Staff of the Parliamentary Information and Research Service (PIRS) of the Library of Parliament work exclusively for Parliament conducting research and providing analysis and policy advice to Members of the Senate and House of Commons and to parliamentary committees on a non-partisan and confidential basis. The documents on this site were originally prepared for general distribution to Canadian Parliamentarians to provide background and analysis of issues that may arise in the course of their Parliamentary duties. They are made available here as a service to the public. These studies are not official Parliamentary or Canadian government documents. No legal or other professional advice is offered by the authors or the Parliamentary Information and Research Service in presenting its publications or in maintaining links to other Internet sites.
Mary C. Hurley
Law and Government Division
Revised 26 September 2005
A. Parliamentary Information and Research Service Publication
B. Reports/Discussion Paper
C. Law Commission of Canada (LCC) Research Paper
F. Gay and Lesbian Sources
In the past 20 years, the legal rights of lesbians and gay men in Canada have generated considerable activity in the political, legislative and judicial spheres, culminating in the 2005 enactment of the Civil Marriage Act. The following survey provides a selective chronology of significant developments. A more detailed discussion covering a broad range of subject matters can be found in Sexual Orientation and Legal Rights, Current Issue Review 92-1, prepared by the Parliamentary Information and Research Service.
Subsection 91(26) of the Constitution Act, 1867 gives Parliament jurisdiction over marriage and divorce.
Subsections 92(12) and (13) give the provinces jurisdiction over both the solemnization of marriage, and property and civil rights.
In Haig v. Canada,(1) the Ontario Court of Appeal found the omission of sexual orientation as a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA)(2) violated section 15 of the Charter. The Court ordered that sexual orientation be “read in” to the Act.
In Canada (Attorney General) v. Mossop,(3) the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that “family status,” as a prohibited ground of discrimination in the CHRA, should not be interpreted as extending to couples of the same sex.
The Supreme Court of Canada released its first section 15 Charter decision dealing with sexual orientation and same-sex benefits issues. In Egan v. Canada:(5) the full Court found sexual orientation to be an “analogous” [comparable] ground of discrimination for section 15 purposes; a majority ruled that the opposite-sex definition of spouse in the Old Age Security Act violated section 15; a differently constituted majority also found the violation justified under section 1 of the Charter.
In Canada (Attorney General) v. Moore,(6) the Federal Court of Canada upheld Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decisions requiring the federal government to extend spousal benefits to the same-sex partners of its employees.
The Supreme Court of Canada decided unanimously, in Vriend v. Alberta,(7) that the omission of sexual orientation from Alberta’s Individual Rights Protection Act infringed section 15 of the Charter, and ordered that it be “read in” to the legislation.
In Rosenberg v. Canada (Attorney General),(8) the Ontario Court of Appeal found that the opposite-sex definition of “spouse” in the federal Income Tax Act was not justified under section 1 of the Charter and ordered that the definition be enlarged, through the reading-in remedy, to include same-sex spouses for purposes of pension plan registration.
The Supreme Court of Canada, in M. v. H.,(9) ruled that the opposite-sex definition of “spouse” in Part III of Ontario’s Family Law Act was an unjustified violation of section 15 of the Charter. The Court suspended its order that the definition be severed from the Act to enable Ontario legislators to develop an appropriate remedy, and stressed that its decision was not concerned with marriage.
Bill C-41(10) amended Criminal Code sentencing provisions, setting out an aggravating sentencing factor for crimes motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on listed personal characteristics, including sexual orientation (section 718.2).
Parliament enacted the Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act (Bill C-33),(11) which added “sexual orientation” to the CHRA’s prohibited grounds of discrimination.
Parliament adopted the first federal legislation to provide explicitly for same-sex benefits. The Public Sector Pension Investment Board Act (Bill C-78)(12) replaced opposite-sex “surviving spouse” entitlement to benefits with gender-neutral “survivor” entitlement in the major public service pension statutes.
The Modernization of Benefits and Obligations Act (Bill C-23)(13) amended 68 federal statutes to effect their equal application to unmarried heterosexual and same-sex couples. The legislation added the gender-neutral designation(s) “common-law partner” and/or “survivor” to those statutes and restricted the term “spouse” to married couples. In response to opposition to the bill, the government added an interpretive amendment stating that “[f]or greater certainty, the amendments made by this Act do not affect the meaning of the word ‘marriage,’ that is, the lawful union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.”
