Same-sex marriage in Canada

same-sex marriageCanadasame-sex marriagessame-sex couplesCanadian marriageheterosexual definitionmarriagemarried in Canadasame-sex marriage legislationCanada's debate on same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage in Canada was progressively introduced in several provinces by court decisions beginning in 2003 before being legally recognized nationwide with the enactment of the Civil Marriage Act on July 20, 2005.wikipedia
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Civil Marriage Act

Bill C-38Marriagemarriage law
Same-sex marriage in Canada was progressively introduced in several provinces by court decisions beginning in 2003 before being legally recognized nationwide with the enactment of the Civil Marriage Act on July 20, 2005.
The Civil Marriage Act (full title: An Act respecting certain aspects of legal capacity for marriage for civil purposes) (the Act) was legislation legalizing same-sex marriage across Canada.

Same-sex marriage

gay marriagemarriage equalitysame sex marriage
On June 10, 2003, the Court of Appeal for Ontario issued a decision immediately legalizing same-sex marriage in Ontario, thereby becoming the first province where it was legal.
Same-sex marriage is legally performed and recognized (nationwide or in some jurisdictions) in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uruguay.

Same-sex marriage in Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador
Same-sex marriage in Newfoundland and Labrador has been legal since December 21, 2004, when the province was ordered to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples.

Stephen Harper

HarperPrime Minister Stephen HarperStephen Joseph Harper
Following the 2006 election, which was won by a Conservative minority government under new Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the House of Commons defeated a motion to reopen the matter by a vote of 175 to 123 on December 7, 2006, effectively reaffirming the legislation.
He actually opposed both same-sex marriage and mandated benefits for same-sex couples, but argued that political parties should refrain from taking official positions on these and other "issues of conscience".

Same-sex marriage in Manitoba

ManitobaChris VogelRichard North
Manitoba became the fifth jurisdiction in Canada (and the eighth worldwide) to extend civil marriage to same-sex couples, after the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec, and the territory of Yukon.

Marriage

married couplesopposite-sex married couplesmarried
Most legal benefits commonly associated with marriage had been extended to cohabiting same-sex couples since 1999.
As of 2019, same-sex marriage is performed and recognized by law (nationwide or in some parts) in the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uruguay.

Reference Re Same-Sex Marriage

same-sex marriage referenceRe Same-Sex MarriageRe: Same-Sex Marriage
According to the Constitution of Canada, the definition of marriage is the exclusive responsibility of the federal government; this interpretation was upheld by a December 9, 2004, opinion of the Supreme Court of Canada (Reference Re Same-Sex Marriage).
Reference Re Same-Sex Marriage [2004] 3 S.C.R. 698, 2004 SCC 79, was a reference question to the Supreme Court of Canada regarding the constitutional validity of same-sex marriage in Canada.

Paul Martin

MartinPaul Martin Jr.Paul Martin, Jr.
The Civil Marriage Act was introduced by Prime Minister Paul Martin's Liberal minority government in the House of Commons of Canada on February 1, 2005, as Bill C-38. The Paul Martin government supported the bill but allowed a free vote by its backbench MPs in the House of Commons.
In the midst of various court rulings in 2003 and 2004 that allowed for the legalization of same-sex marriages in seven provinces and one territory, the government proposed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage across Canada.

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Charter of Rights and FreedomsCharterCharter of Rights
Alberta Premier Ralph Klein threatened to invoke the notwithstanding clause of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to avoid having to comply with the ruling, which would have been constitutional but which had become politically unacceptable.
The provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta have also invoked the notwithstanding clause, to end a strike and to protect an exclusively heterosexual definition of marriage, respectively.

The Michaels

Michael Leshner and Michael StarkMichael Stark and Michael Leshner
The first same-sex couple to marry, just hours after the Court of Appeal decision, were Michael Leshner and Michael Stark, long-time advocates for marriage equality for same-sex couples who had been litigants and intervenors in various court cases addressing the issue, including the Court of Appeal decision.
They were the men who in 2003 entered into the first legal same-sex marriage in Canada, and were consequently named the Canadian Newsmakers of the Year by Time magazine.

Liberal Party of Canada

LiberalLiberal PartyLiberals
The Civil Marriage Act was introduced by Prime Minister Paul Martin's Liberal minority government in the House of Commons of Canada on February 1, 2005, as Bill C-38.
In Chrétien's final days, he supported same-sex marriage and decriminalizing the possession of small quantities of marijuana.

