.- The Liberal Party of Canada endorsed same-sex marriage at its policy convention this weekend.
The non-binding endorsement, which is in line with the minority Liberal government's intention to legalize same-sex marriage by June, came as no surprise.
However, the few Liberals who stood up to defend traditional marriage faced boos and open hostility, reported Canadian Press.
While politicians debated the issue at an Ottawa convention center, supporters of traditional marriage held a small rally outside, led by Charles McVety, president of Canada Christian College.
McVety told CP that Cabinet ministers, like Immigration Minister Joe Volpe, Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan and Natural Resources Minister John Efford, garnered votes with promises to protect traditional marriage. But once they got into office, they took the easy way out and betrayed voters’ trust, he said.
McVety was also angered by convention buttons, issued by the party’s youth wing, that read, “It’s the Charter, Stupid.” The slogan was reportedly intended to focus the same-sex marriage debate on equality rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but it offended people on both sides of the debate.
The Defend Marriage Coalition launched a video and ad campaign Saturday, attacking these ministers for having lied about their intention to protect traditional marriage. However, the politicians used the media attention to advance the government's position.
Liberal MP Paul Szabo of Toronto seemed not very concerned about the non-binding endorsement, suggesting that it was based on a simplistic notion of protecting equality rights, reported CP.
More than 3,000 same-sex couples have been married in eight of Canada’s provinces and territories since 2003.