In April, Bill C-250(14) amended Criminal Code hate propaganda provisions, expanding the definition of “identifiable group” to include any section of the public distinguished by sexual orientation. The legislation also added good faith expression of opinion based on a belief in a religious text to the list of defences against a charge of wilful promotion of hatred.
All provincial and territorial jurisdictions have enacted legislation to explicitly extend at least some legal rights to individual gays and lesbians and/or same-sex partners. The following represents a non-exhaustive listing of significant statutory reforms in this area.
Quebec became the first jurisdiction to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in its human rights legislation, the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.(15) All Canadian jurisdictions now provide for this prohibition. In Alberta, the prohibition results from the Supreme Court of Canada ruling in the Vriend decision discussed above.
The British Columbia Medicare Protection Act(16) became the first of numerous groundbreaking B.C. statutes through 1999 to extend the definition of “spouse” to persons of the same sex living in “marriage-like” relationships in a number of areas, including family relations(17) and maintenance.(18)
Quebec’s Assemblée nationale unanimously adopted the Loi modifiant diverses dispositions législatives concernant les conjoints de fait,(19) giving same-sex couples the same status, rights and obligations as unmarried heterosexual couples. The definition of de facto spouse [conjoint de fait] was amended in 28 laws, not including the Quebec Code civil, and related regulations.
The Ontario Legislative Assembly adopted the omnibus Act to amend certain statutes because of the Supreme Court of Canada Decision in M. v. H.,(20) which entitled “same-sex partners” to the same statutory rights and responsibilities as were available to opposite-sex common law spouses. The legislation preserved the existing opposite-sex definition of “spouse.”
British Columbia’s Legislative Assembly adopted the Definition of Spouse Amendment Act, 2000.(21) It extended the spousal definition to same-sex couples in numerous additional provincial statutes and standardized that definition in these and previously amended provincial laws.
The Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly enacted the Law Reform (2000) Act.(22) It added a gender-neutral definition of “common-law partner” to a number of laws, restricting the term “spouse” in those statutes to married individuals, and established the first registered domestic partnership scheme in Canada. Under this initiative, “two individuals who are cohabiting or intend to cohabit in a conjugal relationship” may register their partnership by means of a declaration, upon which each partner immediately assumes the rights and obligations of a [married] spouse under designated provincial statutes. The benefits of registration as domestic partners are available only within Nova Scotia.
The Manitoba Legislature adopted An Act to Comply with the Supreme Court of Canada Decision in M. v. H.(23) The bill introduced a gender-neutral definition of “common-law partner” in 10 provincial statutes relating to support rights and obligations and pension and death benefits.
The Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan enacted the Miscellaneous Statutes (Domestic Relations) Amendment Act, 2001 and the Miscellaneous Statutes (Domestic Relations) Amendment Act, 2001 (No. 2).(24) The bills amended 24 provincial laws to either include same-sex partners in programs thus far restricted to married and unmarried opposite-sex couples, or extend to same-sex and unmarried opposite-sex partners benefits and obligations that had been available only to married couples. Areas covered by the bills include pension and insurance schemes, family maintenance and spousal adoption.
The Newfoundland House of Assembly adopted the Same Sex Amendment Act,(25) amending 11 statutes to enable opposite-sex and same-sex “cohabiting partners” to acquire rights and obligations in relation to public-sector pension benefits, workplace compensation survivor benefits, and other matters.
Quebec’s Assemblée nationale unanimously adopted the Loi instituant l’union civile et établissant de nouvelles règles de filiation (Bill 84).(26) The bill amended the Code civil to: entrench the conjugal status of same-sex and unmarried opposite-sex couples; create a new optional institution for them, in which unrelated adult partners may enter into a formal “civil union” contract [“union civile”] that entails the rights and obligations of marriage; and clarify the joint parental rights of same-sex spouses in civil and de facto unions. Bill 84 amended over 50 additional provincial statutes to incorporate the civil union regime and make related consequential changes.
The Manitoba Legislature adopted the Charter Compliance Act,(27) which amended over 50 laws covering a broad range of subject-matters to expand the statutory rights and responsibilities of same-sex couples, including joint and spousal adoption rights. In addition, the Common-Law Partners’ Property and Related Amendments Act(28) providing for “registration of common-law relationships” under the province’s Vital Statistics Act authorized same-sex and opposite-sex common law couples to register their relationships, resulting in immediate entitlement to the benefits and imposition of the obligations for which non-registered couples must satisfy prior cohabitation requirements.
