Seventh Canadian jurisdiction legalizes same-sex marriage


The seventh of 13 Canadian jurisdictions legalized same-sex marriage Nov. 5. A Saskatchewan court ruled that the traditional definition of marriage, as the union of one man and one woman, is unconstitutional.

In a five-page ruling, Justice Donna Wilson sided with courts in five other provinces and one territory, saying existing marriage laws discriminate against homosexual couples. The provincial and federal governments did not contest the court challenge.

Archbishop Albert LeGatt of Saskatoon told the Canadian Press that he was disappointed by the court decision. "I regret the decision of the court here, as I regret the decisions of the courts of other provinces," he was quoted as saying.

"Though the courts may have established a certain ruling, we hold on to our faith and our belief of what marriage is," he added.

Courts in Quebec, British Columbia, Ontario, Yukon, Manitoba and Nova Scotia already opened the door to same-sex marriage. There are currently two couples challenging the law in Newfoundland.

Second private member’s bill tabled

In Ottawa Friday, Nova Scotia Conservative MP Rob Moore introduced a private member's bill, aimed at upholding the legal definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

The bill will allow parliamentarians to determine the definition of marriage through a free vote. "In addition, it provides protections for the right of religious institutions to conduct ceremonies according to their own beliefs," Moore was quoted as saying.

A vote on this bill would mark the third time MPs have voted on the issue in five years. In 1999, Parliament overwhelmingly approved a motion that defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman. In 2003, a similar motion was defeated by five votes.

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