Join 3,372 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Go North, Young Man
June 28, 2005 6:41 PM   Subscribe

Canada Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage. "We are a nation of minorities. And in a nation of minorities, it is important that you don't cherry-pick rights," said Prime Minister Paul Martin. "A right is a right and that is what this vote tonight is all about."
posted by digaman (143 comments total)

 
Right on.
posted by Salmonberry at 6:49 PM on June 28, 2005


D'oh! you beat me. We picked the same quote :)

Anyway, YAY!!!! We still need the Senate to pass it, but it should be law pretty soon.
posted by carmen at 6:52 PM on June 28, 2005


go, paul martin!
the article says canada is #3 to do this? Who else besides the netherlands?
posted by mdn at 6:54 PM on June 28, 2005


Spain was #2, IIRC.
posted by aaronetc at 6:57 PM on June 28, 2005


Congratulations, Canada! Maybe you could be the big sibling now and lead us by example (and noogies)?
posted by headspace at 6:58 PM on June 28, 2005


It's the Netherlands and Belgium that are the other 2 to allow same sex marriage.
posted by orangskye at 6:58 PM on June 28, 2005


*claps*
posted by odinsdream at 7:03 PM on June 28, 2005


From the people that brought you Bryan Adams...
posted by sexymofo at 7:04 PM on June 28, 2005


...and Neil Young, and Joni Mitchell, and....
posted by digaman at 7:05 PM on June 28, 2005


...Kids in the Hall...
posted by odinsdream at 7:06 PM on June 28, 2005


Buddy. We need him now! Best. Gay. Comedy. Ever.
posted by digaman at 7:07 PM on June 28, 2005


Strangely, I woke up and put on my Team Canada t-shirt from the 2002 Olympics this morning and spent all day wondering why I had chosen it.

Now I know. Yay. :)
posted by ltracey at 7:09 PM on June 28, 2005


Who will Stephen Harper focus his scare-missiles on now?
posted by Space Coyote at 7:10 PM on June 28, 2005


He said on CPAC that he's not giving up the fight against gay marriage.
posted by carmen at 7:12 PM on June 28, 2005


It's about time. I'm glad Martin decided to extend the session and push this through; it's been debated long enough. According to the Globe and Mail's article (here), Harper plans to revisit the law should the Conservatives win the next election. It's a good thing that laws like this, once passed, are next to impossible to revoke, especially given that this is a Charter of Rights issue.

Now, onto the decriminalization of marijuana.
posted by fossil_human at 7:12 PM on June 28, 2005


Well, in a decade I guess we'll see if this will destroy civilization or not.

Obviously, by 2015 Canada will be a smoldering husk filled with millions of sodomite syrup-rustlers clamoring to invade America and turn us all gay. Forgive them, Lord, they know not what they do.

(sorry, by 2015 they'll be invading ROBOamerica)
posted by deafmute at 7:16 PM on June 28, 2005


...and that bitch Anne Murray, too...

Anyways, yay!
posted by WolfDaddy at 7:20 PM on June 28, 2005


I can't link it directly, but Monday Report's Feb. 7th "Denmark. Beautiful, serene, out of control" is a pretty hilarious exploration of deafmute's idea.
posted by carmen at 7:22 PM on June 28, 2005


[this is good]
posted by chunking express at 7:25 PM on June 28, 2005


I hate this. I hate that America has become the ignorant, backwards country that everybody despises. What happened to the "land of the free"? Yeah I guess we are free to impose our morals on everybody else. Free to be bigoted. Free to return to the family values of the Medieval Ages.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:28 PM on June 28, 2005


It's the Netherlands and Belgium that are the other 2 to allow same sex marriage.

"Civil unions" are recognized in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Germany, France, Portugal and New Zealand.
YMMV, but in Sweden as far as rights go, it's the same. And we call them "married" in daily speech.
posted by mr.marx at 7:31 PM on June 28, 2005


very cool! : >

and what SLoG said--we're totally going backwards. Just remember to keep a side door open for us up there.

mr.marx, you should legally call them married too--get with those cool countries. Marriage is marriage.
posted by amberglow at 7:32 PM on June 28, 2005


"Alberta MP David Chatters lamented what he described as Canada's "moral decay" and blamed Trudeau's promise of a just society as the start of that decay in the 1960s."

Goddamn just societies. That's the last thing this world needs!
posted by Elpoca at 7:34 PM on June 28, 2005


I always said that if I could find a job in Vancouver, I'd move, and now they've given me another reason.
posted by Relay at 7:39 PM on June 28, 2005


you should legally call them married too--get with those cool countries. Marriage is marriage.

I honestly have no idea if our gay community sees that as an important enough issue to fight for right now. We're not very religious here, you know. I think the focus is on other aspects of discrimination, for the time being.
But I agree, it's stupid to have different names for it.
posted by mr.marx at 7:43 PM on June 28, 2005


It's a nice day to be Canadian by choice!

But I wonder if this would have been so easy if Harper weren't such a complete and utter hypocrite, fool, and unlikable asshole?

/rubs hands with glee/ I'll have to go out and see if the streets are teaming with converted heterosexuals. Somehow I think I'll have to content myself with having the full rights of any other citizen, but this is enough for now.