In Alberta, the Adult Interdependent Relationships Act(29) amended several family-related statutes to establish the rights and obligations of persons in a variety of non married and not necessarily conjugal relationships involving interdependency, including those between non minor relatives. Under the legislation, the term “spouse” refers exclusively to married partners. A person is an “adult interdependent partner” of another if the two have lived in a relationship of interdependence for prescribed periods, or have entered into an adult interdependent partner agreement.
In the wake of Supreme Court of Canada decisions, and subsequently federal Bill C-23, same-sex marriage issues assumed steadily increasing prominence:
Following the M. v. H. decision, by a vote of 216 55, the House of Commons adopted an opposition motion that “it is necessary, in light of public debate around recent court decisions, to state that marriage is and should remain the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, and that Parliament will take all necessary steps within the jurisdiction of the Parliament of Canada to preserve this definition of marriage in Canada.”(30)
The Legislative Assembly of Alberta adopted the Marriage Amendment Act, 2000.(31) It defined marriage as one between a man and a woman, and contained a notwithstanding clause. The legislation was described as having little effect owing to federal jurisdiction over marriage. The notwithstanding clause lapsed and was not renewed in March 2005.
The British Columbia Supreme Court dismissed a challenge to the province’s refusal to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples.(32) The judge ruled, among other things, that Parliament may not legislate to extend the legal meaning of marriage to same-sex unions; that “marriage,” as a federal head of power under the Constitution, was not open to Charter scrutiny; and that even if it were, any section 15 violation flowing from the restricted nature of marriage was justified under section 1 in light of the significance of opposite-sex marriage as a core institution in the Canadian context. The plaintiffs appealed the decision.
In July, in a second same-sex marriage challenge involving denial of licences and non recognition of religious ceremonies, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Divisional Court) ruled unanimously that the common law rule defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman represented an unjustifiable Charter infringement.(33) The Court rejected arguments that the 1867 Constitution precluded Parliament from modifying the legal meaning of “marriage,” as well as the notion that a “separate but equal” regime offering equivalency of benefits under a term other than “marriage” offered an equitable solution for same-sex couples. The Ontario Court suspended its declaration invalidating the common law rule for 24 months to enable Parliament to remedy the law of marriage, failing which the rule would be reformulated in gender-neutral terms. The federal government appealed the decision.
In September, the Cour supérieure of Quebec ruled that the characterization of marriage as a heterosexual institution in section 5 of the federal Federal Law-Civil Law Harmonization Act, No. 1, which applies only in Quebec, also represented an unjustified violation of Charter equality rights.(34) The judge concluded that while the province’s new civil union regime achieved a certain recognition of the legitimacy of same-sex conjugal relationships, it was not equivalent to the institution of marriage. She declared inoperative section 5 of the harmonization statute, as well as equivalent provisions in the federal Modernization of Benefits and Obligations Act and the Civil Code, and suspended the declarations for a two year period.
In May, the British Columbia Court of Appeal unanimously reversed the lower court judgment that had upheld the common law bar to same-sex marriage.(35) The ruling affirmed that Parliament has the constitutional authority to legislate a modified definition of marriage and that the current opposite-sex definition effected substantive discrimination. It found the resulting section 15 infringement unjustified under section 1 of the Charter, in part, because procreation no longer represented a sufficiently pressing objective to justify restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples. The Court suspended its gender-neutral reformulation of the common law definition until July 2004, the expiration of the suspension in Ontario. In view of subsequent developments, this suspension was lifted in July, making the expanded definition of marriage effective in British Columbia immediately.(36)
In June, the Ontario Court of Appeal unanimously upheld the Divisional Court’s decision finding the existing common law definition of marriage an unjustified violation of section 15 of the Charter.(37) It explicitly endorsed much of the reasoning and conclusions of prior decisions to that effect, asserting, in part, that
"marriage” in subsection 91(26) has the “constitutional flexibility to meet … changing realities” without a constitutional amendment;
it is not enough to say marriage “just is” heterosexual, rather it is the opposite-sex component that requires scrutiny in order to determine its impact on same-sex couples;
when compared to married couples, same-sex couples are not afforded equal treatment in matters of benefits and obligations owing, for example, to specific cohabitation requirements or the unevenness of benefits under provincial legislation, as well as exclusion from the fundamental institution of marriage.
