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BBC: Ontario legalises gay marriage

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The highest court in Canada's largest province, Ontario, has ruled that gay and lesbian couples have the right to marry there. The ruling upholds a lower court decision and challenges the Canadian Government to change its laws on same-sex marriage. The appeals court ordered that gay couples seeking a legal union should be issued a marriage licence immediately.

The case had been fought by a gay couple, Michael Stark and Michael Leshner, who wasted no time in getting married hours after the ruling. Another couple, Jeff Parker and David Wood, saw the ruling on the internet and immediately went to Toronto City Hall to get their papers ready for an August wedding.

The 61-page ruling says the heterosexual definition of marriage violates gay couples' rights under the country's constitutional document, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Ontario is the third Canadian province to strike down the federal heterosexual definition of marriage in court decisions. [ full story ]

Two Comment Bubbles two Comments

  • Syelence

    It is good to see that our neighbors to the north have more sense than we do on this and the pot issue...

    Vancouver is looking more promising by the minute...

  • David July

    The Canadian Government is to push for the legalisation of gay marriages following a series of critical court rulings on the subject.

    Prime Minister Jean Chretien said on Tuesday that the new legislation will not however force churches to recognise same-sex partnerships. But, he added, "we will ensure that our legislation includes and legally recognises the union of same-sex couples", the Globe and Mail newspaper reported.

    The bill is likely to face strong opposition from within Mr Chretien's governing Liberal party and from the conservative province of Alberta. [ full story ]

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