What are we to make of Ms. Silver's newfound moderation? For your reading pleasure you might want to check out the minutes of the parliamentary justice committee from April 1, 2003 (here). The theme was (as you might guess) gay marriage and at 11:50 who should appear to make a statement but Cindy Silver. Here she appears as an individual (elsewhere she appeared as someone's lawyer). Anyway, here is the transcript from her testimony:
Ms. Cindy Silver (Lawyer, As Individual): I'd like to thank the members of the justice and human rights committee for the opportunity to appear before you this morning to speak on such an important issue as the future of marriage in Canada.So these are her opinions, not her clients. She goes on, it should be noted, to argue for the creation of civil unions for gays. But what is her ultimate argument? Don't let gays marry because social conservatives might feel marginalized or might in time come to accept the change.
During the marriage trials, it became evident that EGALE and their partner groups for challenging marriage are not simply seeking equal benefits before and under the law, but are really seeking to ensure and expedite broad social approval for same-sex unions and, by implication, for homosexual conduct. It is really this that is at the heart of the marriage challenge. It is an attempt to use the disciplinary power of language to exact change in people's beliefs and attitudes regarding the moral nature of homosexual conduct.
One of the linguistics experts for EGALE explained how redefining marriage would enlist social institutions in reconstructing people's beliefs in reference to the nature of homosexuality. This is possibly the most disturbing aspect of the same-sex movement, because it is likely that Canadians who for reasons of conscience or faith sincerely believe that marriage is, by nature, heterosexual will likely feel pressure or compulsion from social institutions, such as government agencies, the mass media, the publishing industry, public education and post-secondary institutions, to either limit their participation in the public square or conform their beliefs to the newly minted meaning of marriage.
Now, don't get me wrong. Cindy Silver is free to appear before committees of parliament and argue for what she believes in. Indeed, she should be praised for her commitment. Flying to Ottawa wlll have been an expensive and time-consuming business. But in a sense that's my point. Cindy Silver now wants to make it seem that same-sex marriage is not all that important to her. Surely, however, her testimony before the justice committee undermines that. Stopping same-sex marriage is important to her and she should admit that more openly.
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