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Capital Hill Christian protest fizzles

Only 100 show for antimarriage protest on Parliament


Claiming the rights of children are at stake, a small crowd of Christian protestors — half of the 200 people that organizers had predicted — met in front of Parliament Jun 15 to protest same-sex marriage rights.

Warren, an organizer who refuses to give his family name, says same-sex marriages are going to start confusing children. Kids won’t be able to figure out who is mother and who is father in a same-sex relationship, he says. And same-sex marriage opens a can of worms, he fears, opening the door to transsexuals wanting to marry.

The demonstration attracted various Christian sects. Many protestors were from visible minority communities and in their late 40s and early 50s. A handful of children held signs, as did their parents, as they chanted, “Protect our children’s rights.” Many kids seemed dazed or uncomfortable under the glare of the sun.

Behind them, one man was dressed in a groom’s attire while the woman beside him was in a bridal gown.

“Seeing this is disturbing,” said David Mitges, a Torontonian who decided to observe the protest while doing business in Ottawa. “People who don’t know the real issue are spoon-fed into thinking something else.

“They don’t understand the real depth.”

The age of most protestors reflects society as a whole, says Gilles Marchildon, executive director of Egale Canada. Younger Canadians are highly supportive of gay rights, noted Marchildon, observing the protest on the side.

But the protestors were very concerned that homosexual relationships will kill the family tree. “Biologically, that’s it,” said Warren. “It’s over.”

The demonstration was largely organized by a group calling itself Man And Woman Union.

The demonstration is the third Warren has helped organize. The next one will be held in October when Parliament is expected to vote on a motion to reopen Bill C-38, The Civil Marriage Act, that was enacted last summer.

Ontario Conservative MPs Gary Goodyear and Harold Albrecht were scheduled to address the rally. Albrecht, a Kitchener MP and a staunch supporter of traditional marriage, found time to address the crowd briefly.

Addressing the crowd in the style of a preacher, Albrecht garnered praise and lots of “Amens.”

Albrecht also appeared at a January rally in Kitchener with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Conservative organizers hid him in a kitchen to keep him from reporters.

Marchildon, showing his wedding ring, said he was baffled at what he was seeing. “What does this ring going do to them?” he asked. “Our [queer]community still needs to be vigilant that there’s still some opposition. The battle is still not over.”

The demonstration was pronounced “amateurish” by a participant reporting on it for the far-right conservative website Free Dominion.