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NEWS: Canadian Supreme Court OKs Gay Marriage

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posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 02:05 PM
The Canadian Supreme Court ruled today that the government can amend marriage laws to include same-sex couples, paving the way for legal unions between gay couples. Gay marriage is already recognized in six provinces, and it is expected the national government will follow suit and legalize it throughout the country. Currently only Belgium and the Netherlands permit legal same-sex unions.
In a landmark opinion, Canada's Supreme Court said Thursday the government can redefine marriage to include same-sex couples.

However, the court added that religious officials cannot be forced to perform unions against their beliefs, and the legislation to allow gay marriage must still pass with a majority of the House of Commons.

Prime Minister Paul Martin said after the court's ruling that since judges in six Canadian provinces and one of its territories are already allowing gay marriages, it should be approved throughout the country. He said his government would introduce a bill shortly after the Christmas holidays.

He noted that members of Parliament would be free to vote their conscience, but his Cabinet ministers would have to support the government's bill.

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A bill is expected to be introduced in the House of Commons after the first of the year, and it must pass to be made law. It already has support in the Cabinet.

Usually perceived as a more liberal country than its neighbor to the south, many are not surprised that Canada could well become the third country to legalize gay marriages. The Court declared that excluding same-sex couples from legal marriage rights to be unconstitutional, a stance held by those in support of gay marriage worldwide.

Over 1,000 legal rights are afforded to married couples in the United States (and excluded from unmarried couples), including health insurance, hospital visitation, inheritance rights, tax breaks and social security benefits.

posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 02:31 PM
Does this affect gay marriage laws in the rest of the British Commonwealth? I should think it can in two ways, one would be the recognition of these marriages in other members of the commonwealth. THe other is that, technically, the laws of canada are 'passed' by the Governor-General, a representative of the Crown itself, so does that mean that the Crown has approved of this? And can that arguement be extended to be seen as a precedent for other Commonwealth members?

posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 04:24 PM
Congrats to Canada for having the brains to show some equality. I'm glad that at least Canada can think rationally. I've always wondred why gays shouldn't be allowed to get marriered. I get the feeling that this ruling may increase the number of Americans attempting to immigrate to Canada.

posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 04:46 PM
If they are allowed to get married does this mean that they get married them same as Heterosexuals? I for one disagree with it as am married and feel that itís a right of Heterosexuals to get married before God. I believe that they have a right to all the rights that Heterosexuals get but not before God. Its not that am against them as I have a little boy and you never know which way he will lead his life so canít be to judge mental. Just that I feel that it was a special bond that my wife and I made before God that is reserved for Heterosexuals. They should have there own way in my opinion that is different to Heterosexual marriages but comes with the same rights as Heterosexuals. I find that it kind of dilutes or distorts the meaning of marriage.

If I offend anyone its not that I mean to its just that am not educated enough!

posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 04:49 PM
I think that homosexuals (for future reference I am NOT gay) should be able to be legally married with all the legal benefits. As for married before the church, I think that they should be able to but it should be up to the church in question, not the goverment.

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