The MCC welcomes the legislation that re-defines marriage to include same-sex partners, and urges Muslims and other minority groups to stand in solidarity with gays and lesbians. In a recent press conference in Ottawa, MCC president Rizwana Jafri, said:
It is incumbent upon us, as a minority, to stand up in solidarity with Canada’s gays and lesbians despite the fact that many in our community believe our religion does not condone homosexuality. . . . This legislation is not about religion; it is about fundamental and universal human rights that are a guarantee that all Canadians, irrespective of their religious or ethnic background, feel part of the same family. While, within this family, we may agree to disagree we must respect each other and treat others with dignity that is a hallmark of civil society.Tarek Fatah, host of the CTS-TV show "The Muslim Chronicle", criticized the fear mongering by some religious institutions against same-sex marriage:
[The press release continues:] Ms. Jafri appealed to social conservative Muslim organizations to stop being used by the Conservative Party who are using this controversy to score political points by spreading fear among racial minorities.
She appealed to Prime Minister Paul Martin to make sure his caucus supports the legislation and are not allowed to wriggle out of their responsibility to respect Human Rights and the decisions of majority of Provincial Courts.
The religious institutions who are spreading fear among their congregations are not being honest about this law. No mosque, church, temple, or synagogue will ever have to conduct a same-sex marriage if they don’t wish to. The guarantee of the freedom of religion in our constitution and the legislation presented today ensure that every Canadian will continue to have the right to practice their religion as they deem fit. However, freedom of religion cannot come at the cost of limiting the rights of other groups in society. . . . The hate mongering against gays and lesbians must be stopped. Places of worship should never be permitted to demean a section of the community who are a minority.