I like being equal! I hope nice heterosexuals will also come for a visit. It's really a great country to live in.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 7:45 PM on June 28, 2005


And we call them "married" in daily speech.

well, I call my completely non-legal, merely commitment-ceremonied queer friends "married" in daily speech, but that doesn't mean the state sees it that way. As far as it matters to me, they're married, but the reason for legislation on this is so that they're by law recognized as such. So does the president call them married in daily speech? What about news broadcasters? If not, then the distinction is still explicit.
posted by mdn at 7:47 PM on June 28, 2005


Hooray! I put on my team Canada shirt from the Olympics this morning too (mostly because it was clean). This really makes me happy. Maybe in fifty years or so the U.S. will catch up.

Congrats all you crazy Canadians.
posted by Kimberly at 7:54 PM on June 28, 2005


Good for Canada. Cheers.
posted by interrobang at 7:55 PM on June 28, 2005


Wha-a-at? Canada won't be "protecting marriage as being between a man and woman"? But this means if my wife and I go to Canada, our marriage won't be protected-as-being-between-a-man-and-a-woman! O, how will it survive, this marriage of ours? We can never go to Canada now, for without government protection of it as-being-between-a-man-and-a-woman, terrible harm shall rain down upon it as like unto a deadly hail of, um, bad things! Oh, how can they injure our marriage so by withdrawing their protection-of-it-as-being-between-a-man-and-a-woman?

Thank goodness we're wiser than that in America, for if such a thing as allowing gays to marry were to happen here, our marriage would instantly be destroyed in a firestorm of gays marrying. Truly.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:58 PM on June 28, 2005


It's a good thing that laws like this, once passed, are next to impossible to revoke, especially given that this is a Charter of Rights issue.
Application of Charter

33. (1) Parliament or the legislature of a province may expressly declare in an Act of Parliament or of the legislature, as the case may be, that the Act or a provision thereof shall operate notwithstanding a provision included in section 2 or sections 7 to 15 of this Charter.
The sections pertaining to same sex marriage would be 2(a) and 15.

As in, no, the charter is really only a piece of toilet paper. For reference as to the simplicity of ignoring the charter, see Bill 101. Specifically, that clause was used to ban all written english commercial speech (it was later modified).
posted by shepd at 7:59 PM on June 28, 2005


I call my completely non-legal, merely commitment-ceremonied queer friends "married" in daily speech, but that doesn't mean the state sees it that way

what part of "in Sweden as far as rights go, it's the same" didn't you read? and how much of my respons to amberglow did you skip?

if it was a big deal, I sure think I'd seen much more fighting for the term "marriage" in the eleven years that's passed since we legalized civil unions.

abortion rights is where it's at these days. "choose your battles", you know.
posted by mr.marx at 8:02 PM on June 28, 2005


Just remember to keep a side door open for us up there.

Freak boy.
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:03 PM on June 28, 2005


I take exception to the "nation of minorities" quote. I thought we were all supposed to be Canadians, desevering of equal rights regardless of the things that make us different.
posted by loquax at 8:04 PM on June 28, 2005


ah--that "notwithstanding" thing. will it count?

you know it, Wolf!
posted by amberglow at 8:05 PM on June 28, 2005


abortion rights is where it's at these days.
clarification: it is legal for same sex couples - or single gay/lesbians - to adopt. it's just that no country accepts sending children to be brought up by homosexuals...


and, sorry, I forgot:
Go Canada!
posted by mr.marx at 8:10 PM on June 28, 2005


Yeah I know I'm just stroking my own righteous ego here, but:

This is one of those days that I am so very, very, proud to be a Canadian.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 8:13 PM on June 28, 2005


t's a good thing that laws like this, once passed, are next to impossible to revoke, especially given that this is a Charter of Rights issue.

Application of Charter

33. (1) Parliament or the legislature of a province may expressly declare in an Act of Parliament or of the legislature, as the case may be, that the Act or a provision thereof shall operate notwithstanding a provision included in section 2 or sections 7 to 15 of this Charter.



This law has nothing to do with the Charter of Rights. It can be revoked by a different government in the same manner as most laws could be revoked, without invoking the Notwithstanding Clause. The Notwithstanding Clause would be invoked in order to allow a heterosexual-only marriage law to stand "notwithstanding" the fact that the court may declare such a law unconstitutional. Which it hasn't specifically done at the federal level.
posted by kevinsp8 at 8:14 PM on June 28, 2005


WOOOO! Congratulations, Canada! This is so fucking great. Can't wait till the day the U.S. catches up.
posted by scody at 8:15 PM on June 28, 2005


Yes, very good day to be Canadian.
posted by nightchrome at 8:17 PM on June 28, 2005


I'm a lumberjack. And I'm OK.
posted by SPrintF at 8:21 PM on June 28, 2005


Swedenfilter, sorry: Ok, I had to check this. It seems that the Government is doing an inquiry on a gender neutral marriage law, since they feel the time has come for an update of the old law. Started a year ago, no results yet. In other news, from July 1 it's legal for lesbian women to get artificial insemination. I did not know that. Tres cool. Now, back to Canada.
posted by mr.marx at 8:24 PM on June 28, 2005


nice work canada, but im still not gonna visit up there till you legalize weed
posted by tsarfan at 8:28 PM on June 28, 2005


Well, congratulations Canada, but I ask my USA friends to turn their eyes to the south, just a bit.

In March of 2005, the Maine Legislature overwhelmingly passed LD 1196, An Act To Extend Civil Rights Protections to All People Regardless of Sexual Orientation, and that bill was signed into law by our Governor on March 31, 2005.

Today, such a happy day for our Canadian cousins and neighbors, The Maine Christian Civic League unexpectedly announced that they had gathered enough signatures to postpone the implementation of LD 1196, and instead put the law to vote - a "People's Veto" as it is sometimes called - in November.

