Text of the article written by Archbishop Gervais in response to a request from the 'Ottawa Sun for publication on the day of the anticipated decision from the Supreme Court of Canada on same-sex marriages.

Apparently, we should be expecting a ruling from the Supreme Court concerning 'same-sex marriage'. When the judges were meeting with the government lawyers, they asked why this matter was brought to the Supreme Court, when it was a subject to be debated in Parliament. I would dearly hope that this position was held by a majority of judges. This would bring the question directly to our people, and they should decide.

The government, in its draft legislation, invoked the principles of equity, autonomy and freedom of choice and proposed to remove the distinctions between heterosexual spouses and same-sex partners in order to give the latter access to normative marital status.

We do not believe that human dignity requires or depends on access to a specific status. Same-sex couples cannot argue that their dignity depends on and necessarily demands access to a specific status, namely marriage. Difference of status is not a matter of equality: non-Indian persons, for example, cannot say they are being discriminated against because they cannot have Indian status.

The State must not confuse equality with uniformity by simply substituting one for the other. Non- discrimination does not require uniformity; it requires respect for diversity and differences. Society should value diversity. Refusing to establish the necessary distinctions leads to confusion and to the devaluing of diversity. It is not discriminatory to treat different realities differently.

Same-sex unions and marriage are two different realities. What is wrong with accepting their differences? Why try to eliminate this natural diversity?

Some same-sex partners have claimed that it is discriminatory not to give them access to marriage, but, in fact, it is the contrary which is true. Altering the definition of marriage to include same-sex partners discriminates against traditional marriage and deprives it of its social and legal recognition as a fundamental, unique and irreplaceable basis of society.

Even though a homosexual relationship can be considered to be a special one, it does not have the same ordered goals as marriage. Other ways of supporting and recognizing stable homosexual or non-sexual unions could be found. Certain Europeans nations have enacted legislation on 'Civil Unions' or 'Cohabitation', but they are not called marriage.

We should remember that persons of homosexual orientation are human beings. They deserve all the rights and all the respect of any human being. Should these be partnered with another person, that relationship should be given whatever rights and privileges support the stable relationship. It should not, however, be reclassified as marriage.

It is my hope that the Supreme Court does not decide the question. Then it will be the responsibility of our government to go to the people and then our legislators will exercise their duty in a free vote.