September 12, 2008, Newsletter Issue #101: History of Gay Marriage in Canada

Tip of the Week

Gay marriage in Canada has been legal since 2005. The first step in the legalization of gay marriage in Canada was in 1999, when a gay couple won the rights given to married couples in a decision by the Supreme Court of Canada. In 2002 and 2003, other court decisions in three provinces ordered the federal court to legalize same sex marriage. Gay marriage has been legal in Ontario and British Columbia since 2003, Quebec, the Yukon , Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador in 2004, and New Brunswick and the Northwest Territories in 2005.

The Canadian Parliament began discussions on legalizing gay marriage in 1999, when the Canadian Alliance brought a motion to define marriage as a heterosexual institution. A draft bill was presented to Parliament in 2003, and after amendments bill C-38, the Civil Marriage Act, was passed in early 2005.

In 2004, the Ontario Court of Appeal found that the Divorce Act was discriminatory and ordered that it be altered to allow gay couples to divorce.

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