INDEPTH: SAME-SEX RIGHTS
The Supreme Court and same-sex marriage
CBC News Online | Updated June 8, 2004
Same-sex rights in Canada have come a long way since 1965. It was then that the Supreme Court of Canada backed a ruling that labelled Everett Klippert a "dangerous sexual offender" and threw him in prison for admitting he was gay and that he had sex with other men.
Today homosexual Canadians enjoy much more freedom and societal acceptance: not only are they not imprisoned for their lifestyle choices, openly gay or lesbian Canadians hold prominent positions in business, government and many churches.
Now they're taking it the next step. Homosexuals in Canada are fighting for the right to be legally married, with all the same benefits and responsibilities as traditional opposite-sex couples - something the federal leadership seems to support. In July 2003, the government unveiled draft legislation that would change the definition of marriage to include the unions of same-sex couples.
The issue has caused an uproar among certain church leaders and traditionalists who argue the government does not have the right to redefine marriage. The government asked the Supreme Court of Canada to consider three questions about the draft legislation:
Adding a fourth question was expected to delay the top court's decision on the issue, probably until the fall of 2004.