Neither uniting the opposite sexes, encouraging the birth and raising of children, or companionship is a pressing objective of maintaining marriage as an exclusive heterosexual institution, nor does the opposite-sex requirement represent minimal impairment of the rights of same-sex couples:
Allowing same-sex couples to choose their partners and to celebrate their unions is not an adequate substitute for legal recognition … Allowing same-sex couples to marry does not result in a corresponding deprivation
Nor is this a case of balancing the rights of same-sex couples against the rights of religious groups who oppose same-sex marriage. Freedom of religion … ensures that religious groups have the option of refusing to solemnize same-sex marriages. The equality guarantee, however, ensures that the beliefs and practices of various religious groups are not imposed on persons who do not share those views.
The Court modified the Divisional Court’s remedy: invalidation of the existing common law definition of marriage and reformulation to refer to the “voluntary union for life of two persons” became effective in Ontario immediately.
In June, then Prime Minister Chrétien announced that the federal government would not appeal Ontario and B.C. appellate decisions supporting the lifting of restrictions against same-sex marriage, and would discontinue its appeal of the Quebec Superior Court ruling. The government’s phased approach to legalizing same-sex marriage would involve (1) draft legislation to recognize same-sex marriage and acknowledge religious organizations’ authority to abide by the precepts of their faith in relation to marriage, (2) an immediate reference of the draft legislation to the Supreme Court of Canada for a non-binding opinion as to its constitutionality and (3) a free vote in the House of Commons. On 17 July, the government did refer draft legislation to the Supreme Court of Canada, requesting that the Court consider whether: the draft bill fell within Parliament’s exclusive legislative authority; the bill’s extension of the capacity to marry to persons of the same sex was consistent with the Charter; the Charter’s freedom of religion guarantee shielded religious officials from being forced to perform same-sex marriages contrary to their religious beliefs.(38)
In September, an Opposition motion identical to that of June 1999, expressing Parliament’s support for the opposite-sex definition of marriage, was defeated in the House of Commons by a vote of 137-132.(39)
In January, the federal Minister of Justice, citing the importance of a full and informed debate, referred an additional question to the Supreme Court of Canada. It asked whether the current opposite-sex requirement for civil marriage was consistent with the Canadian Charter. In making this announcement, the Minister expressed the government’s continued support for principles of equality and religious freedom as set out in the draft legislation.(40)
In March, the Quebec Court of Appeal ruled unanimously that a religious organization that had intervened before the Cour supérieure lacked legal standing to appeal that Court’s decision.(41) The Court allowed a motion to reject the appeal and, in doing so, declined to exercise its discretion to render judgment on its merits. Noting the acquiescence of the federal Attorney General, the Court lifted the suspension of remedy imposed by the lower court, thus enabling same-sex couples to marry legally in the province with immediate effect.
Superior courts in Yukon (July),(42) Manitoba (September),(43) Nova Scotia (September),(44) Saskatchewan (November)(45) and Newfoundland and Labrador (December)(46) allowed Charter applications seeking reformulation of the opposite-sex common law definition of marriage, and issued orders authorizing same-sex marriage in their respective jurisdictions.
The Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments in the reference case on 6 and 7 October. It issued its ruling on 9 December,(47) finding that:
The provision in the draft bill authorizing same-sex marriage was within Parliament’s exclusive legislative authority over legal capacity for civil marriage under subsection 91(26) of the Constitution Act, 1867.
The provision was consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and, in the circumstances giving rise to the draft bill, flows from it.
However, the declaratory clause relating to those who perform marriages, and therefore within the provincial constitutional authority over solemnization of marriage, was ultra vires Parliament;
The religious freedom guarantee in subsection 2(a) of the Charter is sufficiently broad to protect religious officials from state compulsion to perform same-sex marriages against their religious beliefs.
The Court declined to answer the fourth question concerning whether the opposite-sex requirement for marriage is consistent with the Charter. It found, in part, that the federal government intended to proceed with legislation irrespective of the Court’s opinion, and that married same-sex couples relying on the finality of judicial decisions in jurisdictions authorizing such marriages had acquired rights that deserved protection.G. 2005
In February, the Ontario Legislature adopted Bill 171, An Act to amend various statutes in respect of spousal relationships. The legislation amended the province’s laws to reflect the Ontario Court of Appeal’s June 2003 same-sex marriage ruling. Bill 171 amendments to the Ontario Human Rights Code and Marriage Act explicitly provide that registered religious officials for whom same-sex marriage is contrary to their religious beliefs are not required to solemnize such marriages.
