Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Canada moves forward
With the 158-to 133-vote in the House of Commons, which represents the support of the majority of three of the four parties, the Canadian legislature voted to approve same-sex marriage across the country despite strong opposition from the Conservatives -- and in contrast to its neighbor to the south that believes that rights should be granted to only some of its citizens. Note the separation of church and state in the last paragraph below. According to this New York Times story:
The vote sealed two years of provincial court decisions that gave same-sex couples the right to marry in 8 of 10 provinces and one of the three northern territories. When the Senate approves the measure, considered a formality, Canada will become the third national government, after the Netherlands and Belgium, to enact such rights.
...With enactment of the legislation, same-sex couples will be able to marry for the first time in Alberta, Prince Edward Island, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, and the unions of couples who have already married in other jurisdictions will now be recognized everywhere in Canada.
...Before passage, members agreed to an amendment that would protect the charitable status of any religious institution that refuses to perform same-sex marriages.