Think beyond

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With the House justice committee's travelling road show -- its sound and fury signifying nearly nothing -- at last behind us, we may have a chance to get past "Gay Marriage Yes or No" and on to the true question at hand -- as asked (with some potential if blithely ignored answers) well over a year ago in Beyond Conjugality:

What role should governments play in our intimate lives?

The justice department's November 8 paper, meant to guide those hearings, had said that Beyond Conjugality "focused mostly on people in non-conjugal relationships." In fact it examined a range of relationships both conjugal and not, if without dependent children. That report has a lot to offer the feds as they try to find politically safe passage between the rocks of fundamentalist passion so evident in those hearings.

And that is what they clearly must do in the next few months. Or, given the likely pace of legal change, even the next few years. Those hearings, and the upcoming parliamentary debates they were meant to inform, will hardly be the last round on this issue -- whatever our legislators decide in the short term. The future remains open. We can still shape it.

The justice minister, his department, and members of Parliament should take a closer look at Beyond Conjugality. We should too -- so that, in the next inevitable round, we may have something more sensible to say about the richly varied range of our relationships and how they should be recognized than simply "Yes" or "No" to "gay marriage."

Beyond  conjugality
The Law Commission of Canada's report on recognizing
and supporting close personal adult relationships

A quick overview, linked to more details.

Beyond Conjugality is also available on the website of
The Law Commission of Canada

Locked in  conjugality
The Justice Department wants us to discuss
"Marriage and Legal Recognition of Same-sex Unions"
-- not the full range of our relationships

A look at the Nov 8, 2002 federal discussion paper
-- ignoring the ideas and values in Beyond Conjugality.
With a link to the paper's full text online.

Two-ring  circus
Parliament's public consultations become
a slag-fest of competing fundamentalists

Tales of secretly satisfying "shock and horror" -- passions meant to "keep public discourse on our relationships locked in the One True Frame: Gay Marriage. Yes. Or No. Nothing less. Nothing beyond."


By the justice minister:

Hon Martin Cauchon, Minister of Justice
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8

By your member of Parliament:

Consult local listings, or the Parliamentary website:
Parliament of Canada




Go back to:
Ideas  in play  (List of contents)
Spouse  touting  (Introduction)
Gay marriage? Wrong question  (Lead page)

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This page:
October 2002 / Last revised: May 5, 2003
Rick Bébout © 2002 / 2003 /