The controversial equal marriage legislation has cleared its last major hurdle! The Canadian Senate has voted 47-21 in favour of Bill C-38, the federal government’s equal marriage legislation. The Bill will become law once it receives Royal Assent, making Canada only the fourth country in the world to legalize civil marriage for same-sex couples.
This historic occasion caps over three years of bitter debate between equality activists and opponents of human rights for gay and lesbian Canadians. In 2003, delegates to CUPE’s National Convention passed a resolution in support of civil marriage rights for same-sex couples. Also that year, CUPE appeared before a federal committee in support of equal marriage rights.
The new federal law will allow same-sex partners across Canada the legal right to marry in courthouses and city halls. The legislation also stipulates that religious institutions that disapprove of homosexuality will not be forced to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies.