Canadian Government to Challenge Ruling on Same-Sex Unions

OTTAWA, JULY 29, 2002 ( The Canadian federal government says it will appeal a ruling by an Ontario court two weeks ago paving the way for same-sex “marriages,” the Globe and Mail reported.

On July 12, an Ontario court ruled that the ban against legally sanctioned homosexual and lesbian unions is discriminatory and unconstitutional. The decision gave Parliament two years in which to produce a new designation that includes same-sex couples.

The three Ontario Superior Court judges, who claimed that the present definition of marriage violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, said they suspended their ruling for this period to give members of Parliament the necessary time to consider a new definition that better reflects Canadian values.

Justice Minister Martin Cauchon said Monday that his department must challenge the constitutionality of the July 12 ruling because it allows only opposite-sex unions. “The government believes it is the responsible course to seek further clarity on these issues,” he said.

The federal government is ultimately responsible for defining marriage in Canada.