FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 10, 2013
OTTAWA –NDP caucus is marking the 10th anniversary of the first legally recognized same-sex marriage in Canada today.
“We need to take this opportunity to thank the community organizations, lawyers and especially the brave couples who fought tirelessly in the courts to ensure that same-sex couples were no longer discriminated against when it came to marriage rights,” NDP Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues Critic Randall Garrison (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca) said. "We also need to acknowledge the progressive role of the courts at a time when many politicians were hesitant to act."
In 2003 the Court of Appeal for Ontario confirmed that existing Canadian law restricting marriage to heterosexual couples violated the equality provisions of Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It wasn't until July 20th 2005, after many delays in Parliament, that Canadians in all provinces came to share these same rights.
New Democrats have a long and proud history of fighting for equal rights for the LGBT community in Canada. Garrison said, “the NDP is truly committed to equality. We are very proud to have had gay and lesbian members of our national Caucus since Svend Robinson first came out in 1988 and we are now equally proud now have 5 ‘out’ MPs in our Caucus to carry on the struggle for full equality for the LGBT community."