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Same Sex Marriage

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
Should same sex marriage be allowed. It may be law soon in Canada.

B.C. appeal court overturns supreme court decision banning same sex marriage

Canadian Press

VANCOUVER (CP) - Governments should change with the times and recognize gay marriage, the B.C. Appeal Court said Thursday when it joined two other provinces in clearing the way for same sex unions.

The province's highest court overturned a B.C. Supreme Court ruling that said marriage should be restricted to heterosexuals. In its decision the court gave the federal government until July 12, 2004 to change the law preventing gays and lesbians from marrying. Justice Minister Martin Cauchon hasn't decided whether to appeal the B.C. judgment, he said Thursday outside the Commons.

"It's an important social issue for Canada," Cauchon said. "When you look at the situation in Canada, people are divided."

He said he would first study the "very important" ruling along with related recommendations expected soon from the Commons all-party justice committee. Its members recently toured Canada, gathering opinions for and against same-sex unions.

Cauchon has always said he appealed a similar Ontario judgment because courts across Canada are also split on same-sex marriage.

He now concedes that the Ontario, Quebec and B.C. judgments "are going exactly in the very same direction. So I have to take that into consideration as well."

The panel of three judges with the B.C. appeal court wrote that they would reformulate the law, making it read "the lawful union of two persons to the exclusion of all others," as opposed to the union of man and woman.

A Quebec court has also backed same-sex marriage rights and asked Ottawa to re-examine marriage laws.

A lawyer for the couples, Joe Arvay, said the B.C. decision went farther than some others that also called on parliament to reopen the debate by July 12, 2004.

"The only reason for the suspension until 2004 is to allow parliament, the federal government, the provincial government, to enact whatever sort of ancillary or consequential legislation they need to, to give effect to the judgment."

Arvay said the B.C. decision applies across the country, because the law it ruled unconstitutional is federal common-law.

His clients were ecstatic.

"I can't believe how happy I am about this ruling," said Joy Masuhara. "For me personally, it means I can do what I've wanted to do for the past 10 years, which is marry my partner."

"Marriage as an institution has been very symbolic in terms of recognizing partnerships. We need to have that. I know most Canadians are wanting this to happen as well."

Two years ago, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Ian Pitfield ruled against same-sex marriages, finding that "marriage" can refer only to the union of couples of the opposite sex.

The judge also found that although the common-law prohibition of same-sex marriages violates Section 15 of the Charter, it was a legally justifiable limit under Section 1.

The ruling that was overturned Thursday had dismissed a petition by the eight couples seeking a declaration that the issuer of marriage licences under Section 31 of the Marriage Act is permitted to issue licences to same-sex couples.

In an explanation for their decision, the appeal judges wrote "that the common law definition of marriage contravenes the Charter and it cannot be justified in contemporary Canadian society."

Courts, they said, have not given enough consideration to the extent to which society's views on gay and lesbians have changed.

Michael Martens, a spokesman for Focus on the Family, a group opposed to same-sex marriage, said he was disappointed with the decision and that the issue should be debated in government.

He said the judges haven't taken into consideration the benefits for society which marriage provides.

"Marriage is a social institution, institutions are not about rights, they're about serving society, and marriage does a very good job of that," Martens said outside the court.

"No other relationship provides the unique benefits that marriage does for kids, for the parents themselves and for people who aren't married."

Since the decriminalization of homosexual relationships in Canada in 1969, there has been a steady expansion of the rights of gay, lesbian and bisexuals reflected in human rights legislation.

"These developments have substantial public support, although the matter remains controversial," the appeal court said. "This evolution cannot be ignored. Civil marriage should adapt to contemporary notions of marriage as an institution in a society which recognizes the rights of homosexual persons to non-discriminatory treatment."