We've voted on this twice before, and the pro-discrimination forces have won both times, most recently in 2000 when the anti-discrimination referendum lost by less than 1% of the overall vote.

This is a crazy, ironic sort of day here. One hand, we're gearing up for the biggest fight of the political year here ... bigger, in some ways, than national politics, as we hold the power in our own hands, the balance is so nearly tipped. On the other hand, there's Canada. Oh, lovely Canada. Many a day I've stood on the beach knowing that the distant shore in sight was another, different country.

It certainly seems like a distant, gleaming shore today.
posted by anastasiav at 8:29 PM on June 28, 2005


I love my country today, even though tomorrow it will most likely return to pissing me off. But for now, let the wub fest commence!

: From the people that brought you Bryan Adams...

And The Arcade Fire, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and Broken Social Scene, and the Weakerthans, etectera. I think we've (at last) done our penance for Bryan Adams.
posted by jokeefe at 8:33 PM on June 28, 2005


Paul Martin----right on!
posted by mert at 8:36 PM on June 28, 2005


This law has nothing to do with the Charter of Rights. It can be revoked by a different government in the same manner as most laws could be revoked, without invoking the Notwithstanding Clause. The Notwithstanding Clause would be invoked in order to allow a heterosexual-only marriage law to stand "notwithstanding" the fact that the court may declare such a law unconstitutional. Which it hasn't specifically done at the federal level.

Now, my understanding of the notwithstanding clause--and this is borne out by the actual text of the Constitution--is that if the government invokes it to pass a law, they need to automatically review the need for said law every five years:

(1) Parliament or the legislature of a province may expressly declare in an Act of Parliament or of the legislature, as the case may be, that the Act or a provision thereof shall operate notwithstanding a provision included in section 2 or sections 7 to 15 of this Charter.

(2) An Act or a provision of an Act in respect of which a declaration made under this section is in effect shall have such operation as it would have but for the provision of this Charter referred to in the declaration.

(3) A declaration made under subsection (1) shall cease to have effect five years after it comes into force or on such earlier date as may be specified in the declaration.

(4) Parliament or the legislature of a province may re-enact a declaration made under subsection (1).

(5) Subsection (3) applies in respect of a re-enactment made under subsection (4).


(sorry for the huge quote)

So if my reading is correct, even nuking the current gay marriage law and re-enacting the old, straight-only marriage law under the notwithstanding clause isn't gonna sweep this issue under the rug. Of course, I don't recall hearing of these five-year reviews in the case of Quebec's language laws...
posted by arto at 8:42 PM on June 28, 2005


Let the brain drain commence. There won't be an intelligent/skilled homosexual left in the US by 2015 and serves us right. So sez I from beneath my Creskin cap.

Congratulations Canada on having a civilization and such like.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:42 PM on June 28, 2005


Relay: I've been trying for three months to find work in Vancouver, so don't come up here until I've got mine, K?

That said: this is a great day for Canada. This is perhaps the greatest piece of social policy legislation since the Canada Health Act.
posted by solid-one-love at 8:50 PM on June 28, 2005


Come to Vancouver :)
posted by ori at 8:57 PM on June 28, 2005


Props to my Canadian bros, yeah yeah!
posted by Snyder at 8:57 PM on June 28, 2005


Global Gayness, on the march.
posted by delmoi at 9:01 PM on June 28, 2005


I hate this. I hate that America has become the ignorant, backwards country that everybody despises. What happened to the "land of the free"? Yeah I guess we are free to impose our morals on everybody else.

Um, what are you talking about, yes the people in power have been trying to prevent gay marrage, in the us and they have failed. Gay Marrage is legal in the US in a couple of states.
posted by delmoi at 9:04 PM on June 28, 2005


only one--MA, and it doesn't matter without federal law. It's not anywhere near equal, even in MA.
posted by amberglow at 9:13 PM on June 28, 2005


Well done, Canada.
posted by 27 at 9:17 PM on June 28, 2005


Holy hell -- finally. Thanks, Canada.
posted by Kloryne at 9:18 PM on June 28, 2005


Let the brain drain commence.

[commences something]
posted by brain_drain at 9:18 PM on June 28, 2005


As happy as I am that we've done this, we should temper our hubris by remembering that the man on the street polls still have this issue as being incredibly divisive. Recent-ish Canadian poll vs this American poll show just how similar our opinions are on the matter, as a people. The difference is government in power, I guess.
posted by jikel_morten at 9:23 PM on June 28, 2005


Let the brain drain commence.

Before anyone goes overboard, keep in mind that support of gay marriage in Canada is hardly universal, and probably not much different that it is in the US, with the exception of Quebec, BC, and Toronto. Even there, the numbers are barely above 50% "Agreeing Strongly" and "Agreeing Somewhat" with gay marriage. If you live in Boston, NYC or San Fran, save your money and just visit for the weekend.
posted by loquax at 9:24 PM on June 28, 2005


Yeah, what he said.
posted by loquax at 9:25 PM on June 28, 2005


I think we've (at last) done our penance for Bryan Adams.

Great. Now you can get cracking with the Rush-related penance. I figure you ought to be done by 2112.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:27 PM on June 28, 2005


Alberta MP David Chatters lamented what he described as Canada's "moral decay" and blamed Trudeau's promise of a just society as the start of that decay in the 1960s.

Funny, because usually the opposition cites the future safety of religious freedom as the main reason for opposing same sex marriage, not because it's a moral issue. Liars.
posted by jikel_morten at 9:31 PM on June 28, 2005


Why do Canadians hate America? They're letting the terrorists win!

