Yesterday I got an email from a CD up north who had this to say:
I wondered today if you are aware that yesterday (June 28/05) the Canadian federal parliament passed an amendment to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms allowing for same sex marriage rights across the country? The vote was 158 yes to 133 no with several members from each side of the house voting against their party position.
Marriage is a provincial jurisdiction in Canada and 6 out of the 10 provinces had already legalized same sex marriage in the past 2 years anyway as a result of losing supreme court challenges based on constitutional rights arguments. This newly passed bill amends the Canadian Charter to reflect that and redefines the definition of marriage to include more than just the union of one man and one woman. This makes Canada the 3rd country in the world to have legalized same sex marriage laws. The issue is still out on protecting religious rights as certain churches are against same sex marriage and of course will refuse to preform them regardless. I never saw that as an issue myself since churches could always refuse to marry anyone they wanted based on their religious views. The new law doesn’t attempt to change that from what I can see. You never did have to be married in a church for it to be considered legal so this law is not forcing any church to marry anyone it chooses not to because of its religious beliefs. I just gives people the right to legally marry and enjoy the rights that entails. This argument was still a major one many anti-gay people used to try and oppose the passing of this new law.
A (married) CD in Vancouver, BC, Canada
and before I had time to put this up, and thank Canada for having the wisdom those of us below them don’t have, Spain went and legalized same-sex marriage as well.
It saddens me, that this weekend when we break out the flags and the hot dogs and the cold beer, that America hasn’t worked this one out yet – and not only hasn’t worked it out, but is steadily building a backlash against same-sex marriage, like in Ohio, where they’re now working on preventing GLBT folks from adopting children.
But it strikes me that this weekend, Canadians do really have an independence day to celebrate (today, July 1st) while GLBT Americans look longingly to the north.