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Symposium united on marriage (Montreal Gazette)

Montreal Gazette
March 24, 2002

Mark Abley

Symposium united on marriage

"For the first time in our history," Senator Anne Cools charged, "the entire wave of civil law and jurisprudence has been undermining marriage on a daily basis."

Cools was one of the featured speakers at Wars of the Ring, a two-day conference sponsored by the Newman Centre of McGill University. About 100 people attended the conference, which could well be described as a defence of traditional marriage by people who feel the institution is under siege.

"Radical ideological persons have been able to come into a very close proximity to the actual drafting of legislation," Cools said. She referred to Beyond Conjugality, a Law Commission of Canada document that was tabled in Parliament in January, as "a scandalous report, not worth the paper it's written on."

Beyond Conjugality starts from a recognition that marriage has declined in force as a social glue binding society together. In Quebec, for example, about 55 per cent of all children are now born to unmarried women.

Cools and other speakers at the conference deplored what they see as the attacks on marriage coming from the media and the judiciary as well as from prominent gays and lesbians.