The Alberta Liberals are firmly opposed to the concept of conscience rights, and are deeply disturbed by the Wildrose legitimate work at home
Statement Regarding the Concept of Conscience Rights
tle=”PFLAG” src=”http://www.kenthehr.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/PFLAG1-1024×808.jpg” alt=”" width=”279″ height=”220″ />Party’s suggestion that there is a place for such a repugnant and antiquated notion in contemporary Alberta.
Conscience rights are simply another way of saying that you support and consent to systemic discrimination against gays and lesbians or other identifiable groups. There is a stubborn misconception that still exists among many conservatives that the Alberta Human Rights Act somehow affords gays and lesbians broad “special rights” and forces everyone else to accept and accommodate those rights. Nothing could be further from the truth. The scope of the Alberta Human Rights Act is actually surprisingly narrow. One of the few areas that it does allow any Albertan – regardless of sexual orientation – to seek redress from the provincial human rights commission, is in the area of access to goods, services, accommodation or facilities. Imagine, in this day and age, being denied access to a particular public service simply because of your sexual orientation. Yet this is precisely what Wildrose is suggesting.
Some will say, for example, that officials from religious groups should be permitted to refuse to perform marriages that are contrary to their religious beliefs. In fact, the federal Civil Marriage Act already allows for this, and most would probably agree that this as a reasonable exception. What’s concerning, however, is when the discussion turns to civil marriage commissioners being afforded the same right. The simple fact is that persons in that role are there to provide a public service to any Albertan who seeks it. It’s part of the job and, while some commissioners might argue that they were hired before Canada legalized same-sex marriage, this is hardly a reason to condone discriminatory behaviour on their part. Laws are amended all the time, and people are expected to adapt. It should be no different for civil marriage commissioners.
And while the PCs were quick to vilify Wildrose for its musings on the issue, Albertans mustn’t forget that it was those same PCs that fought tooth and nail for years against including sexual orientation as a prohibited ground of discrimination in the province’s human rights legislation – going so far as to take the issue to the Supreme Court of Canada. Even after the country’s highest court ordered that sexual orientation must be “read into” Alberta’s human rights law in the same manner as if it were written into the statute, the PCs still stubbornly refused to formally amend the law for years. Make no mistake – this is the pot calling the kettle black.
Albertans must also remember that Alison Redford was Justice Minister when the PCs introduced Bill 44, which allows teachers and school order viagra online boards to be hauled before the Alberta Human Rights Commission if they run afoul of the legislation’s parental rights provisions. As Premier, Redford also issued a mandate letter to Justice Minister Verlyn Olson instructing him to “assess the appropriateness of amending or repealing Section 3 of the Alberta Human Rights Act.” That section prohibits the publishing or displaying of discriminatory statements, notices, signs, symbols or emblems.
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