Madam Speaker, I have only 10 minutes to offer my comments on 13 very interesting amendments which obviously, as we have seen from the debate so far, evoke very strong feelings. Unfortunately with only 10 minutes I am forced to concentrate on my amendments.
I do support Motion No. 6 standing in the name of the hon. member for Central Nova for the legal, moral and ethical reasons she stated in her speech. If the House is not supportive of Motion No. 6 then I am certainly in support of Motions Nos. 7 and 8 standing in the name of the hon. member for Ontario for the reasons he gave in his excellent address.
If it should transpire that none of those motions have passed with the approval of this House, then we have section 718.2 with the phrase sexual orientation as part of that section. In those circumstances, only one of two things will happen. Either the phrase sexual orientation will remain undefined, or it can be defined by this House pursuant to one of the amendments that I have put forward.
So one might wonder why we need a definition, which is what I want to talk about in the remaining time. Let us examine some actual facts, not rhetoric and various other things, but let us talk about some facts.
Fact one: This is the first time the phrase sexual orientation is going to be used in any federal Canadian statute.
Fact two: This phrase is undefined in any legal or standard dictionary.
Fact three: This phrase is undefined by any court in Canada. There have been passing references to the phrase, a footnote here or there by one or two or three judges, but it has not been judiciously interpreted in this country.
We asked the minister what sexual orientation means. When he appeared before the justice committee on November 17, 1994, he said: "Sexual orientation encompasses homosexuality, heterosexuality, and bisexuality". If that is in fact the case, then that is exactly what my Motion No. 11 proposes. It proposes to state that sexual orientation means exactly what the Minister of Justice said it meant in the committee; namely, homosexuality, heterosexuality, and bisexuality. The important point is that it would mean nothing else but those three things the minister said.
It is interesting to note that virtually every jurisdiction in the world that I have found that uses the phrase sexual orientation or similar words actually defines the phrase. We are meeting so much resistance here in Canada to defining a legal phrase that has never been used in this country in a statute. Yet in other countries there does not seem to be this problem.
Let us take a look, for example, at California, which has a population greater than our entire country. They say sexual orientation means heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality, period. This is exactly what the Minister of Justice said and exactly what my Motion No. 11 states.
What about our own regulations, not statutes, under the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission? Even they go some way to defining sexual orientation by saying: "Sexual orientation does not include the orientation
toward any sexual act or activity that would constitute an offence under the Criminal Code". Who could disagree with that? That is in fact a definition because it is a definition of exclusion. Motion No. 11 is a definition of inclusion.
Let us take, for example, the District of Columbia. Sexual orientation means male or female homosexuality, heterosexuality, and bisexuality-and I note for the hon. member for Burnaby-Kingsway-by preference or practice. But it is defined. That is the point: it is defined in statute.
Finally, let us talk about Australia. We talked about the United States, so we will now talk about South Australia and its equal opportunity act. The act states: "It is unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of sexuality. Sexuality is defined as meaning heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality or trans-sexuality". Well my other motion deals with that, with the exception of trans-sexuality.
All of these jurisdictions define the phrase. So what I am saying is we should define the phrase. What if we do not? Does the undefined phrase sexual orientation mean something other than what the minister has said it means?
Let us look at the evidence that was called at the committee. Dr. Greenberg, who is a member of the policy review committee from the Canadian Criminal Justice Association and who is also a psychiatrist at one of the Ottawa hospitals, in response to a question by me, said: "Sexual orientation is a descriptive term. It basically defines what attracts a person to a stimulus. In other words, just like a compass, what is it that orients a person toward a particular stimulus? It is what stimulus arouses a person sexually." I asked, "Yes, so necrophilia would be a sexual orientation to you?" Dr. Greenberg answers, "A deviant sexual orientation, yes."
It goes on. The Canadian Psychological Association said: "It is not for us to say whether in the courts it would be,"-that is to say, interpreted-"but certainly sexual orientation is a key and fundamental component of pedophilia". That is not the member for Scarborough West talking, that is Dr. Stephen J. Wormith, chairperson of the criminal justice psychology section of the Canadian Psychological Association. That is what he says. This is if it is undefined.
We have many other quotations, which I have sent around to all hon. members in this House.
If those witnesses do not agree that sexual orientation does not mean what the minister said, what are the courts going to do? The courts are not responsible to the people of Canada. I do not want to take that chance. It is for this House to define phrases, not for the courts.
Interestingly enough, every other characteristic listed in 718.2 is defined. Race has been defined. National or ethnic origin has been defined. Language has been defined. Colour has been defined. Religion has been defined. Sex has been defined. Age has been defined. Mental or physical disability has been defined. Here are the definitions, judicial and otherwise.
The only identifiable characteristic that has not been given a definition in this country is sexual orientation. Why is that? According to the minister, he says that it would be offensive to provide a definition. I quote: "It would be offensive for us to define that term". That is the reason he gives for not defining a term that the witnesses said includes necrophilia, pedophilia, scopophilia, or whatever other kind of philias you want to talk about. That is not just some hon. member talking; those are actual expert witnesses before the justice committee who made these points.
Who would it offend? It is not offensive to the people of Scarborough West. I conducted a poll. Seventy-two per cent of my constituents want sexual orientation defined before it is put in any federal statute. It is not offensive to anybody I know.
If we draft statutes on the basis of offence, we have given a lot of offence to a lot of gun owners and we just passed Bill C-68. That gives offence. We cannot draft statutes on the basis of who they might or might not offend. We draft statutes on the basis of what is right and what is wrong. Wedraft according to the proper rules of drafting and give definitions.
I ask the House, if sexual orientation is going to remain, please define it.