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Supported by the Canadian Alliance opposition party, Canada's Liberal government used an obscure parliamentary rule last Friday (June 13) to adjourn the House of Commons early for a three-month summer recess, thereby delaying an expected vote of Bill C-250 scheduled for today. This controversial bill proposes to add "sexual orientation" to the current list of identifiable groups (i.e. colour, race, religion and ethnic origin) in the "hate propaganda" sections of the Criminal Code of Canada. The Voice of the Martyrs is concerned that this bill is vague enough to allow for a case-to-case interpretation of what would constitute a hate crime against someone of a particular sexual orientation. Potentially, we belief, this bill could lead to the criminalization of the public reading of Scripture passages that speak out against homosexuality, sermons that decry sexual sin and any other printed literature against homosexuality.

It is believed that the government recessed the Commons early to delay a vote on this and other controversial legislation. Many believe that, had C-250 been voted on today, it would have passed. The move to recess early means that a vote on this faulty legislation will be delayed until at least next fall.

While The Voice of the Martyrs welcomes this development, we are concerned that the Liberal government fears opposing this bill (sponsored by openly homosexual NDP Member of Parliament Sven Robinson) because of public opinion concerns. We urge all Canadians, especially those with Liberal Members of Parliament to take the time this summer to write their MPs and The Honourable Martin Cauchon, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, regarding this bill. Contact information can be found through a link to the House of Commons directory at www.vomcanada.com/links.htm. To assist you in writing a well-reasoned, thoughtful letter, we encourage all Canadian Christians to go to http://www.evangelicalfellowship.ca/social/initiatives.asp for more information on this bill and some of the issues at stake.

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