Wait. Wrong rhetoric. Sorry.
posted by brundlefly at 9:34 PM on June 28, 2005


I like to call it Canadia. And this is damn fine news.
posted by bardic at 9:37 PM on June 28, 2005


I'm just stupid with joy over here! (Looking for my old copy of Moving Pictures.)
posted by Kloryne at 9:39 PM on June 28, 2005


O Canada! This is beautiful.

But I'm sure the new ambassador my state is sending northward will straighten this all out. Just as soon as he learns the names of the provinces.
posted by climalene at 9:39 PM on June 28, 2005


Canada *rules*!!!
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:44 PM on June 28, 2005


God Blessed Canada.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 9:44 PM on June 28, 2005


I hate this. I hate that America has become the ignorant, backwards country that everybody despises.

And I hate that Australia has become the ignorant, backwards country that blindly follows the ignorant backwards country that everybody despises.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:59 PM on June 28, 2005


And I hate that Australia has become the ignorant, backwards country that blindly follows the ignorant backwards country that everybody despises.

Has become? Australia's always been like that, save a few noble souls.

But we're talking about Canada, right? Yay Canada.
posted by Jimbob at 10:08 PM on June 28, 2005


Before anyone goes overboard, keep in mind that support of gay marriage in Canada is hardly universal, and probably not much different that it is in the US, with the exception of Quebec, BC, and Toronto.

Give it a few years. When the country does not denigrate into the moral cesspool that the anti-same sex marriage machine has been claiming from the start, the straight scared folk will realize that this legislation does not affect them in any way.

As others have said, today is a great day to be Canadian. This is a phenomenal step and my only complaint is that we were not the first country to do it! :)
posted by purephase at 10:10 PM on June 28, 2005


kevinsp8: Actually, this is EXACTLY a Charter of Rights issue. I'm not a civil lawyer (in more ways than one), but it was court decisions in Ontario and B.C. (and Quebec too, IIRC) that held the previous definition of marriage was contrary to the Charter, and therefore struck down.

arto is correct about the requirement to renew "notwithstanding" laws every five years. First such a law would have to be passed, which is increasingly unlikely as time goes on, since support for inclusive marriage laws increases with youth.

And, I hate to be a spoilsport, but as carmen points out, the bill has passed third reading in the lower house, so while the likelihood of it not becoming law are miniscule, it isn't impossible for the bill to die before Royal Assent.
posted by birdsquared at 10:11 PM on June 28, 2005


What happened to the "land of the free"? Yeah I guess we are free to impose our morals on everybody else. Free to be bigoted. Free to return to the family values of the Medieval Ages.

Free to be you and me! Oh wait...that's just a fucking book.

(Oh yeah, and "Go, Canada!")
posted by ChrisTN at 10:20 PM on June 28, 2005


Congrats Canada!

Hm...Maybe I should move and get a dual citizenship? But then again, I am not devoid of all hope for this country...yet.
posted by state fxn at 10:20 PM on June 28, 2005


And I hate that Australia has become the ignorant, backwards country that blindly follows the ignorant backwards country that everybody despises.

Has become? Australia's always been like that


well, you know, in the high-faluting realms of law, Australia & Canada used to pretty much trade blow-for-blow (so to speak) in leading the Western world in areas such as native title, anti-discrimination, feminist legal advances etc etc.

these days, we have to go around with pretend kiwi accents if we want to receive any respect, just as everybody you meet overseas with an American accent has a maple leaf sewed to their backpack, would you believe?
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:20 PM on June 28, 2005


Aboat time.
posted by Devils Slide at 10:26 PM on June 28, 2005


leading the Western world

*whoops* - disclaimer: talking about common law countries, eg UK, US, Canada, Australia, NZ etc. Those Continentals do things differently.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:28 PM on June 28, 2005


Can homosexuals married in Canada force the US to recognize either citizenship (in the case of American-Canadian marriage) or financial aspects of the partnership under NAFTA?
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:30 PM on June 28, 2005


Canada sucks less every day.
posted by wakko at 10:41 PM on June 28, 2005


What a sensible country.
posted by VanRoosta at 10:41 PM on June 28, 2005


Aarg, gasp, feeling the sanctity of my US of A marriage eroding. Ahhh, must... move further... south. Portland too close to, gasp, gay Canada.

Just kidding. Rock on, Candida.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 10:51 PM on June 28, 2005


re: the notwithstanding clause. yes it's a potential factor. marriage is still a provincial, rather than federal matter (though it's definition, rather craftily put, has been successfully argued to be federal) so yes, Alberta may someday soon become the only place same-sex marriage is once again not legally recognized. as others have pointed out, there is hardly overwhelming support for gay marriage -- though it is skewed by age and generation in Canada (the old and the newly immigrated being less likely to support gay marriage). I am happy with the result, but not entirely with the process. when we achieve something with the support of the majority, we call it democracy. when we achieve something without clear support, we call it a triumph of multiculturalism. (like Turkey's inclusion in the EU, which the majority of Europeans are against)

in any case, this was bound to happen here. nearly every human rights lawyer I know, while differing on personal opinion of gay marriage vs. civil union vs. non-recognition, agreed that the correct Charter interpretation is rather clear-cut. the good news is that acceptance will only grow after this -- and that's good news for everybody, including those who dislike the idea, as they realize that the sky isn't going to fall, and their precious country is worth more, not less.
posted by dreamsign at 10:51 PM on June 28, 2005


Portland too close to, gasp, gay Canada.

