Canada's Supreme Court gives approval for same-sex marriage
"Several centuries ago it would have been understood that marriage should be available only to opposite-sex couples," the Supreme Court of Canada ruled this morning. "The recognition of same-sex marriage in several Canadian jurisdictions as well as two European countries belies the assertion that the same is true today."
Canada's federal government may therefore change the legal definition of marriage in that country, the court said.
Those opposed to same-sex marriage are heartened that the Supreme Court did not rule that Parliament must change the definition of marriage. Many such groups in the U.S. have argued that the chief issue in this country's marriage debate has less to do with sexual ethics than with judicial overrides of the democratic process.
"The Court has clearly indicated that any changes to marriage must be made by Parliament and not through the courts," Focus on the Family Canada president Terence Rolston said in a press release. "Surely the Court would have ruled differently if traditional marriage was an attack on someone's basic human rights."
Religious groups may also be happy to see the court's extensive reiteration that "officials of religious groups [can] refuse to perform marriages that are not in accordance with their religious beliefs." Watch the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada's website for response on this point.
But though the blow may have been softened, some Christian leaders are still troubled by the decision.
"It's a sad day for our country," Gordon Young, pastor of the First Assembly of God Church in St. John's, Newfoundland, ...1