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Thanato

Same-sex legislation passed

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Thanato

Same-sex legislation passed

The Liberals' controversial same-sex marriage legislation has passed final reading in the House of Commons, sailing through with a vote of 158 for and 133 against.

Supported by most members of the Liberals, the Bloc Quebecois and the NDP, the legislation passed easily, making Canada only the third country in the world, after the Netherlands and Belgium, to officially recognize same-sex unions.

But the passage of Bill C-38, once again, came with a political price tag for the government. Joe Comuzzi, resigned from the cabinet so he could vote against the bill - an open rebuke of the government legislation.

Comuzzi was the minister responsible for Northern Ontario.

Although he was the only cabinet minister to break ranks with Prime Minister Paul Martin over the controversial plan to legalize the marriage of gays and lesbians, it highlighted the divisions within Canada and the within the Liberal party, pitting supporters of equality rights against those who are defending religious freedoms.

For Comuzzi, the decision to resign meant putting principles ahead of the privileges of cabinet. "In 2004, during the election, I promised faithfully to the people of Thunder Bay-Superior North, that I would defend the definition of marriage," he said, explaining his move.

The prime minister said he regretted the decision of a man he called an "old friend," but accepts it because the government must speak with one voice on same-sex marriage.

The "vote is about the Charter of Rights," said Martin. "We're a nation of minorities and in a nation of minorities you don't cherry-pick rights."

The government has moved over the last few months to appease critics both within Liberal ranks and among Canadians at large. Amendments were introduced to ensure no religious group or charitable organization is forced to accept same-sex marriage. But in spite of those amendments some groups remain unconvinced.

Same-sex marriage remains one of the most difficult issues ever to confront Canadian politicians. In large part passage of the bill is the reason the parliamentary session was extended for the first time in 17 years.

But while Tuesday night's vote closes off the debate in the Commons, the Conservatives insist there is no closure for Canadians who believe marriage should continue to be defined as the union of a man and a woman, to the exclusion of all others.

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper says if his party forms the next government, the law will be revisited.

Harper made the promise one day after suggesting the adoption of the law lacked legitimacy because it relied on the support of the separatist Bloc Quebecois. Harper said he believes Bloc MPs are the legitimate representatives of Quebec voters. But he argues most Canadians aren't buying it as a final decision since most federalist MPs are opposed to same-sex marriage.

Harper says a Conservative government would hold a free vote for all MPs on the matter, rather than forcing cabinet ministers to vote with the government.

Source

~Thanato

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__Kratos__

Good for Canada! thumbsup.gif At least there is a country in the world that sees love is above gender.

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Disinterested

I was very happy to hear this! grin2.gif

Definitely a step in the right direction. Go Canada! thumbup.gif

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Conspiracy

sucks my parents are homophobic and have been ragging upon it since it started, but it should be ok cuz it is thier choice, and why should we let a bible control our lives anyways, go Canada and all its people grin2.gif

p.s- im not gay lol

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Talon

Another country joins the civilised-club, just a shame there are so few members.

p.s- im not gay lol

Most of us who support equality arn't tongue.gif Its like how most of us also support equality for blacks, but doesn't mean we're black grin2.gif

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BurnSide

Ahh, Harper, you dolt.

I was reading up on what he had to say about it today. He believes that this will open up new dorways to other 'abominations' of marriage, like polyamy etc. What, does he think just because we believe that same-sexes should have free human rights, also means that we should be allowed to marry dogs, and have hundreds of different partners?

rolleyes.gif

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Thanato

Hasnt anyone noticed that all the people who are supporting it, well not all but most, are in there teens and 20s. While the people who appose it are mostly boomers.

~Thanato

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BurnSide

Most people against it are also religious.

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AztecInca

Tis a step in the right direction and hopefully other nations will follow in Canada`s footsteps. People have the right to be with and love whoever they like, what right do we have to deny them that.

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RH2097

I am happy that it happened. Mostly because gays and lesbians should have equal rights as us, but also because I was tired of the topic constantly coming up with no decision.

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hyperactive
Ahh, Harper, you dolt.

