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Religious leaders rally for same-sex marriage in Canada

Religious leaders rally for same-sex marriage in Canada

Thousands of religious leaders and laypeople rallied in cities across Canada on Sunday to show their support for the full legalization of same-sex marriage, the Canadian Press reports. In Toronto hundreds of gay-marriage supporters hooted, sang, and clapped their hands to a choir singing "Chapel of Love" at a boisterous rally that saw Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and other religious leaders calling for the right to perform same-sex marriages. "Support is growing all across Canada and all across the faith spectrum," the Reverend Brent Hawkes told a crowd of about 300 people, who filled the pews at the Metropolitan Community Church. "Some politicians say this is all about Canadian values, and we agree," continued Hawkes, who performed Canada's first legal same-sex marriages at the downtown church. "It is not a Canadian value to play politics with religion." The enthusiastic crowd leapt to their feet in applause throughout the passionate call-to-arms, in which Hawkes and others urged people to telephone and e-mail their lawmakers, donate funds to the church, and sign a petition urging passage of a bill that is currently before parliament and would legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. In Vancouver more than 200 people from dozens of religious groups heard from Rabbi David Mivasair, according to CP. "[Gay couples] are God's creation, and we need to just let them be," he said. "I have officiated at the wedding of two Jewish men who have been together for 30 years through thick and thin, and they are both close to 60 years old, so for me, that's a religious issue, and to deny them the possibility of being married the way my wife and I are married, it feels like it is out of accord with God's will." In Calgary close to 60 people turned out to support an interfaith news conference in favor of same-sex marriage that was hosted at a Unitarian church. As the Raging Grannies protest group sang "Chapel of Love," a 150-meter rainbow banner stitched by Unitarian youths was unfurled. The federal Liberal minority government drafted the marriage bill to enshrine same-sex marriage in law after courts in several provinces ruled that gay couples had a right to marry. But MPs are slated to vote Tuesday on a motion by Conservative leader Stephen Harper that parliament refuse the bill's second reading. On Saturday thousands of people opposed to same-sex marriage gathered on the Parliament Hill lawn in Ottawa. Harper denounced the federal plan to legalize same-sex marriage, telling the crowd that a Tory government would bring in legislation defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

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