In 2005, Canada quietly legalized gay marriage. Unlike the United States, there was never a fight or a court case, or really much ado about it. It just happened. And since then, we haven’t heard if gay marriage changed anything about Canada. Until now…
Canadian citizen and daughter of a gay man, Dawn Stefanowicz, has begun to discuss not only her life as a child of a gay man, but what gay marriage has done to Canada. These are 3 ways gay marriage has changed all of Canadian society.
- Parenting: The laws surrounding parenthood and parental rights immediately changed.The bill that legalized gay marriage (Bill C-38) included a provision to redefine parenthood from “natural parents” to “legal parents”. Children no longer have a legal right to both their biological parents. And biological parents no longer have a legal right to their children.Additionally, same sex marriage has infringed upon important parental rights for all parents. The Human Rights Commission began regulating parents’ ability to teach their children their beliefs, opinions, and faith if the parents’ beliefs are different from what the schools teach and promote.
“If you teach your children that same-sex sexual relationships are wrong and that every child has a father and a mother, and that only man-woman sex in marriage is allowed, you run the risk of thought police questioning your beliefs, especially if your children discuss these subjects in the classroom.
Consequently, parents experience state interference when it comes to moral values and teachings about family, parenting and sex education in schools.”
- Speech: Hate speech became a crime in 2004. Hate speech can be defined as anyone disagreeing with homosexual behavior. Though the hate speech section of the law was repealed for 2014, most provinces have additional hate speech laws that have the same effect. Before the repeal, the Human Rights Commissions of Canada had a 100% conviction rate. If someone filed a “hate speech” complaint against someone, that person had to pay tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees. The Human Rights Commission still has power to enter private residences and remove anything pertinent to an investigation involving speech. This has essentially nullified the ability for Canadians to speak and write freely including on the internet.The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has censored all media. Broadcasting licenses can be revoked if a television or radio station airs anything that can be considered anti-lgbt.
- Religious Freedom: Employers, business owners and all alike whether large, small, in home, or family owned do not have the freedom to deny any service to LGBT for religious reasons. There has been no wedding cake battle in Canada. It’s just illegal. In fact, what is preached in churches can be brought before the Human Rights Commission.Again, Stefanowicz explains:“Freedom to assemble and speak freely about man-woman marriage, family and sexuality are restricted. Activists often sit in on religious assemblies, listening for anything discriminatory towards GLBT, so a complaint can be made to the Human Rights Commission. Most faith communities have become politically correct to avoid fines and loss of charitable status.”
It has been ten years since gay marriage became legal in Canada. Since that time laws that offered freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and religious freedom have essentially been overturned in favor of protecting the feelings of a very small part of the Canadian population. The rights of parents and children have been trampled. A change in marriage laws affects all in a nation. A nation cannot redefine family, the basic unit of society, without serious consequences for everyone.