Heathens and Pagans Fight for Rights in Canada!
August 14, 2012
A new council has started. Kenaz Kindred will take the lead in this mission! Working together with pagans, heathens and alternative faith groups we hope to change the way a ‘church’ is seen by our country.We are asking leaders from the pagan community come on board and help us fight the Ontario law preventing both heathen’s and pagans from officially marrying or being considered a church in Canada. If you know of anyone that would be willing to join this group please send them to: https://www.facebook.com/
If you are not on Facebook, you can sign the petition directly on our site.
Look for the SIGN button on the right!
The act we are trying to change is as follows.
Section 20 of the Marriage Act provides that no one may solemnize a marriage unless registered to do so under section 20 or authorized by or under section 24 of the Act, which authorizes a judge, a justice of the peace or any other person of a class designated by the Marriage Act regulations to solemnize marriages. The Marriage Office has established a “Memorandum of Requirements for Recognizing a New Denomination” (the “Memorandum”), which includes the checklist of the required documentation that must be submitted to the Marriage Office by a denomination seeking recognition in Ontario set out below:
1. Appointment and Dismissal of Clergy: Please supply us with the by-laws or rules of your denomination, which clearly sets out how your clergy members are appointed and dismissed.
2. A copy of your denomination’s rites and usages respecting solemnization of marriage. An actual copy of your marriage ceremony is required.5
3. A copy of the form of worship, namely actions or practices of displaying reverence or veneration paid to a being or power regarded as supernatural or divine displayed by appropriate acts, rites and ceremonies.
4. A registration package for each clergy is required to include:i) a completed application;ii) a copy of your ordination or proof of appointment;iii) a letter of authorization from the governing official of your denomination permitting you to solemnize marriages according to that denomination’s rites and usages.
5. A letter signed by three board members stating who will be the governing official for the denomination. The governing official will be responsible for keeping the records of all clergy registered under the denomination and report to the Registrar General any changes in status or addresses of clergy registered under their denomination.
6. A certified copy of the incorporation papers for your denomination is required. This will reflect the date and place of incorporation or founding of the religious body. A copy of your registration as a charity with Revenue Canada is also required.
7. A statement is required which reflects information about the congregation you will be serving. Please show the name and location of the church, and the number of members and adherents showing the extent and continuous growth. Include evidence that would indicate the length of time the denomination has been functioning inside or outside of Ontario.
8. A statement showing the organizational structure of your denomination explaining the procedure by which your governing official would be appointed or relieved of jurisdictional authority.
9. Signatures and addresses of at least 25 members of the denomination, excluding clergy and their families, petitioning us to register the denomination.
The Marriage Office requires original signatures for the application forms for each clergy member, as well as for the letter of authorization from the governing official. In Ontario, there are no fees currently associated with the filing of the application.
The issue is that the government decides what meets the criteria of a ‘church’ the require information that often cannot be provided by non-mainstream churches. They expect churches to incorporate which means a church has to have ‘money’ to register as well as run as ‘non profits’ which means that all churches would have to file taxes and have accountants. I don’t know many spiritual religions that can afford this…nor do I get how our country allowed certain religions to ‘register’ and others to not. I don’t think this is just a matter of ‘money’ or of registering. I have a very certain feeling they expect these organizations to be something they ‘know’ of because It seems that regardless of what information you provide the government continues to refuse the non traditional religions from registering!!