To Svend Robinson, MP, Supporting Private Members Bill to Include Same-Sex in Definition of Marriage, August 2001

Honourable Svend Robinson, M.P.

House of Commons

Ottawa, ON


Dear Brother Robinson,

I am writing to extend my support for the passage of the private member's bill you have before the House on the issue of same-sex marriage.  As you know, our union actively supports the rights of our lesbian and gay members, and is committed to expanding the rights of the broader gay community to full equality.

Over the past decade our union has successfully negotiated same-sex benefit coverage in the majority of our collective agreements.  We welcome recent changes brought about by the omnibus bills in both federal and provincial jurisdictions, which now legally require all employers to extend benefits to same-sex couples and families.  However, as we both know, same-sex benefit coverage is only a partial victory, as long as these benefits are tied to arbitrary co-habitation time requirements, and same-sex couples do not have the option of marriage.  The same-sex marriage bill will allow gay and lesbian couples the important choice to bypass co-habitation requirements, and register their relationships when, and if, they see fit.

This legislation is one piece in the broader struggle to bring greater equality for gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people in our society.  It is part of a struggle that must be fought in the courts, in the houses of parliaments, and most certainly within our workplaces, as we continue to fight against harassment and discrimination in employment.  As a union we have taken great strides on these issues, and count among our strongest activists our members from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.  Together, we are building a stronger, more representative union.

On behalf of our members I want to thank you for your tireless work on these issues.  Please let us know if we can be of further assistance toward the passage of this important piece of legislation.

In solidarity,

Buzz Hargrove


cc:       Peggy Nash, Raj Dhaliwal, Lisa Kelly, Sue Carter, CAW LGBT Caucuses