Gay and Lesbian Update

This monthly column features news and issues affecting gays and lesbians in Canada and around the world. Look for it on the second week of each month, only in The Voice.

The legislation to legalize same-sex marriage has passed its second reading in the House of Commons, 164 to 137. The bill now goes to committee to be studied before it can be read a third time. After the bill passes the House of Commons after the third reading, it must sill pass the Senate.

Connecticut’s House and Senate have passed a bill legalizing same-sex civil unions. They are the only state to do this without prompting from the court. The Governor signed the bill, making the legislation law in the state.

The Anglican Church of Canada has agreed for now to halt blessing same-sex unions, but refused to withdraw from the Anglican Consultative Council. The House of Bishops deferred the matter to the General Synod.

With the threat of an election, Canada’s bill to legalize same-sex marriage could die on the order paper if it isn’t voted on prior to the Governor General dropping the writ. Recently the Liberals and the NDP came to an understanding over the budget that could see the Liberals win a motion of no confidence, however, that will require them to win all of the independent votes in the House of Commons.

A Swedish restaurant has been fined 50,000 crowns by a Court of Appeals for throwing out a lesbian couple because they were kissing. The restaurant owner defended his actions by saying he did not let anyone engage in kissing on his premises.

This week California is expected to get a bill on same-sex marriage. The Assembly’s Judiciary Committee has approved a bill by Mark Leno, D-San Francisco to permit same-sex unions. Opponents are planning tactics to hopefully kill the bill.

Quote of the Month

The “frozen concepts” reasoning runs contrary to one of the most fundamental principles of Canadian constitutional interpretation: that our Constitution is a living tree which, by way of progressive interpretation, accommodates and addresses the realities of modern life.

–Supreme Court of Canada, in its ruling, Re: Same sex marriage, December 2004