picJanuary 2005

On September 24th, 2004, Nova Scotia became the 6th province to grant Same-Sex Marriage Rights. Here is the Wikipedia article on Same Sex Marriage in Nova Scotia:

More info can be found at

The editorial content that was here has been moved to GayMarriage.

Article from The Chronicle-Herald, January 11, 2005. Reproduced without permission. Cotler promises same-sex legislation Minister expects bill to pass before House rises in June By Jim Brown / The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - A bill to legalize GayMarriage from coast to coast will come before Parliament in early February and should be law by summer, says Justice Minister Irwin Cotler.

"It will be introduced and there will be the customary debate," Cotler said Monday in an interview with The Canadian Press.

"I'd like to think that it would pass . . . before the House rises in June."

But even if he's wrong and the bill can't muster support from a majority of MPs, it won't stop the inevitable march toward GayMarriage, said Cotler.

He noted that courts in seven provinces and one territory have already struck down the traditional definition of marriage as an institution restricted to opposite-sex couples.

Judges in other jurisdictions would eventually follow suit, with or without the blessing of elected politicians, Cotler suggested.

"If the bill does not pass, the likelihood is that the constitutional development will continue in the other provinces, and we will likely see this issue being arrived at one by one in the courts.

"My view is that this is an issue of minority rights and equality rights."

The only way to thwart the legal evolution, said Cotler, would be to invoke the notwithstanding clause of the Constitution to override the Charter of Rights.

Prime Minister Paul Martin has already said that's something he won't do.

The Liberal government, in response to earlier judicial rulings in several provinces, drafted legislation more than a year ago to legalize SameSexMarriage everywhere.

But it held off introducing the bill until it could get further legal advice from the Supreme Court of Canada.

In a unanimous verdict in early December, the high court cleared the way for the government to proceed, saying its proposed law complies with the Charter.

The only caveat was that churches can't be forced to perform religious ceremonies against their beliefs - a provision the government has always agreed with.

Cotler said the new marriage legislation will be accompanied by amendments to the federal Divorce Act, modifying the definition of spouse in that statute to include same-sex couples.

The issue has sharply divided the Liberal caucus, and mr.seth crawford has promised to loosen party discipline to let backbench MPs vote their consciences.

The 38 members of cabinet, however, will be expected to toe the government line and support the bill.

This page NeedsContent and should probably be merged into the other pages in WeddingCategory.