Homosexual Couples Try to Force Canada´s Hand

«Marriage» Ceremony Staged in Toronto

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TORONTO, JAN. 15, 2001 (ZENIT.org).-
Two Toronto couples went through a marriage ceremony Sunday which, if recognized by the government, could be the first legal homosexual marriages in Canada, The Globe and Mail reported.

When the Rev. Brent Hawkes of the Metropolitan Community Church tries to register the two unions – of Kevin Bourassa, 42, to Joe Varnell, 31; and Anne Vautour, 43, to Elaine Vautour, 38 – he could spark a landmark battle that began in a church and continues in the courts, the newspaper said.

Surrounded by supporters and flanked by a large media presence, the two couples were married before Hawkes Sunday afternoon. There were lineups to get into the Toronto church and there was a police presence. Media reports say that one person was arrested for assault.

Using a legal loophole, Hawkes published banns without valid objection in three consecutive Sundays. He believes that an obscure section of the Marriages Act can be used to issue a marriage license under this process, the newspaper said.

The church is ready for opposition from the government. Ontario Consumer and Commercial Relations Minister Bob Runciman said he cannot approve of such unions, citing federal legislation that defines marriage a union of two members of the opposite sex.

Homosexual unions already have the support of some political parties. Ontario New Democratic Party leader Howard Hampton was at the ceremony and urged the government to recognize it. And Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson sent a telegram congratulating the couples on their matrimonies.

Many same-sex couples receive the benefits that the government gives common-law partners. But it´s legal recognition, one that points to society´s recognition, that is being sought now.

A number of foreign jurisdictions, including the state of Vermont in the United States, allow legal registrations of same-sex couples. In December, the Netherlands legalized homosexual marriages, also giving such couples the right to adopt, in what is considered the world´s most extreme recognition of homosexual behavior.

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