I was reading up on what he had to say about it today. He believes that this will open up new dorways to other 'abominations' of marriage, like polyamy etc. What, does he think just because we believe that same-sexes should have free human rights, also means that we should be allowed to marry dogs, and have hundreds of different partners?

rolleyes.gif

705832[/snapback]

harper's comments were completely in character. did you see his comments prior to the vote?

harper is a danger to this country. so far we have been wise enough as a nation to deny him any real power. the more he "talks", the more people see the real harper - and good riddence to him.

on topic: it is a good day for canada. people sometimes complain about our judges, but it is because of their decisions that issues like this get forced onto parliment.

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Space Commander Travis

I presume that Harper is one of Canada's chief proponents of the 'religious right'?

Whoever you love, whichver sex you or they are, then of course you should be able to demonstrate your commitment to them...

the only thing that I sometimes wonder about is, it sometimes seems a little mercenary, with all the talk about how same-sex couples will be able to benefit from inheritance rights and tax benefits and what have you? Where, in the words of the song, is the love?

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warden
I presume that Harper is one of Canada's chief proponents of the 'religious right'?

Whoever you love, whichver sex you or they are, then of course you should be able to demonstrate your commitment to them...

the only thing that I sometimes wonder about is, it sometimes seems a little mercenary, with all the talk about how same-sex couples will be able to benefit from inheritance rights and tax benefits and what have you? Where, in the words of the song, is the love?

707068[/snapback]

You still have to remember that all people have rights and views and just because some people dont think it is a good idea and are against it they are wrong,just like the people that are for it must be right .

If the powers to be change laws for same sex couples ,mariages ,adoption etc then thats what will hapen, time will tell who was right.

Dont cast judgement on some ones voice if deep down they think they are right,only when they break the law by their actions

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Thanato

Harper is the leader of the opposition party, the Torys. He is also a nutjob.

Im glad there slipping in the polls, and i hope the Liberals win a Majority in next years election.

~Thanato

P.S. WE NEED THE Rhino Party back, at least they had something they might of wanted to do, but mostly they didnt know what the hell it was. Oh here it is, they wanted to move Niagra falls to the Praries.

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Shaftsbury
Ahh, Harper, you dolt.

I was reading up on what he had to say about it today. He believes that this will open up new dorways to other 'abominations' of marriage, like polyamy etc. What, does he think just because we believe that same-sexes should have free human rights, also means that we should be allowed to marry dogs, and have hundreds of different partners?

rolleyes.gif

705832[/snapback]

harper's comments were completely in character. did you see his comments prior to the vote?

harper is a danger to this country. so far we have been wise enough as a nation to deny him any real power. the more he "talks", the more people see the real harper - and good riddence to him.

on topic: it is a good day for canada. people sometimes complain about our judges, but it is because of their decisions that issues like this get forced onto parliment.

706483[/snapback]

Although I live in Alberta and conservative territory, I concur with Burnside and Hyperactive, Harper is a dolt.

He seems to think that his promise to revisit this issue if he heads the next government will be his springboard into the next election. tongue.gif

Pleeeeeeeeeeeease, the last thing we need running our country is another Joe Who.

I say it's time for the conservatives to get their heads out of their a** and step into the 21st century with the rest of us.

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Talon

US gay couples head to Canada to wed

By Sarah Shenker

BBC News

Canada's more pro-liberty attitude to homosexual marriage has seen a number of US couples travelling north to get married.

While Canadian MPs have just passed a bill to legalise the unions nationwide, same-sex marriages have been permitted in a number of Canadian provinces since 2003.

Phillip Saperia, 59, married his partner of more than 30 years in Niagara Falls, Ontario, last year.

Ontario is a popular destination. While no records are kept at a provincial level, 870 same-sex couples from the US have applied for marriage license in the city of Toronto since 2003.

In the US, same-sex couples can only legally marry in Massachusetts, while 37 other states and the federal government have approved laws or amendments barring the recognition of gay marriage.

Easy process

Mr Saperia and his partner, James Golden, 60, travelled north from New York City with a friend and her daughter, and married at the Two Hearts Wedding Chapel, with flowers bought at from a convenience store.

"We wanted a licence as a political symbol, and we wanted all of the protection that it might afford us," Mr Saperia told the BBC News website.

His union is not however legally recognised in the US, and so, as yet, provides him and his partner with no extra rights back home.

Nonetheless, he says, the marriage has had a profound impact on their relationship by re-affirming their commitment to each other and bringing their families together.

