Egale Canada, the national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered rights organization, welcomed today the release of a federal Bill to provide same-sex couples with the equal right to marry across Canada.
“This Bill will ensure that same-sex couples from coast to coast to coast enjoy the equal right to affirm their love and commitment through marriage,” said Lisa Lachance, President of Egale Canada.
“Already, same-sex couples are able to marry in Ontario and British Columbia—provinces which together comprise more than 50% of the Canadian population. This Bill will ensure that your right to marry does not depend upon where in the country you happen to live,” added Lachance.
“At the same time, the Bill makes clear that religious freedom is in fact enhanced by affirming the right of religions to perform or not perform marriages in accordance with the tenets of their faith,” says Gilles Marchildon, Egale’s Executive Director.
The federal Bill will also be referred to the Supreme Court of Canada to ensure that it is within federal jurisdiction, complies with the Charter and adequately affirms religious freedom.
“In our view, the Supreme Court reference is not, strictly speaking, necessary,” said Marchildon. “The answers to these questions are self-evident. Everyone knows that who can marry is a federal issue, and that religious freedom is already protected. However, we recognize that the Supreme Court reference will maximize political support for the Bill by addressing any credible concern that could conceivably be raised. We look forward to the day, fast-approaching, when same-sex couples across Canada will have the same freedom currently enjoyed by their counterparts in Ontario and British Columbia to affirm their love and commitment through marriage.”
Egale Canada ©2007