A 69-year-old Canadian marriage commissioner (like our JPs) risks being canned instead of obeying the law requiring him to marry same-sex couples. In doing so, he is also stranding 30 straight couples who have arranged weddings with him this year.
...and the Globe and Mail are there.
In a scene that may replicate, particularly in the more rural Western and farther Eastern areas, Orville Nichols is claiming his beliefs prevent him from uniting homosexuals. He also said that if he is relieved of duty, he'll fight in court.
Justice Minister Irwin Cotler is willing coddle the crotchety in the short term. Recalcitrant solemnizers may be able to find other commissioners to perform their duty in such cases. "One should be able to find a way of accommodating those who for reasons of conscience feel they don't want to perform a same-sex marriage.
Several commissioners have filed complaints about being required to perform same-sex marriages. As with justices of the peace here, theirs is a civil function, legalizing contracts, with no religious duties. Ceremonies may include religious wording, but that is not relevant to the legality of the event. Some Conservatives in the province are huffing and puffing, asking why the government would "trample on the conscience and religious beliefs of Saskatchewan marriage commissioners."
Nichols is in Regina, Saskatchewan (population about 180,000). One of the six commissioners there is willing to solemnize gay marriages. There are also two commissioner vacancies, likely to be filled with candidates willing to obey the law.
Nichols refused to marry a gay couple, who complained to the Human Rights Commission.