Do I sense a new South Park plot coming on?
posted by dreamsign at 10:52 PM on June 28, 2005


Can homosexuals married in Canada force the US to recognize either citizenship (in the case of American-Canadian marriage) or financial aspects of the partnership under NAFTA?

No. Well, if they can, I'd imagine I could move to Canada and then refuse to pay GST because I'm not Canadian.
posted by oaf at 11:14 PM on June 28, 2005


Kudos Canada for supporting freedom of marriage.
posted by mathowie at 11:27 PM on June 28, 2005


!

Oh! Canada.
posted by drezdn at 11:28 PM on June 28, 2005


Denmark has gay marriage, and moral chaos (video - embedded QT - WinMedia here
posted by jb at 11:52 PM on June 28, 2005


An Europride 2005 anim (embedded QT, 14MB).
posted by Gyan at 12:03 AM on June 29, 2005


To follow up on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms discussion-
Let's put down the notwithstanding clause for a second, which is essentially a legal particular. Just look at the first clause:

"1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society."

With a basic education in logic and algebraic resoning one can demonstrably justify that 2 + 2 = 5. Canada is by far my second favourite North American Country, but say what you will about the globally-despised Bill of Rights, at least it hasn't yet been approved by the Ministries of Truth, Love, Plenty and Peace.

On the other hand, I applaud this decision. But let's not let ourselves get carried too far down the Saint Lawrence Seaway.
posted by Dr. Grue at 1:10 AM on June 29, 2005


mdn et al: While this site lists a number of countries as having same-sex marriage legally in place, not many have laws such that this is directly equivalent to 'traditional' marriage. For example, while Denmark is regarded by some as having introduced same-sex marriage in 1989 this article notes that there are some differences such that there wasn't direct equivalence. There is also a timeline here that might be of interest.
posted by biffa at 2:00 AM on June 29, 2005


I think we've (at last) done our penance for Bryan Adams.

Great. Now you can get cracking with the Rush-related penance. I figure you ought to be done by 2112.


Heh.

But, come on. Leonard Cohen surely makes up for all these wankers many times over.
posted by stiggywigget at 3:19 AM on June 29, 2005


the article says canada is #3 to do this? Who else besides the netherlands?

How did Massachusetts get left out of this discussion? Massachusetts, people. Massachusetts has had this for a year.

WHEN YOU HAVE YOUR MASTURBATORY "THE US IS AWFUL AND CANADA IS SO PROGRESSIVE AND WONDERFUL" DISCUSSIONS, YOU SHOULD ADD "EXCEPT MASSACHUSETTS."
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:32 AM on June 29, 2005



posted by matteo at 3:34 AM on June 29, 2005


Shame that immigration to the big C is so damn difficult. What we need is for Vermont or Washington state to secede and either do its own thing or join the confederation of non-Jesusland. Cheers, canucks!
posted by moonbird at 4:06 AM on June 29, 2005


This is one of those days that I am so very, very, proud to be a Canadian.

You and your countrymen deserve to be proud.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:17 AM on June 29, 2005


Mazel tov, Canada!
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:20 AM on June 29, 2005


Mayor Curley, Massivetwoshits is not a NATION. it's just a patch of land inside one. One that still resists offering equality to all it's citizens, no matter how loud you yell first thing in the morning.
posted by zarah at 4:21 AM on June 29, 2005


Today n many more Canadians can feel just a wee bit more comfortable in their skin. Here's hoping that those who lack the clarity to tolerate such things with time realize that it does not have any negative impact on their daily lives.
posted by furtive at 4:51 AM on June 29, 2005


kevinsp8: Actually, this is EXACTLY a Charter of Rights issue. I'm not a civil lawyer (in more ways than one), but it was court decisions in Ontario and B.C. (and Quebec too, IIRC) that held the previous definition of marriage was contrary to the Charter, and therefore struck down.

This was not addressed by the Supreme Court. The thinking is, they would rule that way, but given that they haven't ever said the current definition of marriage is unconstitutional, there would be no need to use the Notwithstanding Clause in order to take away gay marriage as of yet. Just as there was no need to use the Notwithstanding Clause to exclude gays from marrying from 1982 (the birth of the Charter) to 2005.

In fact, Stephen Harper (the leader of the Conversatives) has been very clear that he thinks they can reverse this law (or could have avoided passing it) without using the Notwithstanding Clause (which is kind of like the Nuclear option, and not very palatable to anyone).
posted by kevinsp8 at 4:55 AM on June 29, 2005


How did Massachusetts get left out of this discussion? Massachusetts, people. Massachusetts has had this for a year.

It's my understanding that eight of the ten Canadian provinces already had legalized gay marriage, so the fact that one state of fifty has done the same thing is hardly something to crow about.

On another matter, I understand that the issue is still divisive in Canada, but that's the way matters of rights often are. A bare majority supporting gay marriage is still a long shot ahead of where things are in the US, and once something's legal and goes on for a while and people see that it's not the end of civilization, public opinion will follow where the legislature leads.
posted by anapestic at 5:06 AM on June 29, 2005


Mayor Curley, Massivetwoshits is not a NATION. it's just a patch of land inside one. One that still resists offering equality to all it's citizens, no matter how loud you yell first thing in the morning.

See, the thing is that Massachusetts a part of the US. And Massachusetts allows gay people to mary. Therefore, gay people can get married in the US. But don't acknowledge this-- sentiment is more important than accuracy. And the correct sentiment is that the US is draconian and backwards WITHOUT EXCEPTION.

