Canadians for Equal Marriage need support
by Ashley Martin
In just a few short weeks, Canadians for Equal Marriage has received an overwhelming amount of support.
The organization, which was launched on September 14th in Ottawa, is a national campaign that supports the legislation of same-sex marriage. After only two weeks time, they have raised awareness all across Canada by forming chapters in over thirty-five cities. They have also launched the website www.equal-marriage.ca, at which you can voice your opinion, send donations and messages of support, sign a petition and write emails to members of parliament. In one week, 1.3 million emails were sent to MPs.
Donna Smith, vice-president of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour Solidarity and Pride Working Group, heads the Regina Chapter of Canadians for Equal Marriage. She’s been involved in organizations such as this for about eight years.
Smith says, “In Regina, since our gay community is so small, we haven’t received such a large response here. A lot of people don’t want to or are afraid to become involved in groups supporting same-sex marriage because it’s not as accepted here.”
She continues, “Public hatred is very hurtful, and the Saskatchewan Party has been very hateful about the whole issue of same-sex marriage.”
“It’s very scary to be out [of the closet] here,” Smith says. “It’s not a comfortable place to be right now.”
Smith says, “The whole controversy comes down to religion. The whole institution of marriage has evolved over the years. Even heterosexual marriage has evolved. The issue of same-sex marriage has been turned into such a huge deal, when really it’s a simple issue.
“Marriage should be something happy. It’s a public declaration of love, and people should be happy,” Smith says. “Marriage should be positive, but it’s been turned into something negative because of all the controversy surrounding it.” She continues, “I am not even sure I want to get married, but it’s the right to be able to marry that’s important.”
At present, Ontario is the only province in Canada in which same-sex marriage is legal.