The couples who challenged the law are Murray Warren and Peter Cook, Elizabeth and Dawn Barbeau, Melinda Roy and Tanya Chambers, Robin Roberts and Diana Denny, Jane Hamilton and Masuhara, Tess Healy and Wendy Young, Shane McCloskey and David Shortt, and Bob Peacock and Lloyd Thornhill.

Some of the couples have lived together for 30 years and have children.

Last week the federal government began its challenge to a controversial lower court ruling in Ontario that said Canadian law is unconstitutional because it recognizes only opposite-sex unions.

Common law defines marriage as "the union of one man and one woman" - a violation of the equality section of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the divisional court said.
post #2 of 68
At the risk of sounding intolerant: No.

I agree that same sex couples, as well as hetero couples living together, should be able to do things such as put their partner on their health insurance coverage, etc, and have some sort of legal protection to their partership. But the term and institution of marriage is between a man and a woman. Call it something different, please.
post #3 of 68
If they could make the laws that committed couples - no matter what sex - could have the benefits that married couples do, such as insurance and parental rights, then there wouldn't be a need for the "marriage" thing. That's not how governments work, though. For legal purposes I think it should be allowed.
post #4 of 68
A lot of European countries allow same-sex marriages for legal reasons now, but for the most part they're called "registered partnerships" or the like. I don't have any trouble accepting the idea. If you have a close, live-in relationship with someone of the same gender for years, you should be able to obtain the same insurance, social security, death benefits, etc. as a heterosexual couple.
post #5 of 68
Thread Starter 
Canada has allowed for some years now the same privledges under the law to same sex partners as to straight partners (eg gov't benefits), but they want the right to recognized as a legal wedded union. Their arguement is that they have the same committment to their partner as do hetrosexual people do.
post #6 of 68
What's the matter, it's 2 people, there have been gays and lesbians for centuries! It was even encouraged at one point, and anyone who's taken history in HS should know that!

Seeing as how I'm bisexual, it would be awefully hypocrtical of me to say anything less!
post #7 of 68
I don't see a reason why they shouldn't be allowed to marry. One of my very best friends is bi-sexual and I've never seen her happier than she is now, living with her girlfriend. If it makes them happy, who's it going to hurt for them to get married?

Just my opinion, nothing against anyone that doesn't agree.
post #8 of 68
A lot of churches in the U.S. are dead set against same sex marriages. However, our government is suppose to keep church and state separate so I don't know how the government can continue to deny the marriage of people of the same sex in a civil ceremony.
post #9 of 68
Here in Florida, the laws do not favor gays. Two of my very dear friends, a lesbian couple, have been together for over 14 years. Last year they had a baby. It's tough for them, as here, the non-biological parent cannot legally adopt their child, nor ne named the legal guardian. They have provided for the worst case scenario the best that they can, but I hope that it never comes to that.
post #10 of 68
I think same sex "marriages" are wrong. I do not think gays should have special rights. I do not think laws should be changed to protect or accommodate them. I don't care what someone does behind closed doors, but I do not understand why they have to tell the world about it. You don't hear straight people having parades chanting "I'm straight, it's great, get used to it."
post #11 of 68
I think that same sex marriages are a good thing. We already have a problem with over-population as it is. Let them get married if they choose to. They will not be able to pro-create.
The only down-side to it as I see is that homo-sexuality seems to be growing in "populairty" as if it were a fad or something. With the growing acceptance of it and same sex marriage laws being passed, is it the "cool" thing to do in some cases???
I don't know, I am rambling on...

post #12 of 68
Originally posted by krazy kat2
I think same sex "marriages" are wrong. I do not think gays should have special rights. I do not think laws should be changed to protect or accommodate them. I don't care what someone does behind closed doors, but I do not understand why they have to tell the world about it. You don't hear straight people having parades chanting "I'm straight, it's great, get used to it."
I agree with you 100%, krazy kat2!!!
post #13 of 68
Originally posted by krazy kat2
.......but I do not understand why they have to tell the world about it. You don't hear straight people having parades chanting "I'm straight, it's great, get used to it."
The reason 'straight' people are not having parades chanting their sexual preferences is because they have never been discriminated against or had to defend their sexual orientation to a majority. 'Straight' relationships have never had to worry about being the brunt of someone else's hostility or disgust. On the other hand, same sex relationships are tested by society on a daily basis.

Also, as everyone is an individual with their own personalities, not 'every' gay/lesbian person is shouting their sexuality to the world. It's just too easy to put everyone of a certain orientation into a group and then state they are all 'xyz'.

I have grown up around the gay/lesbian community and have family members who are in same sex relationships. I don't see any problem with government support or recognizing their status. Just because they cannot reproduce shouldn't be a deciding factor on whether they are in a 'legal' relationship.

It's time that government laws get up to speed with the needs and wants of the current population, and not maintain laws that were influenced by a population from centuries past.
post #14 of 68
I agree that homosexuals shouldn't get any special treatment. I don't think they should be given minority status or any such nonsense. I don't like it when they flaunt it like Ellen Degeneres has done, but then again I don't like it when straight couples flaunt it either. I love Angelina Jolie, but her and Billy Bob made me sick being all over each other all the time!

I do think they should be given equal status though. By not allowing them the legal status of being "married" (whatever language you want to use is fine with me, get rid of the word "marriage" so it doesn't interfere with the Biblical idea of the institution), that is discriminating against them, IMO.
post #15 of 68
A couple in love should be able to get married. Maybe I'm just a romantic, but I think the idea of marriage is so beautiful and I wouldn't want to have a role in keeping that from anybody.
post #16 of 68
I formed my opinion from having 3 of my 6 immediate family members that are gay. I am not homophobic, I just don't think they should get special treatment.
post #17 of 68
As human beings with freedom of speech, I think they can call themselves married if they want.
post #18 of 68
In my country same-sex couples can now get their relationship "registered", which is pretty much the same as getting married without the church part. I think this is wonderful, and the law was long overdue, even though I think it is still too small a step, as I don't see why gay couples couldn't get married just like anyone else and call it that. I do not think that this is giving gay people 'special' treatment, it is one step on the way to treating everyone the same, no matter what their sex, sexual "preference", or race etc.
post #19 of 68
Tybalt, I disagree that "everyone will still see the cat". I, for one, will see and do see gay people as "married" -- and there are plenty of others like me. If your perception is that it is a mockery, then it is ... for you. The gay and lesbian people I know who have been married for years and years, raising children, being faithful members of their churches, certainly are not mocking a sacred institution -- they fully believe in the sacred institution ... just like you.
post #20 of 68
Originally posted by Coco Maui
I think that same sex marriages are a good thing. We already have a problem with over-population as it is. Let them get married if they choose to. They will not be able to pro-create.
Well, the non-procreate thing is not necessarily the case, as I have previously posted. I know 2 same-sex couples who are having children through artificial insemination. One couple has a year-old son, and the other has a baby due in June.
post #21 of 68
I am so not sure how I feel about this anymore. The issue gets clouded for me when it no longer involves faceless, nameless people, but individuals who I know and respect. Through work, I see soooo many children who are neglected and abused that any child in a home where he is loved and cared for beats being one of those. I will say that since many feel so strongly about this issue, I am not certain that a child in a same-sex union won't suffer from the slings and arrows of others, so is that really fair to the child to subject him to what could be a lot of trauma? I do know it is not a choice that I would make personally, if I were in that situation. It's quite thought provoking that the advances we have made in medical technology have created some of these issues to begin with. To me there is just too much tampering with nature in the field of childbearing to begin with.
post #22 of 68
There is a difference between same sex marriages, which is ok with me, and then having special rights. That's just wrong, no one should have special rights above others including gays or lesbians.
Same sex marraige is just asking for the right to be able to be married in the eyes of the law, so that they are EQUAL with everyone else in the world.
As it is, gays/lesbians do not have the same rights that everyone else does, and that makes me said, just the same as when women couldn't vote, or black people were used for slavery. It's the same thing.
post #23 of 68
Everyone has equal rights under the law. Gays just do not have special rights, and that is as it should be. Changing any laws would be granting special rights.
post #24 of 68
krazy kat: But gays and lesbians can't get married by law everywhere. They are humans too, how is that equal?
post #25 of 68
I think gay people have the right to get married and have kids just like everyone else. No one can take that away from them - it's a question of the state recognizing a right.

