leaf home


Ottawa won't have referendum on same-sex marriage

line

OTTAWA - The federal government has rejected the idea of holding a national referendum on same-sex marriage.

  • INDEPTH: Same-sex Rights

samesexAlberta Premier Ralph Klein suggested the referendum after the Supreme Court said on Thursday that the federal government had the legal right to change the definition of marriage to include gays and lesbians.

  • FROM DEC. 9, 2004: Supreme Court Ok's same-sex marriage

Prime Minister Paul Martin said Sunday that Parliament should decide the issue. Opposition Leader Stephen Harper has also rejected a referendum.

Federal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler said Klein is "trying to do an end-run around the Charter of Rights and Freedoms," and called the premier's plan a last-ditch manoeuvre that won't work.

Federal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler said Klein is "trying to do an end-run around the Charter of Rights and Freedoms," and called the premier's plan a last-ditch manoeuvre that won't work.

After the court released its opinion, Martin said Ottawa will introduce a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in January.

It will be a free vote for MPs but cabinet ministers must support the bill.

Marriage bond between man and woman, Alberta minister says

Klein said he and most Albertans oppose gay and lesbian marriages.

Last week, Alberta Justice Minister Ron Stevens said "The government of Alberta has continually defended the traditional definition of marriage, believing that marriage is deeply rooted in history, culture and religion and is a special bond between a man and a woman."

Alberta passed a law four years ago stating marriage is the union between a man and a woman.

Stevens said that despite the Supreme Court opinion, that law stands and marriage licences will not be granted to same-sex couples in the province.

The court did not make a ruling. It was asked by the federal government to provide a legal opinion on same-sex marriage.

Read more info on: CBC.ca

---------------------------

Page last updated December 16 2004.

To add a group or report a problem with the page, contact the webdyke