After several months of study, ARPA has released its formal response to the “Carter Decision”, the Supreme Court of Canada ruling which struck down the Criminal Code prohibitions against doctor-assisted suicide. On the feature interview this week, ARPA Executive Director Mark Penninga and ARPA Legal Counsel André Schutten provide some of the detailed reasoning behind the draft legislation that was released last week. You can read more about the position here, and we have several EasyMail letters here to help you communicate with your Member of Parliament on this issue.
In the news, Parliament has adjourned for the summer. MP’s won’t be back in Ottawa until after the election in October. One of the results of the adjournment is that some legislation didn’t make it all the way through the system. One item that died on the order paper was Bill 279, which would have amended federal laws to add the term “gender identity” as a prohibited ground for hate crimes, hate speech, or discrimination. We talk with Senator Don Plett, who has been spearheading a battle for amendments to this bill in the Senate, and he’s predicting this issue will be resurrected in some form in the next Parliament.
Some big developments to the south of us in the past few weeks. The US Supreme Court, in a split decision, determined that gay “marriage” should be legal in all 50 states. You can read the ruling here.
Meanwhile, a Christian bakery in Oregon was hit with the largest fine of its kind in the ongoing cultural battle over gay rights. “Sweet Cakes by Melissa” was hit with a $135-thousand dollar fine, and the owners were ordered not to talk about their case or any plans for an appeal. They’re defying the second part of that order, as you can see here. They had initially started a crowd-funding campaign on GoFundMe.com, but that website shut them down. They’ve since found a more friendly site, and they’re raising money to pay the fine here. As we were preparing this edition of Lighthouse News, they’d already raised enough money to pay the fine and put a healthy down-payment toward their ongoing legal bills.
Also this week, an update on ARPA’s latest billboard contest. Jason Bouwman, who’s one of the judges for the contest, talks about the kinds of things they’ll be looking for in the entries. (His company Compass Creative, is also one of the sponsors.)
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