Pat O'Brien resigned from the Liberal caucus today. He had demanded more public review of Bill C38. The issue of Same-sex marriage has been the top and darn near the top of the federal Parliament's discussion list for three years now. In April, Canadians said we have had enough discussion, now get on with it and vote.
Still people like O'Brien and his counterparts in the Conservative party are playing politics with this issue. O'Brien has been working with the Defend Marriage Coalition that did not want him to leave the Liberal party until now. Defend Marriage is a coalition of social conservatives and Christian activist groups like Focus on the Family. They have made no secret of late their willingness to force a federal election in order to kill Bill C38.
Having O'Brien inside the Liberal party provided extra pressure on the Liberals and allowed the coalition to claim all party support for their objection to same-sex marriage. With the hopes of defeating Bill C38 in the house gone, Defend Marriage backers want to see the Liberals defeated before it comes to a vote.
O'Brien said it is "not his objective" to vote against and defeat the government in a non-confidence motion. But he said he wasn't ruling out any democratic action to try and defeat the proposed same-sex marriage bill. - Pat O'Brien, Independent MP speaking to CBC June 6, 2005
O'Brien is being dishonest on this issue without much doubt. He received the hearing he wanted into Bill C-38, an additional 22 witnesses were added to the committee hearings. Most of them being opposed to same-sex marriage and Bill C38.
It appears all along that the move to the committee stage was merely a delaying tactic in an effort to run out the clock or defeat the government before Bill C38 could be voted on. The Prime Minister gave his renegade MP the full and public hearings he asked for, now with the government having fulfilled its commitment O'Brien does not like what he sees, a Parliament that appears to be ready to vote in support of Bill C38 and finally make same-sex marriage legal across Canada.
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