Friday, March 09, 2007

Flog that dead horse, flog it good!

Further to the sad story of Orville "God hates homosexuality" Nichols, the marriage commissioner who found himself in front of a human rights tribunal because he refused to perform a same-sex marriage, the Slap reports that fundies continue to flog this pony with gusto, in spite of it being dead, passed on, no more, ceased-to-be, and expired. This time a New Brunswick Tory has tabled an amendment to the equal marriage bill that would protect the religious beliefs of marriage commissioners who refuse to perform SS marriages, in essence allowing them to opt out of doing their jobs if there was a conflict with their religious beliefs.

"Karl Csaszar, head of the Fredericton chapter of the Canada Family Action Coalition, said Bill 37, introduced Friday by Tory MLA David Alward, is about individual rights, but he isn't confident the amendment will be the last word on the matter.

He called it a nice gesture, but he doubts it will survive a challenge under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

"The Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not seem to apply equally to people of faith or people who say 'my conscience won't allow me to go down that road,'" Csaszar said. "It just seems the courts are not willing to listen to that particular argument, especially if it comes from people of faith."

So even knowing that it won't survive the Charter challenge it will ultimately face, they're going through the motions of tabling the amendment anyway. Sounds a lot like that gay marriage debate last fall, doesn't it? For people who are supposedly opposed to wasting "taxpayers' money", social conservatives sure seem to go through a lot of it themselves.

This is one of those eye-rolling issues that belongs in the "catholic pharmacists who won't dispense contraceptives" and "vegetarian waitresses who won't serve roast beef" file: too bad, so sad, get another friggin job. Same sex marriage is the law of the land; a marriage commissioner is a civil servant, and the job description is to carry out the law of the land. If religion is getting in the way, Tim Horton's is always hiring, or better yet join the priesthood. At least give us all a break and take a vow of silence.