Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Ottawa Hovering by Harper

It's the supporters of same-sex marriage who are telling PM Stephen Harper to get it on and get it over. He campaigned with a promise for a quick free vote by Parliament on whether to reopen the marriage debate. He has since hemmed, hawed and hovered.

Canadians for Equal Marriage says that the deferral "clearly panders to the religious right." They add that this give the anti-gay, anti-SSM forces time to plot, regroup and cut deals. Laurie Arron, the organization's national coordinator told The Globe and Mail that "We think a delay does real harm to us, and, to the extent that this is a divisive and protracted debate, I think all Canadians are worse off."

From here, it seems a really savvy politician would have called the vote immediately. When he lost it, he could say he did what he promised, that he tried.

The Dark Side on this issue is not Harper per se. Rather, it is the Defend Marriage Coalition of 12 anti-SSM groups. It has been using Harper's breather to lobby churches and politicians alike.

One of their leaders reinforces the pro-SSM side's view. Gwendolyn Landolt, rational VP of (I'm not making this up) REAL Women Canada, says, "So we are glad to have this opportunity to work on our different strategies to get all of the information out and to get things in place for the debate."

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