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Rightwing group gives up gay marriage fight

Turns attention to increasing number of straight couples who aren't getting hitched

The small number of gay marriages in Canada since legalization has led a rightwing Christian group to refocus its targets on what it sees as immoral conduct among straights, the group’s executive director said Sep 27.

Almost a year after Parliament voted against reopening the same-sex marriage debate, the Institute Of Marriage And Family Canada (IMFC) has abandoned the fight. Following that Dec 7, 2006 vote, the executive director of the IMFC, Dave Quist, called on the federal government to create a royal commission to study marriage, or else the “institution of the family will be eroded, resulting in dire consequences for all of us.”

Judging by numbers recently released by Statistics Canada, this nation’s gays and lesbians are overwhelmingly turning their backs on the institution of marriage. Despite intense media attention and an initial rush to the altar by activists, only 7,465 queer couples have bothered to marry since jurisdictions began to roll it out in 2003 following court judgments.

The small number of gay marriages, combined with the futility in reversing the legislation, has led Quist and the IMFC to turn their attention elsewhere.

“No political party is likely to put that (restoring traditional marriage) as part of their platform, their agenda right now,” Quist told CanWest News Sep 27.

The target of the Institute’s next attacks? Straight couples who are ditching the idea of getting hitched.

Census data results show for the first time since numbers have been collected, unmarried Canadians are in the majority.

This increasing trend away from marriage has clearly shaken the organization, which is an offshoot of the Colorado-based Christian Right group Focus On The Family. That group is grounded in its opposition to premarital sex, homosexuality, abortion rights, euthanasia and stem cell research.