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Quebec redefines marriage. (News in Brief).

Quebec City--Justice Minister Paul Begin tabled the revised Bill 84 on "civil unions" in the National Assembly on April 25. After going through committee hearings in February, it now includes, a "civil-union" status for same-sex couples, with additional permission to adopt children and use reproductive technologies. Secondly, it extends the provision of civil-union status to heterosexual couples. Quebec will thus give legal and equal recognition to three "partnerships"--marriage, common-law union and "civil-unions."

Professor Christopher Gray, of the interdenominational Marriage, Law & Culture Workshop in Quebec City, opposes part two in particular, noting that it will erode the status of marriage through, over time, couples' preference for civil-union status.

Bishop Bertrand Blanchet of Rimouski, spokesman for the Assembly of Quebec Bishops, also expressed disappointment with the Bill, and particularly with the adoption provisions. But he seemed to think that marriage being a federal jurisdiction, the changes in the Quebec Civil Code would have little legal weight. However, as Catholic Insight has pointed out recently ("Law Commission. . .and same-sex marriage," April 2002, p.28), the lawyers behind the Law Reform Commission of Canada favour the dissolution of marriage into something called "close personal relationships." This puts every and any relationship and any combination of persons involved therein, on equal grounds. In other words, they are promoting the end of marriage.

Quebec's Archbishop Blanchet made a second faux pas in the semantic word game about not approving but not opposing adoption by homosexuals. As Lifesite News pointed out, the Church's Magisterium rejects homosexual adoption as "showing disregard for the child's welfare and the minimum conditions the child is owed for a proper upbringing" (Pontifical Council for the Family, Marriage, and "de facto Unions," 1999). (LSN, April 12/02; Cath. Times, Montreal, April/May '02).

LSN News of May 24 reports that Nicolet Bishop Raymond Saint-Gelais, president of the Quebec Bishops' Association, has since issued a much more critical press release denouncing the redefinition of marriage, saying that this "renders the whole bill unacceptable." The press release followed a 200-300 people demonstration at Quebec's National Assembly on May 20, organized by Campaign Life Quebec, the Christian Democratic Party, and Francophone Evangelical Protestants, and addressed by Andre Morais, secretary of the Catholic Jurists Association of Quebec, who called the bill "degrading and infamous."
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Publication:Catholic Insight
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Jul 1, 2002
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