After the marriage in Ontario, they held a religious ceremony for friends and family on the banks of the Delaware river in New Jersey.

Laura Thomas, 38, and Kanani Kuka, 39, from San Francisco, travelled to Vancouver in British Columbia to get married after their California marriage was declared unconstitutional.

"I have always supported the rights of same-sex couples to get married, but it wasn't high on my priority list... But once we had the opportunity, we realised how important it was to us," she says.

The ceremony in Vancouver took place in a bookstore this year, and Ms Thomas says the process was easy to arrange over the internet.

British Columbia has no residency requirements for licenses, and 802 same-sex couples from the US married there in 2003 - compared with 643 Canadian same-sex couples.

Ms Thomas says they liked the British Colombia ceremony so much they incorporated elements of it into their wedding celebration back home in California.

No recognition

Catering to this nascent demand are companies and hotels offering gay wedding packages, some including flights and witnesses.

Pride Bride in Winnipeg, in the province of Manitoba, says it is receiving a growing number of enquires from the US.

While the city is a less obvious choice for visiting Americans because of its distance from the border, owners and couple Rita Leonard and Paula Rutledge says they have already helped arrange a dozen weddings since same-sex marriage was legalised in Manitoba last year.

"We have people who want big weddings and those who don't want a fuss," Ms Rutledge says. "But they all want to be legal, they want to have their special connection recognised."

However, the US has not recognised Canadian same-sex marriages - one Canadian gay couple was even refused entry into the US in 2003 after filling out joint customs forms as a family.

Neither has the US recognised legal same-sex marriages from Belgium or the Netherlands.

Bruce Steele, editor-in-chief of national gay and lesbian magazine The Advocate, says this is unlikely to change whatever the number of US couples marrying in Canada.

He points out that President George Bush's administration has repeatedly said it is firmly opposed to any recognition of marriage for gays and lesbians.

"Canada's decision will not help at the administration level," he says, but he believes it will help same-sex marriage advocates at the grass-roots level.

The more widespread marriages become, he says, "the more difficult if will be for the administration to maintain its position".

Story from BBC NEWS:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/worl...cas/4639027.stm

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Talon

US Church backs same-sex marriage

The million-strong United Church of Christ (UCC) has become the first major US Christian denomination to come out in support of gay marriage.

The UCC's general synod passed a resolution affirming "equal rights for couples regardless of gender".

The decision is not binding and will not require pastors to marry same-sex couples, though some already do.

Several other Churches have endorsed gay civil partnerships but have not given them the status of marriage.

The Episcopal Church (the US branch of the Anglican Communion) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church permit same-sex unions, while the Presbyterian Church is seeking to resolve severe disagreements over the issue.

US conservatives are seeking to amend the country's constitution to ban same-sex marriage, which is currently legal only in the state of Massachusetts.

Vermont allows same-sex civil unions, giving gay couples the same benefits as married couples on matters such as life insurance, health care and child custody.

Neighbouring Canada's lower house of parliament passed a law allowing gay marriages last week, which is expected to come into force in July.

'Courageous'

Around 80% of the UCC's 884-member synod voted in favour of the resolution on Monday.

Rev John Thomas, the UCC president and general minister, noted the significance of passing the resolution on US Independence Day.

"On this July 4, the United Church of Christ has courageously acted to declare freedom, affirming marriage equality, affirming the civil rights of gay... couples to have their relationships recognised as marriages by the state, and encouraging our local churches celebrate those marriages," he said at a news conference after the vote.

UCC churches are autonomous, and the synod cannot dictate policy to individual congregations.

Nevertheless, opponents of the resolution said it could cause a split.

"I would like to see us stay in the denomination and network for positive change, said Rev Brett Brecker, who represents a conservative group in the Church.

"However, many of my members have expressed very clearly that this decision would cause great consternation and that, if this happened, they would want to see us leave."

The UCC, which is strong in New England, an area traditionally more tolerant of same-sex unions than other parts of the country, became the first major denomination to ordain an openly gay minister in the early 1970s.

It declared itself to be "open and affirming" of gays and lesbians 20 years ago.

The Church has almost 6,000 congregations and 1.3 million members.

Story from BBC NEWS:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/worl...cas/4651803.stm

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Whom_God_Loves

That's great news for Terrance and Phillip

user posted image

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