Canadian gay group opposes gay marriage

BY Advocate.com Editors

June 23 2003 11:00 PM ET

A national gay group in Canada has come out against the recent legalization of gay marriage, calling the move by the federal government and the country's gay community "selfish and rude." John McKellar, executive director of Homosexuals Opposed to Pride Extremism, said last week that the organization is in agreement with the Alberta government's opposition to sanctioned same-sex marriages. "[Alberta premier] Ralph Klein is doing the right thing to stir the pot a little bit," McKellar told the Calgary Herald. "I don't think Ralph Klein is doing it necessarily for religious reasons. He probably thinks the courts are imposing their judicial activism upon us." And the gay community, he said, is selfish in its efforts to "redefine society's traditions and conventions simply for our self-indulgence."

McKellar argued that only 2%-4% of the population is gay or lesbian, despite the popular belief the
figure is as high as 10%. "Within that 2%-4% minority, less than 1% are interested in same-sex marriage or even domestic-partnership legislation," McKellar said. "In other words, federal and provincial laws are being changed and traditional values are being compromised just to
appease a tiny, self-anointed clique." McKellar said HOPE was formed in 1997 to give a voice to "gays and lesbians who live with dignity and discretion, who don't wake up every morning looking for discrimination under the bed, and who don't run to the governments, the courts, or the human rights commissions for a lifetime of therapeutic preferences."

Stephen Lock, regional director for Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere Canada, told the Herald that the majority of Canadians agree with same-sex marriage legislation. "It's about full equality," he said. "That's the issue. It's not self-indulgent for people who wish to marry to be married." But Brian Rushfeldt, of the Canada Family Action Coalition, said HOPE's stance on the issue is an "affirmation of the very things we've been saying" for years. He told the Herald the coalition's position has been labeled as right-wing and radical. "But we probably have a middle-of-the-road, commonsense opinion," Rushfeldt said. "Most [of the gay community] is not pushing for anything. They're quite happy living their lives out and doing what they do."

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