Alex Blaze

Saskatchewan court: No religious exemption to a government job

Filed By Alex Blaze | January 10, 2011 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Canada, LGBT, marriage, religious exemption, saskatchewan

Several Canadian civil commissioners argued in court it violated their religious principles to perform same-sex marriages, and the court said that's no reason for them not to perform the ceremonies:

saskatchewan.jpg"Persons who voluntarily choose to assume an office, like that of a marriage commissioner, cannot expect to directly shape the office's intersection with the public so as to make it conform with their personal religious or other beliefs," the court wrote in its decision.

"In our tradition, the apparatus of the state serves everyone equally without providing better, poorer or different services to one individual compared to another by making distinctions on the basis of factors like race, religion or gender."

To allow civil commissioners to refuse to perform marriages solely on their personal religious grounds, the court ruled, "would violate the equality rights of gay and lesbian individuals."

I don't have much sympathy for people who don't want to do part of their job because of their own prejudices, and I have even less sympathy for people who work for the government who want to make up their own rules and impose them on others.

It's entirely possible for a couple that wants a marriage to be turned down by one commissioner to just go and get the marriage from another commissioner, but to allow for a solution like that one has to accept that there's something either objectionable or holy/sacrilegious about this particular piece of paper, and there's not.

If they think that performing certain marriages violates their religious beliefs, then that means that performing good marriages is doing God's work on Earth. The sooner they're disabused of that notion the better.

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um.... anyone wanna help me box up my stuff? I think I may be moving to Canada...

No way. The heating bill is too high. I'd rather live in the heat of prejudice than pay the electric company.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | January 10, 2011 8:09 PM

Most of the BC coast and Victoria are like Seattle and the Olympic Peninsula. Only much prettier and far less crowded.

All you need are umbrellas and someone to snuggle with.

... like Sasquatch, perhaps?

This is no different than a person that has an aversion to war for religious reasons going to work at a munitions plant or a fighter airplane factory.

Good. Finally, someone who has sense made a decision concerning religion and non-discrimination.

antonio caetano | January 11, 2011 1:36 PM

Gee, does it violate their consciences to accept their salary paid by tax payers. A modest 50% cut might test just how strong their moral convictions are. :)

This one guy comes into the coffee shop I work at every single afternoon and orders a large 4-shot mocha with HALF&HALF for milk. Definitely against my values as I am lactose intolerant, but I'm happy to make it for him!

... for the benefit of your religious conscience, Intern Jake, I hope that Jesus-the-Vegan doesn't come to you in a vision and tell you to stop poisoning this man ... I expect there's a decent profit margin on a 4-shot mocha with half-n-half ...