Link to  Elliott & Kim - our heroes fighting for our right to marriage in Ontario






Biblical Marriage - Why the Bible is a bad source for the same-sex marriage debate.







Join us as we legalize same-sex marriage.  Subscribe to our free newsletter






Send this page to a friend!

Case For Legal Recognition

Initially, two couples including one of the couples represented by Martha McCarthy expressed an interest in using the procedure. Unfortunately, section 18 of the Act appears to limit the procedure to persons who have never been married. As a result, the two couples agreed to defer their request and to pursue marriage licenses instead. Another two couples, one male and one female, came forward to have the banns announced and to be married. The banns were first read on International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2000, and remarkably, no one objected. During the subsequent two readings there were objections on religious grounds, including one from the aforementioned Ken Campbell. Reverend Hawkes rejected the objections. On January 14, 2001, Kevin Bourassa married Joe Varnell, and Elaine and Anne Vautour were married. It is believed to be the first legal same sex wedding in the world, at least since the Middle Ages.

MCCT had been participating as an observer in Halpern v. Toronto[27], the action brought in the Divisional Court seeking marriage licenses for same sex couples. On January 19, 2001, Justice Lang issued her decision granting intervener status to MCCT in that case, subject to certain terms. That same day, MCCT launched its own application as a result of the Ontario government’s refusal to register the January 14 marriages under the Vital Statistics Act.[28] On Thursday, January 25, the parties in each proceeding agreed to an order for trial together of the two matters pursuant to Rule 6. MCCT has filed a range of affidavits in support of its position including those of a historian, a straight Anglican bishop and a gay Quaker. Cross examinations will take place over the summer. The matters are expected to be heard during the week of November 5.

MCCT will be arguing that there is no exclusion of same sex couples from marriage contained in the statutes or the common law. Alternatively, it will argue that any such exclusion violates sections 2(a) (freedom of religion) and 15(1) (equality – sex, sexual orientation and religion) of the Charter. MCCT will cite the freedom to marry which is every Canadian’s right under international law, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. MCCT will contend that the Government’s current stance amounts to a prohibited state endorsement of one religious view over another, a relic of earlier attempts to limit the recognition of the marriages of minority groups. It will also contend that any such exclusion operates as sex and sexual orientation discrimination. In each case, MCCT will argue that the Charter violation is not demonstrably justified. It seems clear that this is a case, like Vriend v.Canada[29], where the discrimination continues because it is traditional or popular, and not because it is rational or justified.

[27] Court File No. 684/00.

[28] R.S.O. 1990, c. V.4

[29] [1998] 1 S.C.R. 493.

prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | next
Other documents related to our marriage case