I think the US is generally as gross as anyone. But I also think that discussion should be truthful.

But good one on the "massivetwoshits" bit. They are phonetically similar.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:06 AM on June 29, 2005


Anyone have a link to the actual voting record? I would like to know who those 32 Liberals were... This is the C-38 page on the Parliament website - which might be the right place to look - but it isn't up yet.
posted by Chuckles at 5:22 AM on June 29, 2005


But Mayor Curley, even though same-sex couples can receive state marriage rights in Massachusetts, they still don't receive federal marriage rights from our nation (immigration rights, tax status, etc.). So while you may be technically and semantically correct to a point that "gay people can get married in the US" and "THE US IS AWFUL AND CANADA IS SO PROGRESSIVE AND WONDERFUL ... EXCEPT MASSACHUSETTS", it still doesn't mean so much from a practical point of view for couples who are trying to live in this nation of ours.
posted by ChrisTN at 5:38 AM on June 29, 2005


Mayor, it's quite clear I'm not denying that Mass. is part of the USA, but it's still not a country and we're talking about a right being recognized federally, nationwide, not simply in a province or a state. Besides that, weren't a few Canadian provinces still ahead of Ma.? Can't you just accept that a good thing happened somewhere else and not whinge that no one is paying attention to the USA? If you recall Mass. received all kinds of cheers and congrats from Canadians when it was in the news.

I have to admit that I stole "massivetwoshits" from my godfather, who loves to play with phonetics. It's not meant in a mean way.
posted by zarah at 5:39 AM on June 29, 2005


Feel I'm goin' back to Massachusetts,
Something's telling me I must go homo.


See the Bee Gees got it right :) and many years ago !
Horray for Massachusetts !

That said...but don't we realize the problem is marriage ?
We SHOULD BAN marriage !

1. It's against nature, animals don't marry they just reproduce (ok weak argument but still)

2. It's the primary source of the most useless expensive lawyeresque work of all times : divorce papers , utterly useless diatribe over who gets to get chinas and why in da hell you should live up to my standard forever.

3. It's not necessary for parents recognition of their kids. By the way It's the kid presence that should weld parent togheter , from an (hopefully these day) emotional but also economical point of view.

I guess the few benefits that are left are healthcare coverage extensions and benefits to one individual of the married couple or both..but that's really otrageous..what if somebody is _forced by circumstances_ to marry to obtain decent healthcare or some instead of none ?
posted by elpapacito at 5:40 AM on June 29, 2005


Somewhere out there Stephen Harper is sitting in a room full of broken toys wondering how it all went so wrong. Lovely. A good day to be Canadian.
posted by theinsectsarewaiting at 5:45 AM on June 29, 2005


You know, I used to be afraid that Stephen Harper might be at the wheel someday. That fear lessens with each further idiocy from him. He couldn't do a better job of destroying his credibility if he tried. And I don't even need to feel sorry for his party members, because they're worse than he is. Jeez, even Belinda Stronach knew enough to jump ship (okay, so it was more likely that her handlers did).

I've never been happier about being Canadian. But I'm feeling like I really should start to make more of a contribution to my society. I didn't have anything to do with this, other than voting Liberal in the last election. I'm enjoying so much that I never did anything to earn just because I was fortunate enough to be born here. It's time I did more than alternately cheer or groan over the results of other people's efforts.
posted by orange swan at 6:00 AM on June 29, 2005


Curley, I'm sort of amazed at the reach you're making here for what's apparently for no reason other than to guarantee that there's something to complain about in every thread on MetaFilter. Let it go, dude.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:04 AM on June 29, 2005


If you recall Mass. received all kinds of cheers and congrats from Canadians when it was in the news.

Point taken-- you're absolutely right there. It's just the "America Sux!" sentiment here that's irksome-- the thread should be about how Canada is doing something good, and indeed it is.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:11 AM on June 29, 2005


The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

That sentence has three well-established legal standards in it. Don't sweat it.

As for banning marriage, this isn't about narrowing what humans are free to do; it is enlarging that sphere!
posted by dreamsign at 6:14 AM on June 29, 2005


good one on the "massivetwoshits" bit

not to derail, but how many git-dam ways to make fun of the good Commonwealth's name are there anyway? Faggachusetts, Taxachusetts and now Massive2shits? wtf? why?

posted by matteo at 6:44 AM on June 29, 2005


dreamsign writes "as others have pointed out, there is hardly overwhelming support for gay marriage"

We have a lot more people who could care less one way or the other. I think that is key as this seems to be a very polarising issue in the US. I doubt many Liberals/NDPers are going to go conservative the next election because of this.

Mayor Curley writes "How did Massachusetts get left out of this discussion? Massachusetts, people. Massachusetts has had this for a year."

Massachusetts isn't a country. Several Canadian provinces have already legalised it, I even FPPed it a while ago.
posted by Mitheral at 6:46 AM on June 29, 2005


loquax writes "I take exception to the 'nation of minorities' quote. I thought we were all supposed to be Canadians, desevering of equal rights regardless of the things that make us different."

Goes back to that whole idea of the Cultural Mosaic, loquax. Each and every one of us in Canada is part of a smaller group that has come together to form a whole; we are greater than the sum of our parts.


BrotherCaine writes "Can homosexuals married in Canada force the US to recognize either citizenship (in the case of American-Canadian marriage) or financial aspects of the partnership under NAFTA?"

Now there is an interesting thought. My reflex would be to say not in general, as (as I understand it) NAFTA deals with business and commerce. Could be interesting to see what the courts say.



