This semantic game as to what constitutes rights is the same one I encountered on the expatriate voting issue. One poster stated that a particular ideal should be adhered to less the definition of what constitutes rights on voting be construed too broadly. The issue in question was residence and voting. Here the question is marriage and sexual orientation. Same problem with different words. Split hairs to differentially define rights. This is a very common Canadian trend.
The reason why in Canada conflicting standards are frequently used to determine rights is that Canada does not recognize individual rights. Canada recognizes group rights and this is what the Charter protects. And even for group rights to be acknowledged members of the group have to mobilize and lobby for recognition. The best example of this are “visible minorities.”
The Charter is very different than the US Constitution in the way it recognizes rights. The ACLU for example takes cases where rights are violated irrespective of political considerations. It’s position is based on the premise that all individuals in the US have equal rights. In Canada the CCLA will only take cases identified with certain groups that they consider are entitled to being defended on human rights In other words only individuals belonging to certain groups in Canada have human rights. Individuals outside these groups have no way to seek redress if their rights are violated other than first mounting a Charter challenge.
So Canada really does not have a universal humans rights system. Rights a re calculated in terms of potential political gain and for self interest on the part of various groups.
There was an interesting article in the Economist I believe in September 2004 on the limited way that human rights are defined in Canada.
On the election I think it is important not to let corrupt and inept liberal politicians tarnish the ideals of the party platform. The next government should go into caretaker mode and clean up government as its main priority. They have to get these morons out of government.