament who supported this new law in the next federal election. The bill, said McVety, was passed just in time to silence public debate on same-sex marriage during the upcoming election campaign.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops declined to comment on the passage of the bill. The bishops had presented a letter to all senators March 25, expressing their concern. The letter stated: “We remain concerned that this Bill as presently drafted could be used in an attempt to silence Church teaching in this regard.”


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
16

Liturgical Calendar

April 16, 2014

Wednesday of Holy Week

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 26:14-25

Gospel
Date
04/16/14
04/14/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 50:4-9a
Gospel:: Mt 26:14-25

Homily of the Day

Mt 26:14-25

Homily
Date
04/16/14
04/14/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: