Mr. Bill Siksay (BurnabyóDouglas, NDP): Mr. Speaker, tomorrow the Supreme Court will decide on equal marriage for lesbian and gay couples. The Prime Minister has avoided this issue for years.
I have a question I know many would find comfort in his answering. As a citizen, as a gay man and loving partner, a clear answer to my question would be very significant.
Does the Prime Minister support my right to marry the man I love?
Hon. Irwin Cotler (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the answer in one word is yes.
Mr. Bill Siksay (BurnabyóDouglas, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the minister's clarity, but I would have preferred an answer from the Prime Minister.
I hope that clarity will result in swift introduction of legislation that acts on those words. I hope that the Minister of Justice will be in the House tomorrow to table legislation ensuring equal marriage for gay and lesbian Canadians. When will this legislation be introduced?
Hon. Irwin Cotler (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we have draft legislation before the Supreme Court of Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada will deliver its advisory opinion tomorrow. Consequent to that advisory opinion, which we believe will be organized around the principles of equality and respect for freedom of religion, we will move with all deliberate speed to introduce legislation in the House.