A Pluralistic Balance Essay example

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In the last decade, Canadian courts have increasingly recognized gay marriages. This recognition has been long overdue as the Canadian gay community was routinely oppressed prior to this string of court rulings. This was a definite victory for Canadian democracy, seeing that a minority group has had its rights protected. Paul Martin, after having presented the Civil Marriage Act, described it "as a natural and necessary evolution of minority-rights protection under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms." (Den Tant, 2005) However, there are certain inconsistencies with this seemingly pluralistic approach that have become more apparent in recent years. Canadian democracy may be defined as "majority rule, minority rights," and with…show more content…
(Dyck, 2004) It is necessary to take note of this because those who would justify the incarcerations, penalties and to some extent oppression of religious and other figures against gay marriage may state that Canada is a secular nation and human rights take precedence over religious beliefs. This is correct in essence but also contradicts itself in this context; religious figures have been much oppressed as a result of this power shift and therefore also qualify for protection under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This will become more evident with relevant examples. In May of 2002, Marc Hall, a gay student in an Oshawa catholic school was not permitted by school officials to take his boyfriend to the graduation prom. A court case was launched and the judge ruled in favour of Hall. The school officials said that they were not against Hall's homosexuality but did not wish to send an image of public homosexual acceptance as it goes against the teachings of the church. Hall had the right to switch to a public school but he refused. (CBC, 2002) The result was great merriment amongst the gay community and outrage amongst the religious. This ruling made a mockery of catholic schools where it could have been avoided. Hall should have been advised by the judge to transfer to a public school and had his prom there. Another important issue is the means by which this trend has been enforced. Bishop
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