Ottawa, Canada, Feb 1, 2005 / 22:00 pm
Prime Minister Paul Martin’s Liberal government introduced same-sex marriage legislation in the House of Commons yesterday. If passed, as expected, it will make Canada the third country in the world to allow same-sex marriage.
Justice Minister Irwin Cotler said he is confident that the bill will be passed quickly. He told CBC Radio yesterday that successive court decisions and debates in Parliament have determined that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right.
The only way the government can override same-sex marriage legislation and the equality rights guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is by invoking the notwithstanding clause, Cotler told the CBC.
Cotler said the government has no intention of invoking the clause to override the Charter.