Letter to all Members of Parlimanent regarding the redefinition of marriage

Monday, 05 April 1999
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The Honourable Lloyd Axworthy, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Lester B. Pearson Building, A-10
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2

Dear Mr. Axworthy,

On January 26, our organization sent a letter to the Prime Minister about the negative social impact of changing the definition of spouse in order to extend benefits to same-sex partners. In expressing our serious concerns we said, inter alia: The institution of marriage and the traditional understanding that spouses are of the opposite sex have strong roots in our society and laws. Surely, the Government can think of a way to respond to the legal challenges it faces from same-sex partners without redefining terms that millions of Canadians cherish and undermining an institution that plays a pivotal role in society.

Media reports indicate that your Government is discussing various options to respond to the legal claims of same-sex partners and the concerns of many Canadians for whom the historical definitions of spouse and marriage have deep meaning and immense importance. As you search for the approach that will best serve the common good, we ask you to consider carefully the position that we outlined in our letter to the Prime Minister, a copy of which is enclosed.


Most Rev. Adam Exner, O.M.I.
Archbishop of Vancouver
Catholic Catholic Organization for Life and Family