Kilgour Defends Traditional Marriage
David made this statement at a town hall meeting in Edmonton on November
There have been concerns expressed that I did not represent
those of you opposed to same-sex marriage strongly enough last fall. Let me
therefore indicate briefly what happened...
When the matter arose in May-June, then-Prime Minister
Chrétien was aware that I believed the Ontario Appeal Court decision
should be appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, which is the only court
whose decisions bind all provinces. ...
Over the summer, I consulted as widely as possible with
the constituents I represent. The results of one 300-home survey indicated
that almost two thirds were opposed to same-sex marriage (a position I
favour as well). The survey was reprinted in a letter to constituents.
About half of those surveyed favour another term such as “civil union”
or “partnership” for same-sex couples, which I also favour.
On July 30th, I indicated in a Globe and
Mail story the nature of the opposition in southeast Edmonton to the
On the day in September when the votes were taken, I spoke
to the then-Prime Minister and told him I could not vote differently than
in 1999, when I took a stand to support traditional marriage. I was very
aware of the consequences that would probably follow my decision to
abstain. ...In short, in respecting the majority views of constituents on
this issue, I expected to be tossed out of cabinet.
I continue to work on the issue and indeed think the
reference to the Supreme Court of Canada should be broadened to ask