Saturday, July 04, 2009

The reviews are in

The Star Phoenix editorial board:
While half a world away gay citizens of India celebrated a historic high court ruling that denoted a vast advancement in their human rights, the Saskatchewan Party government was asking for a court's guidance on how to allow a group of public officials to discriminate against homosexuals.

Attorney General Don Morgan, himself a lawyer who owes the justice system more respect than to attempt to use it as a political cats-paw, announced Friday he's asking the Court of Appeal for an opinion on legislation that would allow marriage commissioners not to perform same-sex marriages if it's contrary to their religious beliefs.
It's difficult to imagine any other grounds for discrimination that the province's Justice Minister would seem worthy enough to seek a court reference.

Would the minister go to bat for a social conservative who objects, justified on grounds of "traditional values" or religion, to wed a mixed-race couple? How about a Hindu doctor who refuses to treat a person he believes to be of a lower caste?

The point is, in a secular society that goes to great lengths to separate people's personal religious beliefs from their performance of job duties in the public sphere, what Mr. Morgan is asking the court to do is reprehensible.

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