Ottawa – The federal government should not allow the Conservatives’ tactics to delay the passage of legislation, which will allow equal marriage for lesbian and gay couples and end years of discrimination, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
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“For more than two years, this issue has been discussed and debated in every corner of Canada. Eight Canadian courts have ruled that excluding lesbians and gay men from civil marriage is discriminatory,“ says CUPE National President Paul Moist. “There are no undecided members of Parliament. It’s time to vote.”
Moist says the federal Conservatives are playing politics with human rights by using delay tactics to stall the inevitable vote.
“A vote for same-sex marriage is a vote for human rights,” says Moist.
Passing the legislation would extend marriage rights to all lesbian and gay Canadians. Right now, about three-quarters of same-sex couples can legally marry in Canada, yet the remaining 25 per cent cannot.
Earlier this week, CUPE members joined other delegates attending the Canadian Labour Congress convention in Montreal in a unanimous call for immediate passage of the legislation. CUPE had earlier passed resolutions in support of civil marriage rights for same-sex couples at its own national convention.
CUPE is Canada’s largest union with 540,000 women and men who provide public services. CUPE members work on the front lines of municipalities, community agencies, health care facilities, school boards and more.
Paul Moist, CUPE national president, 613-558-2873;
Claude Généreux, CUPE national secretary-treasurer (porte-parole francophone), 514-884-5074;
Sandi Howell, CUPE Equality branch, 613-237-1590, ext. 314.