The True North strong and free, indeed. And just in time for Canada Day, too!
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:56 AM on June 29, 2005


To put it in perspective, Mayor Curley, this vote makes same-sex marriage legal for the remaining 13% of Canadians living in provinces and territories where it wasn't already legal. I think that what makes is so exciting and important is that the federal government represents who we are as Canadians. Even though most gay couples in Canada could already marry, now we can say that this is part of what it *means* to be Canadian: that we are a nation that is making progress in the direction of equality.

It's true, though that this remains a devisive issue. Religious Tolerence has a better breakdown of the 2003 poll linked earlier, and a recent 2005 poll. They point out that if you combine those who support gay marriage with those who do not oppose gay marriage, you get 59%.
posted by carmen at 6:57 AM on June 29, 2005


Chuckles: They must have updated the site since your last visit. Here's your list.

Thankfully, my MP is on the "Yea" side. I didn't vote for her, but she was a strong second choice.
posted by purephase at 7:11 AM on June 29, 2005


Good on ya, Canada.
posted by klangklangston at 7:28 AM on June 29, 2005


Alberta may someday soon become the only place same-sex marriage is once again not legally recognized

Well, probably not. Yesterday, Ralph Klein (Alberta's premier) said his gov't would not invoke the notwithstanding clause. However, there is some thought that ol' Ralphie will simply strike the marriage law from the books altogether, allowing churches to decide for themselves who they will marry.
posted by docgonzo at 7:31 AM on June 29, 2005


There's an inverse ratio between the appeal of Canada and the atavistic shenanigans of the United States.
posted by ed at 7:32 AM on June 29, 2005


Both MPs from my hometown went Nay, including the minister who resigned from the cabinet in order to freely vote, Joe Comuzzi. Comuzzi had been battling publicly with what his decision would be, reflecting on both his religious beliefs and his constituents' say.

I know a lot of people who are probably unhappy by this decision, but I'm happy for those people who now have the rights that most other Canadians are entitled to under the Charter. I'm sure in time, those who were against it will see that this was a good (and right) thing.
posted by myopicman at 7:33 AM on June 29, 2005


Now get those marriage pics up on the Web. It's important for the world to see all those happy faces in gowns and tuxes, to displace the blizzards of bullshit from the American mullahs and cynical opportunists about "protecting marriage" from people who want to spend the rest of their lives together.

Signed,
Married in San Francisco
posted by digaman at 7:48 AM on June 29, 2005


What are these "rights" of which you speak? Are they anything like "freedom"? Is Canada now going to bomb something?
posted by Smedleyman at 7:48 AM on June 29, 2005


I just want to compliment wakko on the longest setup to a joke. Ever.

Also, I don't expect us to want to be more like our neighbors to the North. This just gives our religious-right leaders someone to vilify.
posted by fungible at 7:55 AM on June 29, 2005


Can homosexuals married in Canada force the US to recognize either citizenship (in the case of American-Canadian marriage) or financial aspects of the partnership under NAFTA?

I was wondering along those lines - I know that heterosexual married couples moving from one country to another are not required to re-marry in their new home in order to be recognised as married, with all that entails. Is there anything in, say, UK law that explicitly states that future legally married couples from Canada, who happen to be of the same gender, must be denied the rights of married couples?

Oh, and nice one Canada!
posted by jack_mo at 8:02 AM on June 29, 2005


SCORE! Now we can watch My Fabulous Gay Wedding episodes from EVERY province/territory.

And on the moving to Vancouver? Be warned, it IS going to slide into the ocean in 50 years.
posted by stray at 8:09 AM on June 29, 2005


Just to keep things in perspective, remember that in Canada, it was religious groups that forced the issue. The first gay marriages were performed in Anglican churches using a loophole in the Ontario marriage law.

It's important to remember that even many of the opponents of this are coaching their arguments in term of religious freedom/discrimination, including poor deluded Mr. Harper, without the activist priests in the Anglican church, and, I think it's fair to say the United church, that this day would have been much farther off in the future. Lesbians and gays in Canada now have this right because of priests and congregations of good conscience.

And I say this, full of admiration, as an atheist.
posted by bonehead at 8:20 AM on June 29, 2005


what part of "in Sweden as far as rights go, it's the same" didn't you read?

yeah, I read that, that isn't what I was arguing (if you read what I wrote :)): my point was pretty simple, not an argument about where the legal boundaries are drawn - I said, you may call it marriage in daily speech, but is it referred to as marriage in mainstream media, by politicians, etc? It is not socially recognized as the same if an explicit distinction is officially made.

Anyway, I do believe that once the wheels are set turning, the civil union thing will eventually become 'marriage', so I'm not trying to dismiss where those countries are; I'm just saying that the "separate but equal" attitude still lacks a bit of dignity, and I look forward to the day when it's left behind.
posted by mdn at 8:20 AM on June 29, 2005


I just want to compliment wakko on the longest setup to a joke. Ever.
I'm loving it. : >

...As matters stand, a handful of states, including New York, Vermont and Rhode Island -- but not California -- currently recognize same-sex married couples who enter this country from Canada. It remains to be seen to what extent this decision will influence those policies and whether gays and lesbians will increasingly emigrate north in search of marriage equality. Many Americans are among the 3,000 same-sex couples who have married in Canada. ... (from Dec.)
posted by amberglow at 8:28 AM on June 29, 2005


docgonzo >>> "Well, probably not. Yesterday, Ralph Klein (Alberta's premier) said his gov't would not invoke the notwithstanding clause. However, there is some thought that ol' Ralphie will simply strike the marriage law from the books altogether, allowing churches to decide for themselves who they will marry."

