In a strongly worded decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal sided with a landmark lower-court ruling that the federal government was wrong to refuse the Canada Pension Plan back payments, estimated at about $80 million, when it extended equality rights to same-sex couples in 2000. “Excluding many of those who were intended to be included is not rationally connected to the objective of the law, which is to end the discriminatory exclusion of same-sex partners from CPP benefits,” the court said in its unanimous written ruling. After eighteen years and two monumental court battles, 1,300 widowed gays and lesbians scored a major victory when the Ontario Court of Appeal awarded them pensions retroactively, ruling that denying the benefit was an unjustifiable infringement of their equality rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
GAY ACTIVISTS WERE DELIGHTED.
In Ottawa, Justice Minister Irwin Cotler said he wanted to study the ruling before deciding whether to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. “This is not a case about same-sex nor is it a case about gay and lesbian rights,” Cotler said. “The implications of this case have to do with the whole question of federal benefits programs and policy.”
In 2000, the federal government granted various economic rights to same-sex couples. However, it barred them from collecting CPP survivor benefits if their partners had died before Jan. 1, 1998. In response, a number from the gay rights coalition launched a class-action lawsuit. They argued they should have been eligible to collect the benefit retroactive to April 17, 1985 — when their equality rights were enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
In December 2003, Ontario Superior Court Justice Ellen Macdonald sided with the plaintiffs. In its appeal of that groundbreaking ruling, Ottawa said it wanted clarification of Parliament’s ability to determine when laws take effect. It also argued the lower-court decision could hamper the introduction of new social programs if retroactivity was always a factor.The court sent the case back to Macdonald to determine the amount to be awarded to other survivors.
An estimated 1,500 gays and lesbians across Canada are eligible for survivor benefits. Initially, the amount of retroactivity was pegged at as much as $400 million, but more recent actuarial data suggested it would be closer to $80 million.
The Appeal Court did side with Ottawa in agreeing that it need not pay retroactive benefits to about 200 estates of claimants who have died in the interim. The federal government argued that applying the Charter retroactively would have "a chilling effect" on the development of other social programs because Parliament would lose control over spending.
PARLIAMENT HAS ALREADY LOST CONTROL OVER SPENDING ! WHAT ELSE IS NEW ?
However, there is no word on whether the government will appeal. Justice Minister Irwin Cotler said the federal government is reviewing the decision and insisted the case isn't about gay and lesbian rights. In court, the government argued same-sex survivors were treated differently not because of their sexual orientation but because of their partner's date of death. The appeal court disagreed, saying the distinctions in eligibility for survivor pensions "apply only to same-sex surviving partners and not to opposite-sex partners."
The government urged the appeal court, in applying the Charter, to consider society's evolving recognition of same-sex rights. Until the mid- to late 1990s, Parliament didn't know there was unconstitutional discrimination towards gays and lesbians and was relying on the courts to sort this out, it said. But between 1985 and 1989, no court had accepted there was a constitutional obligation to treat same-sex and opposite-sex relationships the same, the government argued. The appeal court said it's hard to see how that's relevant. "The partners of same-sex survivors contributed to the CPP, yet their surviving partners were denied access to the federal pension program, a program that is ... a fundamental pillar of Canada's retirement income system," the court said.
QUEBEC WAS NOT PART OF THE LAWSUIT BECAUSE IT OPERATES A SEPARATE PENSION PLAN.
Do the courts of our Provinces / States or Nations know enough on the matter of morals and their long-term effects on individuals and society to formulate laws? Obviously not. That is why when discussing moral issues the first question to answer is: DOES GOD EXIST? If your answer is NO, then the rest of this article doesn't concern you: switch off or move to another site. But before you do, remember that your verdict will not make God go away; neither will it prevent His reaction to your subsequent behaviour. If on the other hand your answer is YES, then what ALMIGHTY GOD says about this matter of homosexuality is EXTREMELY vital. I will now let the Holy Bible TELL YOU what GOD, The Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob thinks of homosexual behaviour. Remember the quotations that follow later in this article are taken from the Holy Bible.
Homosexual behaviour is not new. It has been around for thousands of years: and virtually every society has had to come to terms with it. Is it bad? Is it good? Or is it just another way of expressing human affection? Should society ban homosexuality? Or should it be welcomed? Do governments have the right to legislate on the sexual behaviour of consenting adults? Or is homosexuality a private matter which shouldn't concern the church, the government or even God? Popular opinion about homosexuality is very difficult to assess. Try out this question on a few people to see what I mean. 'Would you share a house with a professed homosexual?' Many would be insulted by the question: others wouldn't. The answers, nonetheless, would give you some idea about public opinion on this sensitive moral issue.
This article's arguments and conclusions though Bible based are not meant as an attack on any individual or group of individuals, be they believers or unbelievers. Instead it's aim is to inform everyone of how the Almighty God of the Bible, the One known as Jehovah the God of Israel, reacts to the practice of homosexuality.
|Isaiah 3:||9: The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not.|
|Genesis 13:||13: But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the
|Leviticus 18:||22: Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.|
23: Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.
24: Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:
25: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.
|Deut. 23:||17: There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.|
|Genesis 19:||1: And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;|
2: And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.
3: And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.
4: But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:
5: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.
6: And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,
7: And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.
8: Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.
9: And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.
10: But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door.
11: And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.
12: And the men ( the two angels ) said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place:
13: For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.
14: And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.
15: And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.
16: And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.
17: And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.
18: And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord:
19: Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:
20: Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, ( is it not a little one? ) and my soul shall live.
21: And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken.
22: Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.
23: The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.
24: Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;
25: And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.
26: But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
27: And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD:
28: And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.
|Romans 1:||19: Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.|
20: For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22: Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23: And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24: Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26: For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28: And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29: Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30: Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31: Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but HAVE PLEASURE in them that do them.
THE APOSTLE PETER SAYS THE SAME THING.
|2 Peter 2:||4: For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;|
5: And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
6: And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly.
|Isaiah 1:||10: Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto
the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.
|Ezekiel 16:||49: Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.|
50: And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good
|Deut. 29:||18: Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;|
19: And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst:
20: The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven.
21: And the LORD shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the law:
22: So that the generation to come of your children that shall rise up after you, and the stranger that shall come from a far land, shall say, when they see the plagues of that land, and the sicknesses which the LORD hath laid upon it;
23: And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath.
|1 Cor.6:||9: Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,|
10: Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11: And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.