Mr. Speaker, earlier the NDP member for Vancouver East and the NDP member for Burnaby—Douglas talked about equality and that to deny equality to gays and lesbians is inappropriate and we have to address that.
The government and now most members who have spoken have said that they support the definition of marriage which is in the law, that of a man and a woman and to the exclusion of all others. We then are faced with the proposition that anybody who supports heterosexual marriage, to the exclusion of same sex marriages, is going to be labelled as a homophobic. It is clear that anybody who supports heterosexual marriages will then be labelled as homophobic. I want the member's reaction to that.
There is a commercial on credit cards which says that membership has its privileges. When the member considers the decisions of Egan, M. v H., Rosenberg, et cetera, it is clear that all of the privileges of marriage are no longer distinctive and distinguished.
The only thing that same sex partners do not enjoy right now are property rights, which can be dealt with as common law couples do, by contract.
The fundamental question is this. If there is marriage, but if there are no privileges and no distinction to marriage, then does it not just become a piece of paper? Why is it that the Government of Canada, the laws of Canada and virtually everybody in the House support marriage with no privileges?