Mr. Speaker, I congratulate my colleague for bringing children into this debate because I, too, feel very strongly that this legislation has an enormous impact on children. Indeed, this is one of the reasons why I support it.
It finally defines same sex relationships as being outside marriage and because it defines, at last, marriage as being a lawful union of a man and woman, it creates a situation where, all things being equal, a child has the right to have heterosexual parents rather than same sex parents.
The difficulty in my view was that the courts were poised, up until this legislation, to define marriage as a same sex relationship. Had they done that, they would have extinguished the rights of a child, all things being equal, between a same sex couple as parents and an opposite sex couple being parents, to have heterosexual parents as the choice.
What happens now with this legislation is that it does not exclude same sex partners from adopting children. What it does, though, is it makes sure that the authorities have the discretion to make the choice between same sex parents or opposite sex parents.
I have never been one who was prepared, in the interests of expanding the rights of one group, to extinguish the rights of another, especially children.
It is true that this legislation is imperfect. I agree to some degree with the opposition that what it really ought to be about should be dependent partners. Sex should in no way be involved in this legislation. However, we had to move for the children because the courts were poised to determine that a marriage or a spouse would be an opposite sex relationship. If they had done that, then the right of a child to have heterosexual parents over same sex parents would have been extinguished.
This is not to say that same sex parents cannot be good parents. However, we do not know yet if heterosexual parents are absolutely equal to same sex parents. It does appear to us far more natural to have opposite sex parents. I should say far more normal because, whatever we are, we are all creations of nature or creations of God. I do not accept that it is unnatural to be homosexual. We are what we are, but it is certainly, shall we say, not normal as parents to be a man and a man or a woman and a woman, which is what this legislation addresses. It makes sure that, all things being equal, that children have the right to be adopted first and foremost by heterosexual parents as opposed to homosexual parents.
I would appreciate it if my colleague would comment on those remarks.