2006 Canadian federal election

2006 federal election20062006 election
Following the 2006 election, which was won by a Conservative minority government under new Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the House of Commons defeated a motion to reopen the matter by a vote of 175 to 123 on December 7, 2006, effectively reaffirming the legislation.
Several issues—some long-standing (notably fiscal imbalance, the gun registry, abortion, and Quebec sovereigntism), others recently brought forth by media coverage (including redressing the Chinese Canadian community for long-standing wrongs that forced both parties to back-track on their position in the national and ethnic media, particularly in key British Columbia and Alberta ridings), or court decisions (the sponsorship scandal, same-sex marriages, income trusts, or Canada–United States relations)—took the fore in debate among the parties and also influenced aspects of the parties' electoral platforms.

Michael Hendricks and René Leboeuf

Michael HendricksRené LeboeufHendricks and Leboeuf v. Quebec
The couple who brought the suit, Michael Hendricks and René Leboeuf, immediately sought a marriage licence; the usual 20-day waiting period was waived, and they were wed on April 1 at the Palais de justice de Montréal.
Michael Hendricks and René Leboeuf are Canadian gay rights advocates, known for their advocacy of same-sex marriage in Canada.

Civil union

civil unionscivil partnershipcivil partnerships
Before introducing it into Parliament, the Federal Cabinet submitted the bill as a reference to the Supreme Court (Reference Re Same-Sex Marriage), asking the court to rule on whether limiting marriage to heterosexual couples was consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and if same-sex civil unions are an acceptable alternative.

Ralph Klein

Premier Ralph KleinKleinRalph Phillip Klein
Alberta Premier Ralph Klein threatened to invoke the notwithstanding clause of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to avoid having to comply with the ruling, which would have been constitutional but which had become politically unacceptable.
In June 2003, an Ontario Superior Court Charter ruling removed federal restrictions on same-sex unions being recognized legally as marriage.

Martin Cauchon

CAUCHON, Martin
A draft of what would become Bill C-38 was released on July 17, 2003, by Liberal Justice Minister Martin Cauchon.
As justice minister, Cauchon argued in cabinet in favour of same-sex marriage and the decriminalization of marijuana (indeed, when asked whether he had used marijuana in the past, he responded "Yes, of course").

Same-sex marriage in Saskatchewan

Saskatchewanmarry in that provinceSame sex marriage in Saskatchewan
At the time of the application, courts in six other Canadian provinces and territories had upheld the constitutionality of same-sex marriage in Canada.

Same-sex marriage in Nunavut

Nunavut
During the March 2004 general election, one of Premier Okalik's main opponents ran on the basis that he would repeal the territory's human rights legislation on sexual orientation, and would not recognize same-sex marriages.

Conservative Party of Canada

ConservativeConservative PartyConservatives
Following the 2006 election, which was won by a Conservative minority government under new Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the House of Commons defeated a motion to reopen the matter by a vote of 175 to 123 on December 7, 2006, effectively reaffirming the legislation.
Klein had also called for a referendum on same-sex marriage.

Beverley McLachlin

McLachlin CJBeverly McLachlinMcLachlin
Beverley McLachlin (in her capacity as the Deputy of the Governor General of Canada), on July 20, 2005.
In her role as Administrator, she gave royal assent to the Civil Marriage Act which legalized same-sex marriage nationally in Canada.

Conscience vote

free voteconsciencefree votes
The Paul Martin government supported the bill but allowed a free vote by its backbench MPs in the House of Commons.
For instance, when the Conservative government of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper proposed a motion to re-open the debate on Canada's same-sex marriage laws, his Conservatives and the opposition Liberals declared it a free vote for their members, while the Bloc Québécois and the New Democrats both maintained party discipline to defeat the measure.

Common-law relationships in Manitoba

Manitobacommon-law relationship
Legislative changes in 2001–2004 extended the benefits of common-law relationships in Manitoba to same-sex couples as well as those of different sex.
While not as extensive as the rights and benefits of marriage, these relationships provide some important benefits to unmarried couples.

Peter MacKay

Peter Gordon MacKayPeterForeign Minister MacKay
Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay noted that not a single constituent had approached him on the issue, and Conservative Cabinet Minister Loyola Hearn was against re-opening the debate.
The Honourable Peter MacKay voted in favour of same-sex marriage in 2006.

M v H

M. v. H.a prominent ruling
In 1999, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in M. v. H. [1999] 2 S.C.R. 3 that same-sex couples in Canada were entitled to receive many of the financial and legal benefits commonly associated with marriage.