Um, actually, the law as written clearly states that no church (or religious institution) can be forced to marry people they don't want to. So Ralphie's just taking a page from his American puppetmasters idols friends, and making it seem like he's doing something special that the law already provides.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:31 AM on June 29, 2005


shepd
I should have been clearer on that; I didn't mean in strict legal terms, I meant in terms of gaining enough popular support overturning the law. For example, pro-life groups have been trying to get the abortion law retracted since it was passed, but haven't made any headway.
posted by fossil_human at 9:16 AM on June 29, 2005


Mayor Curley writes "How did Massachusetts get left out of this discussion?"

Massachussets is not a country. Glad I could clear that up for you.
posted by clevershark at 10:03 AM on June 29, 2005


ol' Ralphie will simply strike the marriage law from the books altogether, allowing churches to decide for themselves who they will marry.

As it should be. The government has no business in the bedroom or at the altar.
posted by Kickstart70 at 10:39 AM on June 29, 2005


Massachussets is not a country. Glad I could clear that up for you.

"Massachussets" isn't even a commonwealth. But did you read the ensuing discussion about it or did you hurry down to call me an idiot whilst ironically making a typo?
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:09 AM on June 29, 2005


I meant in terms of gaining enough popular support overturning the law.

Ahh, yes, then it makes sense.

Personally, this issue is about a big fat ZERO on my to-do list for what I want from my government. And it's because of the fact I ignore/don't care about this issue that I can palate voting for Mr. Harper. Whether others on MeFi agree with me or not, everything else I've heard from him has been what I want, although the whole Iraq thing is a bit shaky. Either way he beats the hell out of the other choices.

Hopefully Harper will put his effort into something that matters more. He needs to move on to more pressing issues, like how to distribute the liberals $10 cheques to every individual in Canada in repayment for AdScam (still waiting...)
posted by shepd at 11:21 AM on June 29, 2005


one less thing to be embarrassed about

go w-o-rld! its yer birthday! get fuckin' crayzee with ya lovah!
posted by Satapher at 11:29 AM on June 29, 2005


Yeah, Canada!
posted by agregoli at 11:55 AM on June 29, 2005


Global Gayness, on the march.
posted by delmoi at 12:01 AM EST on June 29


Well, I don't know if you realize this but what happens up there affects us zero.
posted by delmoi at 11:04 AM EST on June 10

posted by chococat at 11:57 AM on June 29, 2005


Um, actually, the law as written clearly states that no church (or religious institution) can be forced to marry people they don't want to. So Ralphie's just taking a page from his American puppetmasters idols friends, and making it seem like he's doing something special that the law already provides.

This is exactly what I've been saying all along. Try getting married in a Catholic church without going through their classes and whatnot if you're not Catholic -- not possible. Heck, most of my Christian straight friends have trouble enough finding pastors to perform their weddings, it's not like gay people are going to have an easier time of it. They can always say "I don't feel comfortable blessing this marriage, so I'm not going to perform the ceremony" whether you're gay or not.

I honestly have absolutely no idea why people are against this. Okay, so you're Christian and have an interpretation of the Bible that's against gay marriage. Whoopdeedoo, you probably also have a belief against people living together before marriage, or getting married for money/status/whatever, and THAT's legal and doesn't affect your marriage. "Oh, it devalues marriage!" Give me a break—Britney Spears and her 24-hour-marriages devalue marriage a hell of a lot more than the gay people who believe in marriage enough to fight for it.

I've heard evangelical Christians thank God a billion times that we live in a "free" country where they aren't dragged out and shot for having a bible study in their homes (honestly -- persecution stories are like Christian porn), and yet they don't count this freedom valuable enough to have the decency to extend it to other people.
posted by heatherann at 12:02 PM on June 29, 2005


However, there is some thought that ol' Ralphie will simply strike the marriage law from the books altogether, allowing churches to decide for themselves who they will marry."

I think people are misinterpreting this threat. There is no possibility of churches being forced to marry people - its quite the opposite.
People can be married either by an agent of a recognised church, or by an agent of government.
They are proposing that the Alberta government no longer have any involvement in marrying people. That would mean that nobody gets married in Alberta without the approval of a church.
posted by Zetetics at 12:54 PM on June 29, 2005


yup--he's saying ONLY churches will perform marriages in his province.
posted by amberglow at 7:20 PM on June 29, 2005


Aberta has no United Church of Canada congregations? Because they've come out in favour of allowing same-sex marriage.
posted by jb at 12:33 AM on June 30, 2005


I dare Ralphie to say that only churches will perform marriages in Alberta!

Because, really, it won't accomplish a damn thing.

In day-to-day use, everyone already uses "marriage" to mean "more-or-less permanent cohabitation," regardless the true legal and religious status.

In court use, "marriage" means "signed the civil documents" or "lived together long enough to count as marriage." Honestly, in almost every aspect, a common-law couple has nearly complete legal protection, afaik.

So Ralphie won't accomplish a damn thing by doing it. Let him posture and strut. The rest of us are going to get on with our lives, which mainly means not caring a bit who's married and who isn't.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:57 AM on June 30, 2005


"You have no idea what a difference it makes to the human spirit to know that you are treated equally under the law,'

from here
posted by amberglow at 7:17 PM on July 21, 2005


Well, Ralphie backed down. Alberta will be allowing gay marriage.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:13 PM on July 23, 2005


« Older Al's Morning Meeting...  |  Yahoo gets social.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments