Same-sex marriage

On July 20, 2005 Canada legalized same-sex marriage. At the time, it was one of only four countries in the world to do so. Already legalized in eight out of the ten provinces and one of the three territories by 2003, same-sex marriage had been a long time coming.

Most of the provincial legalization were due to high level court cases, arguing that to deny queer couples marriage would be discrimination in violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Many of the legal benefits that accompany marriage had applied to queer couples since 1999 for similar reasons.

Same-sex marriage was a huge victory for queer activists though some activists opposed marriage on the principle that it would convert queer people to a more heteronormative lifestyle.

Even now that it's in effect, the legislation has massive gaps, creating controversy over whether queer couples who come to Canada to marry can legally divorce.


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