by John Pacheco and Suzanne Fortin
They came by the thousands. On buses, on foot, in their cars and in their vans. They came from Montreal and Toronto, mostly. Driving to the Supreme Court where participants for National Marriage Day gathered, we saw them in their buses and on the street corners with their signs and banners boldly affirming traditional marriage. As my family and friends approached the grounds, you could not miss the seas of red in front of the Supreme Court. Organized. Efficient. Disciplined. Numerous.
Some were Baptist. Some were Pentecostal. Some were non-denominational. It didn't matter here, though. They arrived to fight a war together as Christians, and they came prepared. All attired in bold red T-shirts with the image of a man and woman emblazoned on them, they were sending a message to Canada and its politicians: don't mess with marriage.
They organized themselves into what could only be described as military columns. Behind wide, red banners affirming traditional marriage, hundreds of Chinese Christians fell into formation. Each formation had a commander who telecommunicated with their field general. They moved only on his command. And when the command was given to begin the March to Parliament Hill, they marched - with precision and purpose. In total, I think they may have accounted for at least 40% of the entire crowd. It didn't matter, though. The rest of us knew leadership when we saw it, and we simply fell into line and marched with them.
When we arrived at Parliament Hill, the crowd settled in from the march. I made my way up the stairs to confer with the principal organizer for the Event. Gazing over the crowd, I estimated at least 10,000 people based on other rallies on the Hill. It was a good and respectable turn out. Sadly, however, I knew that with more co-operation from certain Christian Churches and their leadership, we could have easily trippled that number.
As the people settled in, Mr. Tim Dooling, the Event's principal organizer, made a few brief announcements. He made it clear that all those assembled were not there to "hate" or "bash" anyone. The objective of the event was only to oppose same-sex marriage. Indeed, considering the composition of the crowd and its polite and charitable behaviour, combined with the constant message of God's love for everyone, the mere suggestion of "hate" would be comical, if it were not taken so seriously by a dum-downed electorate. After the crowd sang the national anthem, Mr. Dooling passed over the podium to the speakers.
Addressing the crowd, Canadian Alliance MP, Cheryl Gallant, (Renfrew-Nippissing-Pembroke) underscored how the Liberal government has attempted to divide, intimidate and conquer on family issues in order to gain the upper hand. She said, "This is not about equality, or a woman's right to vote, or about lifestyles or about any other unrelated excuse that is intended to confuse Canadians. This is about one thing: this is about protecting the institution of marriage."
Rev. William Oosterman of Christian Coalition International cited a number of cases where religious rights were denied in the name of the gay agenda, and the financial and democratic costs Christians were already paying in this country. He gave the crowd an ominious warning: "The Charter of Rights will not protect you. It will be used as a witness against you as people of faith". He urged his listeners to make the next federal election a referendum on marriage.
Canadian Focus on the Family Vice President, Derek Rogusky, reiterated the necessity of Canadians to remain vigilent in their opposition to policies which attack and undermine the traditional family. He reminded everyone that it was absolutely necessary to get involved in the political and social debate, and keep the pressure on the politicians.
Rev. Paul Holden, a Baptist Minister, explained why he had to give up his license to marry people because of the imminent threat of the government to force clergy to marry homosexuals. Despite the media and the government's false assurances, he explained how there was a concerted attempt to limit civil marriages in Canada in order to force clergy into the corner. Earlier, Rev. Oosterman related a telephone conversation he had had with a gay man who demanded that he officiate at his marriage to his lover.
Rev. Peter Au, the Chinese spokesman, challenged Prime Minister Chretien to begin a country-wide consultation process and hold a referendum on the issue, which Prime Minister Chretien has refused to do. The Liberal Party is severely underestimating the backlash that is building among ethnic voters who overwhelmingly vote Liberal. Immigrating ethnic communities usually vote for the governing party as a sign of loyalty and respect. However, there is a line which even they will not cross, and marriage is that line. In a bold and determined voice, Rev. Au made a solemn vow to the politicians that Chinese Christian Canadians across this nation will vote against any politician who favours same-sex marriage. Judging by the unanimity and organization which this particular ethnic group showed during the protest, this can only serve as a prime example of how the ethnic vote will be the deciding factor in overturning Canada's current one-party State.
The current government is divided on the issue. While cabinet ministers are squarely behind the Prime Minister and his legislation, a number of backbech MPs are firmly against it. The Prime Minister has declared that this will not be an issue in the next election, but many in the crowd held up signs saying "My vote counts" and "Vote No and I will vote for you". The legislation is scheduled to be voted on in 2004.
The press coverage of the event was vintage liberalism. In one of my two interviews with the media, one rather eager reporter asked me how my life would be impacted by two homosexuals getting married. He asked the question, of course, to suggest that I was an irrational religious zealot who would otherwise be unaffected by "two persons in love". I responded: "When the government legislates homosexual marriage, it is legislating morality. As such, it requires me, through the law, to acknowledge and recognize the homosexual relationship in law as equal to my own heterosexual marriage. This means that when Adam brings in his "spouse", Steve, into school to discuss his "marriage" with my 6-year old daughter, it most certainly does become my business."
Some time before the event Mr. Dooling had informed me that the RCMP expected the opposition to be out. I expected hundreds. Less than a dozen turned out. Some opposition. Nevertheless, the media were fawning all over them like some cheap hollywood liberal over their local pro-abort candidate. In one news report, this young teenage lesbian was dutifully informing the camera that all of those nice, polite Christians casually strolling behind her were "hate mongering". The media laughingly presented the event as a "clash" between views and gave equal air time to both camps, even though the other "side" was outnumbered 10,000 to 12.
The CBC, Canada's national broadcaster (which I affectionately call the "Communist Broadcasting Corporation"), somehow got a hold of socialist NDP Leader, Jack Layton, who showed up to give his support to the dozen or so gay marriage supporters. Offering his gay soundbite for the event, he took the opportunity to challenge Paul Martin, the soon-to-be Prime Minister, to meet him next month for Gay Pride Day in Quebec. That was the only interview they aired! And, as for the local paper, it scooped up a picture of two teenage lesbians with an elderly gentlemen. Based on their comments, they were obviously very confused, being dutiful drones of the "human rights" brigade.
After the last speaker, Mr. Dooling thanked everyone for coming out, and reminded them that this event and their participation in it were a sign of their committment to kick the gay marriage politicians out of power. The crowd, in turn, thanked him, a sixty-eight year old former Liberal Party member, for his tireless efforts in organizing the event. We all then sang Amazing Grace and went home to turn up the heat on the politicians.
As I told the TV-reporter who ended up airing my interview with her: "The politicians better listen up. If they don't, there will be a heavy political price to pay at the ballot box during the next election." If the general electorate is emboldened with only a fraction of the zeal the Chinese Christians showed, Paul Martin will be Prime Minister for about as long as John Turner was. About six months.
John Pacheco with Suzanne
August 27, 2003
This article later appeared in The