Many gay couples live in a marriage type relationship - even if not made official. I can say cat when I see one And as for children - I think children need a good loving stable family. Whether gay or hetero doesn't really matter to me.
post #26 of 68
Originally posted by jcat
A lot of European countries allow same-sex marriages for legal reasons now, <snip>
No they don't.
AFAIK, my country, is the only country in the world that allows an official same-sex marriage.

In all other countries a "registered partnership" is as far as it goes.

In other posts I read about "changing the law" in order to allow same-sex marriages.
The funny thing is, the law did not have to be changed in the Netherlands.
Someone had found out that in our laws regarding marriage, it was never specifically stated that a marriage could only be between a man and a woman.
To make a long story short, a test case was started and the judge had to agree that, possible moral objections set aside, there was no *legal* objection against two men or two women getting married.

After this test case, the gouvernment basically was left with two options.
1. Change the law so that same-sex marriage were forbidden
2. Adjust the existing laws so that it would overcome the opponents' main objections.

At that time we had a socialist/liberal gouvernment that was in favour of option 2.
Mainly because adjusting the law would be far easier than changing it, but also because there was not that much objection from society other than from some orthodox religious groups.
post #27 of 68
Where to start?

I know a lot of excellent people who are 'gay' or whatever you want to call it. If they were to ever get married I'd cheer them on. Marriage is a sacred union between TWO people who love and adore another. That is my opinion. Man or woman it matters not.

As for 'gay' people having children together. Again, as long as the child is being brought into a loving family where they will be well taken care of I see NO problem with it. Every person in this world is entitled to happiness, and if that is what will make them happy then that is what they should do. Them getting married and raising a family isn't hurting anyone.

My 2 cents..
post #28 of 68
Wait a minute Krazy, if everyone is always equal under the law, then women must be getting special priviliges by being able to vote! And those darn uppity negroes....

I'm sorry, but everyone IS NOT "equal under the law." It just doesn't work that way in real life, and that's why laws are always changing! I'm not going to say if I'm pro or con on this particular issue, but your arguement that they're getting special privilidges doesn't wash as a simple statement. Just explain to me how being able to do something that others do makes them "special", because I can't think how?
post #29 of 68
I dont think gay people should be allowed to have children or adopt them. It's just not natural to have 2 daddies or 2 mommies. I mean think about how people will react to that kid... That kid will be made fun of, etc. And, if they chose to be gay, that is their choice, and by choosing that way, they forfeit the right.
And, no, they should not be given special rights, but unfortunately, they think they should be given them.
post #30 of 68
Um, there is scientific evidence that it isn't just a "choice" they make to be gay. That's how they are. Did you choose to be straight? Or was that just what you were attracted to?

I'm sorry, but I have to agree with the many here who have said that a child in a LOVING home with 2 mommies or 2 daddies is much better off than being in a straight, abusive or neglectful home. Gays who choose to have children have to make a conscious decision, and it's not an easy choice. It's not an easy procedure. Guaranteed, you will never see an "oops" pregnancy in a gay couple. Doubt if you would ever see an unwanted child, and you also won't see any abortions. When they choose to have a child it is with great concern and thought. Because intolerant people who think it's "wrong" for them to be who they are will teach that to their children, and that's who will make fun the children from parents who jumped through hoops to have them.
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