Same Sex Marriage and the Alberta Government

What are they so afraid of?

The caucaus of the governing party in Alberta has decided (with only one dissenting vote: Yay! for Gary Marr) that it will use the ‘Notwithstanding’ clause as a way to block any federal Same-Sex Marriage legislation being used in Alberta. This decision comes after their Solicitor General and the head of the party (Ralph) warned them that the use of the ‘Notwithstanding’ clause won’t work, legally. So, what are they so afraid of? And what are they doing with taxpayers’ money?

The court challenges to use the ‘Notwithstanding’ clause will potentially cost the Alberta taxpayer millions of dollars. Those dollars would be better spend on things that really matter, like Family and Social Services, child poverty, affordable housing, seniors’ drug plans… but the Alberta Conservative Party doesn’t seem to think so. They believe that its important to send some sort of very expensive message to Ottawa.

What are they so afraid of?

Or is it that the Alberta Conservative Party is afraid that ‘society’ is evolving? And maybe they just don’t like the direction? This party, which has formed the government of this province, is supposedly in favour of less government, more privatization, more personal freedom (although we have yet to see ‘accountablity’ as part of that equation) and generally supporting the pursuit of personal wealth through minimal regulation. So, what is the financial gain from the banning of gay marriage?

I have heard that same sex marriage will add costs to the ‘social safety net’. I don’t understand how bestowing all the rights and privilidges of marriage on several thousand couples will so damage the safety net that we will all be at risk…

What are they so afraid of?

Are they concerned about a redefining of the institution of marriage and its effect on the family? I’ve heard the phrase “traditional definitiion of marriage” bandied about. Ya, so what? What is a traditional marriage, anymore? Hell, what is a traditional family? How does a guy and a gal in love, with his ex-wife and their children, and her ex-husband and their children, plus their common children, not to mention the different sets of grandparents, fit into the traditional view of a family?

Picking a fight that you have been advised by experts you can’t win one (and one of the experts is a most contentious politician of some renown and supposedly has the respect of this caucaus) is an act of desperation or extremism. In some corners of this province, one can imagine that it is either. But one would expect that the governing party would manage to sift through all the rhetoric and hype and avoid the emotional pitfalls of this debate.

But then again, this party, and therefore this government, is a better sampling of the real population than most provinces. Not a lot of these folks are professional politicians, nor have they been exposed to the quasi-socialist agenda that so many believe drives the Universities in this country. So, to hope that they are not on the verge of desperation, or not to be succumb to the extremist views of the vocal few may be expecting too much of them. Or maybe there is something really serious going on here…

Is this merely a first step on some long overgrown and all but forgotten Alberta Conservative Party road to abolish divorce, decry the legality of common law marriages, combined with the uncovering of a hidden agenda to force the women in sanctified marriages back into the home and out of the business world so that the Alberta Conservative Party doesn’t have to participate in a nationally mandated day care program sponsored by the federal Liberal Party?

It can’t possibly be a pandering, subservience recognition of the more outspoken, slightly militant Christians in the province? Nah, couldn’t be that… the Christian church throughout history has demonstrated that it is capable of evolving along with society. And also, of course, because the greatest of the Christian doctrines is summed up in the so-called “Golden Rule”; Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Just this simple statement alone empowers the church to offer the same rights and priviledges to gays as to heterosexual couples.

So we still haven’t answered the question: What are they so afraid of?

Is it the bias and bigotry of their constituents? Or their own?

Or is it just another way they feel that they can thumb their noses at a federal Liberal government?

What are they so afraid of?

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