Alberta - Canadian Drama Queen

Would you just get over it already and marry some same-sex couples?

Alberta's justice minister says he may invoke the notwithstanding clause under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to protect officials in his province from having to marry same-sex couples.

Justice Minister Ron Stevens says his goal is to protect officials, including religious officials, from being forced to perform same-sex marriages if it goes against their religious beliefs.

1. C-38 already protects religious officials from marrying same-sex couples if it goes against church doctrine. It also protects religious groups from being forced to rent out their space for same-sex marriages, i.e. a gay couple wouldn't be able to be married in a Catholic church by a civil servant.

2. Marriage commissioners are civil servants. As such, they don't get to pick and choose the laws in accordance with which they act. What would happen if judges started deciding cases based on whether or not the law coincided with their religious beliefs? It might be time for some marriage commissioners to find a new job. Yes, it sounds harsh but marriage commissioners are acting in a civil capacity, which means that they should act in accordance with all of the rules, regulations, and laws of the civil authority. And the thing is, laws, rules, and regulations change. If a civil servant can't handle that, then perhaps s/he shouldn't be one.


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