Canada to Allow Gays to 'Marry'; Ruling Clears Way for Law
Byline: Levon Sevunts, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
MONTREAL - Canada's highest court gave its blessing to homosexual "marriage" yesterday, but protected religious organizations from being forced to sanction same-sex unions.
The long-awaited decision permits the ruling Liberal Party to proceed with legislation to legalize the unions, making Canada the third nation to recognize homosexual unions, after the Netherlands and Belgium.
It's unlikely that Canadian "marriages" will be recognized as legal anywhere in the United States, including Massachusetts, which allows same-sex "marriage," but only for its residents or same-sex couples who plan to live in Massachusetts.
A U.S. federal court already has ruled that Canadian same-sex "marriages" aren't legal in the United States.
In its unanimous decision, the Supreme Court also said that although Canada's federal government has the ultimate authority to "redefine" marriage, religious groups cannot be forced to perform same-sex "marriages" against their beliefs.
After the ruling by the nine justices, Prime Minister Paul Martin promised to introduce legislation on legalizing same-sex unions when the Parliament reconvenes in January.
"For many Canadians and many parliamentarians, this is a difficult issue involving personal and religious convictions and it represents a very significant change to a long-standing institution," Mr. Martin said.
The court ruling was hailed by homosexual groups and decried by many traditionalists.
Several groups supporting the traditional definition of marriage and the province of Alberta have vowed to fight same-sex "marriage" legislation.
Gwen Landolt with Real Women of Canada called for a national referendum.
"The people of Canada must have a say," Mrs. Landolt said. "The time has come that we will restore democracy across Canada."
She also called for the traditional definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman to be enshrined in the Canadian Constitution. …