On 23 June, New Brunswick became the eighth province to legalize same-sex marriage when a Court of Queen’s Bench Charter ruling redefined civil marriage in the province in gender neutral terms.(48)
On 1 February, Bill C-38, the Civil Marriage Act, was introduced in the House of Commons. The legislation codifies a definition of civil marriage for the first time in Canada as a gender neutral institution, “the lawful union of two persons to the exclusion of all others.” The bill also recognizes that religious officials may refuse to perform marriages that conflict with their religious beliefs. Bill C-38 replaces the opposite-sex definition of “spouse” in the Divorce Act with a gender-neutral reference, and opposite-sex language in the Federal Law and Civil Law of the Province of Quebec Act concerning consent to marry. It repeals the interpretive provision in the Modernization of Benefits and Obligations Act referring to the former opposite-sex common law definition of marriage.
Over the course of the Bill C-38 legislative process extending from 14 February through 19 July, MPs, Senators and witnesses representing a broad range of opponents and supporters of the legislation expressed deeply divided views on its merits and implications. Perceived threats to the freedom of religion and expression of those opposed to same-sex marriage were of particular concern for Bill C-38 critics. The constitutionality and legal effect of the bill’s provision related to protection of religious officials were questioned in light of provincial jurisdiction over solemnization of marriage. In response, the House and Senate adopted:
A government amendment stipulating that no benefit will be denied or sanction imposed under any federal law solely because a person or organization exercises freedom of conscience and religion guaranteed by the Charter in respect of same-sex marriage, or expresses their belief in respect of heterosexual marriage based on that freedom;
An opposition amendment to the Income Tax Act providing that registered charities with religious purposes will not have their status revoked solely because they or their members exercise freedom of conscience and religion guaranteed by the Charter in respect of same-sex marriage.
Bill C-38 was adopted by the House of Commons and the Senate on 28 June and 19 July 2005 respectively and came into effect with Royal Assent on 20 July as Chapter 33 of the Statutes of Canada for 2005. Its passage codifies the gender-neutral common law definition of marriage already judicially authorized in nine jurisdictions, and extends it to the remaining provinces and territories, Prince Edward Island, Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
Hurley, Mary C. Charter Equality Rights: Interpretation of Section 15 in Supreme Court of Canada Decisions. BP-402E. Parliamentary Information and Research Service, Library of Parliament, Ottawa, revised January 2005.
British Columbia Law Institute. Report on Recognition of Spousal and Family Status. British Columbia Law Institute, Vancouver, 1998 (KEB168 A15 A12 no. 5).
Canada. Department of Justice. Toward Equality: The Response to the Report of the Parliamentary Committee on Equality Rights. 1986 (J103 H7 33-1 E6 Z5 A35).
Canada. Department of Justice. “Marriage and Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Unions: A Discussion Paper.” 2002 (KE591 C2 A35).
Canada. Parliament. House of Commons. Sub-Committee on Equality Rights. Equality For All: Report of the Parliamentary Committee on Equality Rights. 1985 (J103 H7 33-1 E6 A12).
Law Commission of Canada. Beyond Conjugality: Recognizing and Supporting Close Personal Adult Relationships. Law Commission of Canada, Ottawa, 2001 (KE539 C2 A35).
EGALE Canada Inc. “Division
of Powers and Jurisdictional Issues Relating to Marriage.” 2000.
Morton, F. L., and Rainer Knopff, eds. The Charter Revolution and the Court Party. Broadview Press, Peterborough, Ont., 2000 (KE4381.5 Z85 C437).
Smith, Miriam C. Lesbian and Gay Rights in Canada: Social Movements and Equality-Seeking, 1971-1995. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1999 (HQ76.8 C2 S65).
Wintemute, Robert. Sexual Orientation and Human Rights: The United States Constitution, the European Convention, and the Canadian Charter. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1995 (HQ76.5 W45).
Wintemute, Robert, and Mads Andenaes, eds. Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Partnerships: A Study of National, European and International Law. Hart, Oxford, 2001 (K699 L44).
Hiebert, Janet L. “From Equality Rights to Same-Sex marriage – Parliament and the Courts in the Age of the Charter.” Policy Options, Vol. 24, 2003, p. 10 (JL1 P64).
Le Bourdais, Céline, et al. “The Changing Face of Conjugal Relationships.” Canadian Social Trends, Spring 2000 (Statistics Canada – Catalogue No. 11-008-XPE).
Smith, Miriam C. “Recognizing Same-Sex Relationships: The Evolution of Recent Federal and Provincial Policies.” Canadian Public Administration, Vol. 45, 2002, p. 1 (JA4 C35P).
EGALE Canada Inc.
Table de concertation des lesbiennes et des gais du Québec.
(1) (1992), 94 D.L.R. (4th) 1.
(2) R.S. 1985, c. H-6.
(3)  1 S.C.R. 554.
(4) (1993), 104 D.L.R. (4th) 214.
(5)  2 S.C.R. 513.
(6)  4 F.C. 585 (T.D.).
(7)  1 S.C.R. 493.
(8) (1998), 158 D.L.R. (4th) 664.
(9)  2 S.C.R. 3.
(10) An Act to amend the Criminal Code (sentencing) and other Acts in consequence thereof, S.C. 1995, c. 22.
(11) S.C. 1996, c. 14.
(12) S.C. 1999, c. 34.
(13) S.C. 2000, c. 12.
(14) An Act to amend the Criminal Code (hate propaganda), S.C. 2004, c. 14.
(15) R.S.Q. c. C-12.
(16) Now R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 286.
(17) Family Relations Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 128.
(18) Family Maintenance Enforcement Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 127.
(19) Act to amend various legislative provisions concerning de facto spouses, S.Q. 1999, c. 14.
(20) S.O. 1999, c. 6.
(21) S.B.C. 2000, c. 24.
(22) S.N.S. 2000, c. 29.
(23) S.M. 2001, c. 37.
(24) S.S. 2001, c. 50 and 51.
(25) S.N.L. 2001, c. 22.
(26) S.Q. 2002, c. 6.
(27) S.M. 2002, c. 24.
(28) S.M. 2002, c. 48.
(29) R.S.A. 2000, c. A-4.5.
(30) House of Commons, Debates, 8 June 1999.
(31 ) S.A. 2000, c. 3.
(32 ) EGALE Canada Inc. v. Canada (Attorney General) (2001), 88 C.R.R. (2d) 322, 2001 BCSC 1365.
(33 ) Halpern v. Canada (Attorney General) (2002), 95 C.R.R. (2d) 1.
(34 ) Hendricks c. Québec (Procureur général),  R.J.Q. 2506.
(35 ) EGALE Canada Inc. v. Canada (Attorney General) (2003), 38 R.F.L. (5th) 32, 2003 BCCA 251.
(36) EGALE Canada Inc. v. Canada (Attorney General) (2003), 42 R.F.L. (5th) 341, 2003 BCCA 406.
(37) Halpern v. Canada (Attorney General) (2003), 36 R.F.L. (5th) 127.
(38) Department of Justice Canada, “Reference to the Supreme Court of Canada,” Backgrounder, Ottawa, 17 July 2003.
(39) House of Commons, Debates, 16 September 2003.
(40) Department of Justice Canada, “Government of Canada Reaffirms Its Position on Supreme Court Reference,” Press Release, Ottawa, 28 January 2004.
(41 ) Ligue catholique pour les droits de l’homme c. Hendricks  J.Q. No. 2593 (Q.L.).
(42 ) Dunbar and Edge v. Yukon (Government of) and Canada (A.-G.), 2004 YKSC 54, 14 July 2004 (Yukon Sup. Ct.).
(43) Vogel et al. v. Attorney General of Canada et al., File No. FD 04-01-74476, 16 September 2004 (Man. Q.B.).
(44 ) Boutilier v. Nova Scotia (Attorney General),  N.S.J. No. 357 (Q.L.), 24 September 2004 (N.S. Sup. Ct.).
(45 ) W. (N.) v. Canada (Attorney General), 2004 SKQB 434, 5 November 2004 (Sask. Q.B.).
(46 ) Pottle et al. v. Attorney General of Canada et al., 2004 O1T 3964, 21 December 2004 (Sup. Ct. Nfld. and Lab. (T.D.)).
(47 ) Reference re Same-Sex Marriage, 2004 SCC 79, 9 December 2004.
(48) Harrison v. Canada (Attorney General),  N.B.J. No. 257 (Q.L.).